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Center Innovation Fund: AFRC CIF

Altitude Compensating Nozzles (ACN)

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

Altitude Compensating Nozzles

An Altitude Compensating Nozzle (ACN) enables the nozzle flow to adjust with the ambient pressure as it decreases with altitude so that the plume is never significantly over or under-expanded. The performance of ACNs can be near optimal over most of the flight. Hence, mission integrated performance with an ACN could be higher than with a Conventional Bell (CB) nozzle. The purpose is to advance the TRL of ACNs through static ground tests, and ultimately by demonstrating this technology through flight test. The primary near-term objective is to advance Dual Bell (DB) nozzle technology, and ultimately the team has plans to advance the TRL of other ACN conceptual designs (e.g. aerospike, clustered aerospike, etc.).

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Technology Maturity (TRL)

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