NASA?s goals of returning humans to the Moon and sending humans to Mars and beyond present exciting challenges that will require significant advancements in propulsion technology. Current methods for developing hydrogen- and hydrocarbon-fueled engines rely largely on trial-and-error testing. Accurate computer models can significantly reduce the cost of hardware development, but current models are limited by a lack of experimental data needed for validation. The proposed velocity diagnostic would provide crucial data that is needed for the development, qualification, and acceptance process of present and future computer models.
A successful velocity diagnostic for large rocket engine plumes would have broad application across the worldwide aerospace propulsion industry. Military applications include rockets, missiles, scramjets, and turbine engines, as well as new concepts in propulsion such as pulse detonation engines. Commercial applications include the development of new turbofan designs that will require improved diagnostics for achieving increased efficiency. MetroLaser will pursue these military and commercial markets with a commercial version of the Phase II prototype