Aerospace propulsion

The research group activities embrace multiple aspects related to both aeronautical and space propulsion. The main research topics to which the group's skills are devoted are the aerodynamic design of turbomachinery components, the aerothermodynamics of aerospace propulsion, the numerical simulation of aeronautical engines and combustion, and the analysis of space trajectories.

The research activity, aimed at the design of the aerospace propulsion systems and their components, is carried out with particular attention to the problems of a fluid-dynamic nature. Inverse problems described by the Euler / Navier Stokes equations are solved for the optimal design of propulsion nozzles and axial turbomachinery. They are coupled with optimization methodologies based on the gradient method and on evolutionary algorithms and the development, implementation and validation of reduced models. Numerical methodologies (CFD) are also developed for the thermal, aero-elastic simulation of internal and external flows and their control with numerical schemes for finite differences, finite volumes and finite elements with a high degree of precision, with analysis of non-stationary flows ( rotor / stator interaction in axial turbomachinery) and fluid-structure interaction phenomena arising in axial compressor and turbine stages. Finally, the research group deals with the study of the performance of aeronautical and space engines, including emissions, and their components.

In the space field, the group is active in the study of the performance of chemical rockets, with a specific focus on hybrid rocket propulsion, the analysis and modeling of the main physical phenomena (including combustion and combustion instability) and components, and the multidisciplinary optimization of rockets. Finally, the analysis and the limits of space trajectories is carried out using indirect and evolutionary methods, which apply both in interplanetary (missions to planets, asteroids, deviation of PHO) and geocentric (orbital transfers, missions to the Moon and Lagrangian points, debris removal).

Research areas