The National Academies Logo
Research Associateship Programs
Fellowships Office
Policy and Global Affairs

Participating Agencies - AFRL

  Sign InPrintable View

Opportunity at Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL)

High Pressure and Supercritical Combustion


Aerospace Systems Directorate, RQ/Engineering, Applied Sciences/Computer Sci

RO# Location
13.30.04.B0202 Edwards Air Force Base, CA 93524


Name E-mail Phone
Talley, Douglas G. 661.275.6174


The objective of this work is to investigate atomization and combustion of liquid propellants at high pressures including supercritical pressures. Current understanding of spray combustion processes is based mostly on low pressure, subcritical mechanisms, whereas future Air Force propulsion and other combustion applications will increasingly emphasize high pressures. Atomization and spray combustion mechanisms may be different in these regimes. At pressures exceeding the critical point of the propellant (731 psi for liquid oxygen), the sharp distinction between gas and liquid phases can entirely disappear, and we can question whether droplets can even exist. Such flows will likely exhibit properties, which at some times are like those of turbulent jets and at other times are more like those of sprays. Even subcritical high pressures pose substantial challenges for combustion diagnostic techniques, most of which were developed for low-pressure applications. To be overcome are obstacles such as dense sprays, beam steering, molecular quenching, and spectral line broadening. Numerous research opportunities are available to work with an established team of scientists and engineers to improve technology in this area.


Liquid propellants; Supercritical fluids; Drops (liquids);


Citizenship:  Open to U.S. citizens
Level:  Open to Postdoctoral and Senior applicants
Copyright © 2014. National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. 500 Fifth St. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20001.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement.