Numerical Simulation of Mixing Process in Combustion Chamber for Laser Ignition with Hydrogen-Oxygen and Methane-Oxygen Propellants

Aerospace propulsion engineering


Rebrov S. G.1*, Golikov A. N.1**, Golubev V. A.2, Molchanov A. M.3***, Yakhina G. R.3

1. State Scientific Center of the Russian Federation “Keldysh Research Center”, Moscow, Russia
2. Keldysh Research Centre, 8, Onezhskaya str., Moscow, 125438, Russia
3. Moscow Aviation Institute (National Research University), 4, Volokolamskoe shosse, Moscow, А-80, GSP-3, 125993, Russia



The object of the article is a research of the mixing process in the simulated combustion chamber with laser ignition for hydrogen-oxygen and methane-oxygen propellants.
The goal of this work was to confirm location of the initiation ignition zones and work conditions of the laser in experimental researches of the laser ignition system with hydrogen-oxygen and methane-oxygen propellants in the combustion chamber by the use of numerical simulation.
For validation of the choice of ignition zones, which were used in the experiments, the numerical simulation of the mixing process in the combustion chamber and analyses of mixture ratio before the laser cut in were conducted. ANSYS ICEM CFD was used for creating mesh model and ANSYS CFX was used for the fluid dynamic simulation. The cyclic sector of sixty degrees with symmetry condition was created. This decrease calculation time and computational capability of simulation process. The grid model consists of 547618 elements and 579059 nodes. The steady-state and transient problems were simulated. The solution of the steady-state problem shows the mixture parameters in stabilized conditions. The transient problem is useful for more detailed study of mixing process, when the components start to flow in the combustion chamber.
The results of the experimental researches are data on mixture ratio in focusing points of laser beam for hydrogen-oxygen and methane-oxygen propellants. According to the results a reliable ignition was achieved by initiating spark optical breakdown in the areas with excess oxidant ratio α = 0,4..0,5 and α = 0,75 for hydrogen-oxygen mixture and α = 0,3 and α = 0,6 for methane-oxygen mixture.
The results of the transient problem confirm the conclusion of experimental researches that the simultaneous fuel-feed and laser cut-in (regime 20Hz) provide “smooth” ignition without overpressure in the combustion chamber.
The researches confirm reliability of the laser ignition. It may be used in a full-scale rocket engine and in a gasifier of different purpose.
Thus, this work demonstrate that the results of numerical simulation of the propellant mixing process can be used for prediction of optimized focusing zones in a liquid rocket engine, which allows to ignite the propellant mixture with a minimum pulse energy.


numerical simulation, laser ignition, combustion chamber, rocket engine, optical breakdown


  1. Rebrov S.G., Golikov A.N. , Golubev V.A. Electronyi zhurnal “Trudy MAI”, 2012, no. 53, available at: (accessed 19, 04, 2012)
  2. Golikov A.N., Golubev V.A., Rebrov S.G. Aviakosmicheskaja tehnika i tehnologija, 2009, no. 2, pp.18-23.
  3. Golikov A.N.,Golubev V.A. , Rebrov S.G. Kosmonavtika i raketostroenie, 2010, no. 3(60), pp. 92-100.
  4. Rebrov S.G., Golikov A.N., Golubev V.A., Kochanov A.V., Klimenko A.G. Patent RU 2400644, 09.06.2009.
  5. Rebrov S.G., Golikov A.N. and Golubev V.A. Patent RU 2468240, 03.11.2011.

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