The Propulsion and Combustion Lab is located at the Sylvia and David I.A. Fine Rocket Propulsion Center, which accommodates research activities in rocket and ramjet propulsion, combustion, energy and related areas) The lab hosts faculty members, research scientists and engineers, some ten graduate students (towards Doctor and Master degrees), and technical personnel. It has been hosting Visiting Professors, Visiting Scientists, Post-Doc Fellows, and internship students.
The main research programs involve the following subjects:
- Solid, liquid, and hybrid rocket propulsion
- Gel fuels, propellants, and systems
- Solid fuel ramjets and ducted rockets
- Supersonic combustion ramjets (SCRAMJETS)
- Energetic materials
- Solid Propellants Combustion and formulation
- Metal and Boron combustion
- Combustion synthesis (SHS) of intermetallic, nitride, and hydride compounds
- Underwater jet propulsion, bubbly flows, and cavitation
- Hydrogen and electric energy production on-demand; Fuel cells
The Center has a number of reinforced test cells, specially built for static firing tests and for high pressure and temperature experiments. It includes an installation of high pressure air and gas supply, high and low speed video recorders, particle and spray analyzers, Differential Thermal Analysis (DTA) and Thermo-Gravimetric Analysis (TGA) instrumentation, computerized data acquisition systems, A vitiated air heater for ramjet and scramjet experiments, a water tank facility for marine propulsion and cavitation flow research, and a number of specific setups.
Undergraduate students conduct experiments in the Center on a regular basis, as a part of their undergraduate courses in rocket propulsion, and perform research and design projects, including the design, construction and launching of rocket and ramjet vehicles.