Prediction of Remaining Life of Turbo Pump Inducer for Spacecraft Using Cumulative Damage Model



Published Sep 4, 2023
Hatsuo Mori Makoto Imamura


In the near future, to operate reusable spacecraft safely and efficiently, it is necessary to have failure prediction technology for reusable rocket engines. Among the components that constitute a rocket engine, the failure of the turbo pump inducer has a significant impact on missions. Therefore, we have been researching to monitor the remaining life of the inducer.

This method estimates the fluctuating stress field excited in the inducer section based on the time-series signals from pressure sensors installed upstream. It predicts the remaining life using a Rain flow model to account for high- cycle fatigue (HCF) phenomena. To validate the effectiveness of the proposed method, we attempted to acquire experimental data, particularly for the challenging pressure-stress transfer section where concrete specifications are difficult to define. Through experiments using an elemental model, we demonstrated that a certain degree of remaining life can be predicted based on measurement from the upstream sensor.

This indicates that the proposed method is a promising option for solving the remaining life prediction problem of reusable spacecraft.  

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Spacecraft, Turbopump Inducer, Remaining Life Prediction, Cumulative Damage Model, Rainflow

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