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Roxel demonstrates novel Coanda TVC nozzle

Roxel has built and tested prototypes of a novel Coanda TVC nozzle. (Roxel/MBDA)

Rocket motor manufacturer Roxel has developed and demonstrated a novel thrust vector control (TVC) nozzle that seeks to exploit the Coanda effect to achieve deflection.

Prototyped and tested as part of the French/UK Materials and Components for Missiles Innovation Technology Partnership (MCM ITP) programme, the TVC nozzle device has completed cold gas firings to demonstrate performance capability. Hot gas trials are planned to follow.

The Coanda effect – named after the Romanian-born aeronautical engineer Henri Coandă – describes the phenomenon where a jet flow attaches itself to a nearby surface and remains attached even when the surface curves away from the initial jet direction. Disrupting this boundary layer can be used to impart a deflection: in this case, redirecting the exhaust flow from a solid rocket motor can be used to change the thrust vector.

Roxel businesses in France and the UK have worked with S&C Thermofluids to mature the concept design, build prototypes, and conduct analyses and tests. Speaking at the MCM ITP conference in Nice on 28 October, Richard Perry, technical lead for Roxel UK, said that the technology offered advantages in terms of its robust design, compact dimensions, and the large range of deflection.

“Typical thrust vector devices give between 5° and 15° of deflection,” he said. “We think that this design can achieve 20°–25° deflection, and as much as 30° with slight changes to the geometry.”

“There are very few moving components, and the compactness of the design means it can be exploited on small weapons [40 mm calibre]. At the same time, it can also be scaled upwards for larger weapons,” Perry added.

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