Jet Interaction

Jet Interaction Control

Jet interaction uses the principle of reaction thrust to provide aerodynamic maneuvering and control authority for a missile in flight. The reaction control thrusters, often located near the missile center of gravity or sometimes at the aft end, fire perpendicularly into the oncoming free stream. The resulting aerodynamic interaction effect creates a pressure disturbance on the surface of the missile that can be a large percentage of the nominal vacuum thrust

The direction of the interaction thrust vector can either augment or diminish the reaction thrust, but it is always a function of missile attitude and altitude. Jet interaction effects are usually computed under the assumption of a nonreacting exhaust gas, but in some low altitude situations, external combustion processes must be considered as afterburning of the jet exhaust contributes significantly to the aerodynamic interaction effects.

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The Missile Defense Agency (MDA) funded Tetra Research to develop advanced CFD software for jet interaction control applications. We have also analyzed jet interaction for the U.S. Army's THAAD interceptor program utilizing DoD High Performance Computing assets.