Augmented rockets increase thrust (about twice) by mixing the exhaust of a rocket with ambient air in order to accelerate a greater mass of gas at a lower speed. Is the effectivness of this system proportional to the speed of the rocket or does the shroud around the exhaust have the capability to suck in enough air to significantly increase performance even when the engine is static and alight?

  • $\begingroup$ I wonder if shroud could somehow help optimal exhaust expansion once in vacuum $\endgroup$ – qq jkztd Jan 27 '19 at 11:40

The only one I know about, NASA's early 2000s GTX proposal, used external air from liftoff to Mach 11. This Rocket-Based Combined Cycle vehicle operated in the following modes:

  1. Mach 0.0 to 25: air augmented rocket
  2. Mach 2.5 to 5.5: ramjet
  3. Mach 5.5 to 11.0: scramjet
  4. Mach 11.0 - orbit: pure rocket

I doubt the air inlet provided much augmentation while the vehicle was static, but that is a very short part of the ascent.

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There are a lot of interesting papers about GTX on NTRS, here are some.





Ramjets work most efficiently at supersonic speeds around Mach 3 (2,300 mph; 3,700 km/h)

This limits the use of this technology.


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