I would like to run a fluid simulation of the diverging section of a Merlin 1D Vacuum engine. While most relevant parameters (such as expansion ratio, flow rate, and nozzle area) are readily available, the nozzle contour (or shape) has been more difficult to find. What is the best way to go about estimating this geometry? Is it known what kind of curve is used in the design (e.g. parabolic)?

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    $\begingroup$ While a large variety of contours are used in supersonic nozzles, including simple conical and parabolic contours, there is a good chance (I have no evidence) that the Merlin’s contour was either generated using the method of characteristics to produce Ideal distribution of expansion fans, or via an iterative optimization of splines (or similar). It is quite an interesting business: designing channels for supersonic flow. $\endgroup$
    – A McKelvy
    Nov 17 at 11:52


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