Advanced science.  Applied technology.


SwRI announces liquid propellant system design course for rocket applications

May 19, 2020 — This fall, Southwest Research Institute will offer a new introductory course on liquid propellant system design and analysis for launch vehicles. Depending on the status of the COVID-19 pandemic at that time, the October 19-22 course will either take place online or at SwRI’s San Antonio campus.

“This course is focused on the feed systems of liquid propellant space propulsion systems,” said Grant Musgrove, manager of SwRI’s Propulsion and Energy Machinery Section. “It will focus on pressurization systems and propellant tanks and feedlines, and how the interaction of these components affects overall vehicle performance.”

Musgrove created the course to support the rapid expansion in both large and small privately funded aerospace companies.

“These companies are developing new technology and designing rockets, but they could benefit from expertise that is becoming increasingly rare,” Musgrove said. “The biggest innovations in rocketry were made by NASA more than 30 years ago, and most of those engineers are retired or about to retire.”

The course will begin by laying down the basic foundations of liquid propulsion systems and then move into more specialized topics. The lessons will be reinforced with classroom exercises.

“We’re going to cover the concept of liquid sloshing in propellant tanks followed by the analytical, computational and experimental methods used to characterize sloshing parameters for guidance, navigation and control simulations,” Musgrove said.

The course will also address slosh baffling and other mitigation strategies along with related analysis techniques. The course will cover propellant feedline dynamics, including start slump, water hammer, and pogo stability. Registrants will also explore the complex, multiphase thermodynamic interactions from systems that utilize cryogenic propellants.

“Introduction to Liquid Propellant Design and Analysis for Launch Vehicles” is $985 per registrant. International participants are welcome to register. Registration includes two and a half days of course instruction as well as training materials and class exercises.

Pre-registration is encouraged.

To register online or join the course mailing list, visit or contact Grant Musgrove.

For more information, visit Liquid Propulsion or contact Joanna Carver, +1 210 522 2073, Communications Department, Southwest Research Institute, 6220 Culebra Road, San Antonio, TX 78238-5166.