Development study on ATREX engine

N. Tanatsugu*, T. Sato, V. Balepin, Y. Naruo, T. Mizutani, T. Kashiwagi, K. Hamabe, J. Tomike, R. Minami

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


This is the status report of the development study on ATREX engine (Air Turbo Ramjet) that is now under way in the Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS) cooperation with the Ishikawajima Harima Heavy Industries (IHI), the Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI), the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI). ATREX engine will be applied for the propulsion system of fly-back booster of TSTO space plane. ATREX is the combined cycle (a fan-boosted ramjet) engine providing the effective thrust from sea level static to flight Mach number 6. ATREX is worked on the expander cycle with precooling the incoming air as shown in Fig. 1. ATREX employs the tip turbine configuration which allows the compactness and the light weight of turbo machinery and the variable geometry airintake and plugnozzle which allow the wide range operation conditions. From 1990 to 1992, "ATREX-500" has been tested at the sea level static conditions. ATREX-500 is the 1/4-scale model of which fan inlet diameter is 300 mm and overall length 2,200 mm. From 1992 have been performed the wind tunnel tests on the primary components of ATREX, the axisymmetric variable geometry airintakes, the precoolers and the variable geometry plug nozzles. In parallel to the windtunnel tests, the ram combusters have been tested simulating the hypersonic flight conditions and the application studies on advanced carbon-carbon composite for the tip-turbine and fan assembly has been proceeded. In 1994 initiated the flight test plan in which ATREX will be verified in the practical flight conditions by using an unmanned flying test bench. In 1995 will be tested ATREX-500 installing the precooler under the sea level static conditions to examine the engine performance and the icing on the precooler. The present paper addresses the high loading ram combuster experiment using the mixer with skewed lobes to generate swirl flow and the analytical studies and the designs on the precooler and the precooled ATREX engine and the flight test plan.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)851-862
Number of pages12
JournalActa Astronautica
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1997 Dec
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Development study on ATREX engine'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this