Nuclear rockets with specific impulse have obvious advantages by greatly reducing the mass of the propellant and potentially decreasing the cost of launching material from the earth’s surface. Nuclear thermal rockets use hydrogen propellant with coolant exit temperature of near 3000 K, which is very high, so the cooling of airframe surfaces in the vicinity of the exhaust is needed, of which film cooling is an effective method. Most of previous studies mainly focus on the film cooling effectiveness using two dimensional backward-facing step model, however, the nuclear rocket exhaust using the converging-diverging Laval nozzle, so the film cooling would be different. The present study numerically investigated the influence of coolant Mach number, coolant inlet height on supersonic film cooling in the diverging section of Laval nozzle, while keeping the coolant mass flow rate constant, with the results showing that: increasing the coolant inlet Mach number and the coolant inlet height can increase the film cooling effectiveness; for the same coolant mass flow rate, reducing the coolant inlet height and increasing the inlet Mach number improves film cooling effectiveness.

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