2001 Volume 44 Issue 4 Pages 658-667
The kinetic power and efficiency equations for general jet propulsion systems are classically given in a much cursory, incomplete, and ununified format. This situation prohibits the propulsion designer from seeing the panorama of interrelated propulsion parameters and effects. And in some cases, it may lead to an energy-inefficient propulsion system design, or induce significant offset in propulsion performance as demonstrated in this study. Thus, herein we attempt to clarify some related concepts and to rigorously derive the associated generalized equations with a complete spectrum of physical parameters to be manipulated in quest of better performance. By a highly efficient interweaved transport scheme, we have derived the following equations for general jet propulsion systems: i.e., generalized total kinetic power, generalized kinetic power delivered to the jet propulsion system, generalized thrust power, generalized available propulsion power, and relevant generalized propulsive, thermal, and overall efficiency equations. Further, the variants of these equations under special conditions are also considered. For taking advantage of the above propulsion theories, we also illustrate some novel propulsion strategies in the final discussion, such as the dive-before-climb launch of rocket from highland mountain on eastbound rail, with perhaps minisatellites as the payloads.