19–22 August 2019
JW Marriott, Indianapolis, Indiana

AIAA Rocket Testing Workshop at Purdue Zucrow Labs

16–18 August 2019
Purdue University, West Lafayette, , Indiana
0800–1700 hrs

Please note, space is limited. This workshop has a maximum of 50 registrants. 

Register Here


This three-day workshop will provide attendees with fundamental and practical aspects of rocket testing activities through a review of propulsion (liquid, solid, hybrid, and electric) fundamentals, state-of-the-art testing practices (e.g., instrumentation selection and calibration, laser diagnostic, etc.), uncertainty analysis, and design of experiments. The one-of-a-kind workshop, facilitated by multiple AIAA technical committees and the world’s leading experts in rocketry, will consist of in-class lectures and discussion, lab tours, and practical demonstrations.

The workshop will be held at the Zucrow Laboratories at Purdue University, the largest academic propulsion lab in the world. Zucrow Labs handles all chemical propellants currently in use in aerospace systems and designs and evaluates rocket engines at scales up to 10,000 lbf. 

Key Topics

  • Liquid Propulsion (LP)
    • Fundamentals of liquid propulsion
    • Turbomachinery testing
    • Storable propellants: handling and characterization
    • Cryogenic propellants: handling and characterization
    • Suitcase rocket demonstration
    • Altitude chamber testing (common with SP and HP, similarities and differences with EP)
    • Pressure gain combustion: opportunities and challenges
  • Hybrid Propulsion (HP)
    • Fundamentals of HP
    • Thrust measurement challenges (common with SP)
    • Scaling challenges
    • Cryogenic propellants: handling and characterization
    • Altitude chamber testing (common with SP and HP, similarities and differences with EP)
  • Solid Propulsion (SP)
    • Fundamentals of SP
    • Propellant handling
    • Thrust measurement challenges (common with HP)
    • Throttling: options and challenges
    • Altitude chamber testing (common with SP and HP, similarities and differences with EP)
  • Electrical Propulsion (EP)
    • Fundamentals of EP
    • Thrust measurement challenges
    • Vacuum chamber challenges: low pressures and high voltages
  • Cross-cutting
    • Uncertainty analysis
    • Fundamentals of laser diagnostics
    • Instrumentation selection and calibration
    • Pressure regulators
    • Lessons learned
    • Demonstrations/lab tours
    • Heat transfer modeling: 1D to 3D, tools to check the viability of the experiment
    • Structures modeling: 1D to 3D, tools to check the viability of the experiment


Dr. Timothee Pourpoint : Workshop Organizer, AIAA Liquid Propulsion Technical Committee, Associate Professor at Purdue University 

Dr. David Lineberry : Research Engineer at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, AIAA Liquid Propulsion Technical Committee

Dr. Naveen Vetcha: Liquid Propulsion Analyst at ERC Inc./Jacobs ESSCA/NASA MSFC, AIAA Liquid Propulsion Technical Committee

Dr. Ashley Karp: NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, AIAA Hybrid Propulsion Technical Committee

Dr. William Marshall: Chemical and Thermal Propulsion Systems Branch, NASA Glenn Research Center, AIAA Liquid Propulsion Technical Committee 

Dr. Alexey Shashurin: Assistant Professor, Purdue University, School of Aeronautics and Astronautics, AIAA Plasmadynamics and Lasers Technical Committee 

David K. McGrath: Director Advanced Technology at Northrop Grumman, Deputy Director for the Propulsion and Energy Group

Location and Logistics

The Workshop will take place at:  
Maurice J. Zucrow Laboratories at Purdue University
Allison Rd, West Lafayette, IN 47906

Purdue University is roughly 1 hour 15 minutes from the Indianapolis Airport. For transportation from the airport to the West Lafayette area, Lafayette Limo or Reindeer Shuttle are recommended options. For those individuals renting cars, parking is free at Zucrow Labs.

AIAA has secured blocks of rooms at the following hotels:
Home2 Suites by Hilton Lafayette
3838 Grace Ln, Lafayette, IN 47905
Reservations: 765.479.7208

Residence Inn Lafayette
3834 Grace Ln., Lafayette, IN
Reservations: 765.479.7208

Vans will be provided to transport interested attendees to/from the above hotels and Zucrow Labs.

Complementary charter bus transportation will be provided from West Lafayette to the JW Marriott in Indianapolis at the conclusion of workshop on Sunday evening.

A continental breakfast and lunch will be provided on site each day.


Please contact the workshop organizer, Timothee Pourpoint, with questions about topics, proceedings, instructors, the laboratories, or subject matter.

Please contact Purdue University Conference Coordinator, Missy Gulick, with questions about logistics including transportation, hotel, food, etc.
Office: 765.494.9020
Cell: 765.491.3993 

Workshop Registration

Register Here

Dates to Remember

  • Manuscript Deadline: 15 Jul 2019
  • Early Mem Reg Deadline: 28 Jul 2019
  • Cancellation Deadline: 05 Aug 2019

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