characteristic velocity, C*


ECSS-E-ST-35C Rev. 1


ratio of the time integral of the product of throat area and total pressure (at the throat) and the propellants ejected mass during the same time interval


  • NOTE 1 In accordance with this definition, the overall characteristic velocity is: In many cases t1 is taken to be the ignition time, t0, and t2 is taken to be the time at burnout (te). In that case, t2 - t1 = tb and the integral in the denominator equals the ejected mass.
  • NOTE 2 Instantaneous and overall characteristic velocities are usually referred to as characteristic velocity
  • NOTE 3 The usual units are m/s.
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