Official Title Associate Professor
Affiliation Department of Mechanical Systems Engineering
Profile My research interests include space engineering, especially rocket engineering, and spacecraft charging analysis. I have been working on research and development of a non-combustion-type rocket engine that utilizes liquid nitrogen. The rocket engine is inherently safer than combustion-type rocket engines and can be completely reusable because it has no combustion process. We performed experiments to investigate the thrust characteristic of the rocket engine and numerical simulations of propellant jets. A prototype rocket was launched at a long horizontal rail at Muroran Institute of Technology, and the experiments were conducted at the experimental field of Chiba Institute of Technology. Numerical simulations of the flow of nitrous oxide which is used as an oxidizer of hybrid rocket engines are also performed to estimate the mass flow rate across the oxidizer injector where complicated two-phase flow appeared. In my research work on spacecraft charging analysis, we tested dielectric materials used for artificial satellites' outer surface insulation film in a vacuum chamber equipped with an electron gun to simulate the actual space environment. Test samples can be cooled at a cryogenic temperature of around 20 K to simulate scientific instruments operated at lower temperatures.
Research Field(Keyword & Summary)
  1. Rocket engine

  2. Liquid nitrogen

  3. Hybrid rocket engine

  4. Spacecraft charging

Representative Papers
  1. Daisuke NAKATA,Kazuki YASUDA,Kugo OKADA,Kazuyuki HIGASHINO,Rikio WATANABE, N2O Flow History Prediction in an Oxidizer Feed Line of Hybrid Rockets, TRANSACTIONS OF THE JAPAN SOCIETY FOR AERONAUTICAL AND SPACE SCIENCES, AEROSPACE TECHNOLOGY JAPAN, Vol.16, No.1, pp. 81-87, 2018.
  2. Rikio Watanabe,Ryo Mikami, Thrust Performance Improvement for a Water/Liquid Nitrogen Rocket Engine, Journal of Space Engineering, Vol. 3, No. 1, pp. 24-37, 2010.
  3. Masaaki Yasuda,Yasuaki Kainuma,Hiroaki Kawata,Yoshihiko Hirai,Yasuhiro Tanaka,Rikio Watanabe,Masatoshi Kotera, Time-dependent charge distributions in polymer films under electron beam irradiation, JOURNAL OF APPLIED PHYSICS, Vol. 104, No. 12, 124904, 2008.
Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research Support: Japan Society for Promotion of Science (JSPS)
Recruitment of research assistant(s) No
Affiliated academic society (Membership type) Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers (member)
The Japan Society for Aeronautical and Space Sciences(member)
American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics(member)
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers(member)
Education Field (Undergraduate level) Fluie dynamics, Aerospace engineering
Education Field (Graduate level) Rocket system engineering, System engineering