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Luca d'Agostino

Luca d'Agostino

Professor of Aerospace Propulsion



Aerospace Engineering Department, Pisa University
16 Via Gerolamo Caruso, 56122 Pisa, Italy
tel.: +39 (050) 221-7211; fax: +39 (050) 221-7244 (office)



Alta S.p.A.
5 Via Gherardesca, 561221 Ospedaletto (Pisa), Italy
tel.: +39 (050) 967211


"There is nothing more practical than a good theory" (Kurt Lewin, 1945)



Laurea in Mechanical Engineering (1978), Pisa University, Pisa, Italy

M.S. (1981), Ph. D. (1987) and Research Fellow (1987–88) in Mechanical Engineering, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California, USA

Assistant Professor (1988–92), Associate Professor (1992–99) and Professor (1999–), Pisa University, Pisa, Italy.


Rocket Propellant Turbopumps:

–   Experimental analyses under hydrodynamic and cavitation similarity conditions

–   Experimental and theoretical analyses of thermal cavitation effects

–   Experimental and theoretical analyses of cavitation-induced flow instabilities

–   Experimental and theoretical analyses of rotordynamic whirl forces

–   Thermal cavitation modeling and simulation in hydraulic turbomachinery


“Green” Propellant Rockets:

–   Development and testing of advanced H2O2 catalysts for rocket propulsion

–   Experimental analyses of H2O2 monopropellant thrusters

–   Experimental analyses of H2O2/HC thrusters


Combustion Analyses in Aerospace Propulsion Systems:

–   Active control of combustion instabilities in gas turbine engines

–   Aeroacoustic combustion instabilities in segmented solid propellant rockets

–   Ignition transient and quasi-steady combustion of solid rocket motors

–   Engine condition monitoring and fault detection by Bayesian system identification


Hypersonic  and High-Enthalpy Aerothermodynamics:

–   Characterization of shock wave-boundary layer interactions on heated surfaces

–   Development of high-speed (>50 kHz) dual thin film total temperature probes

–   Measuremenrt of turbulent pressure and temperature spectra in high-enthalpy and hypersonic flows


Cavitation and Two-Phase Flows:

–   Cavitation nuclei population measurements by laser Doppler velocimetry, holography and Coulter counters

–   Dynamics, modeling, stability, and  simulation of bubbly and cavitating flows