New REDTOP™ Liquid Rocket Engine Design and Analysis Software Enables Engineers To Ask “What If?”


February 2, 2022 (ATLANTA) – For an aerospace engineer designing a future spaceflight system, rocket propulsion is a critical discipline. “What if I changed propellants or propellant mixture ratio? What’s the best nozzle expansion ratio? What if a pre-burner was added to the cycle? How big does the engine need to be to achieve my desired thrust?”

Designing a liquid rocket engine system involves many variables, where the changing inputs can create a domino effect on the launch vehicle’s size and performance. SpaceWorks’ new REDTOP™ software is changing rocket engine design and speeding up the process from concept, to test, to launch.

Before REDTOP, quickly evaluating the trade space of liquid rocket engine configurations took hours of setup and data reduction time using existing chemistry and cycle balance tools. Using REDTOP, this preliminary experimentation can be done in less time than it takes to boot up a computer. “Modeling your engine configuration in an easy to visualize format — specifications for tanks, combustion chambers, nozzles, bipropellants, monopropellants, turbines and more — all in one place is the advantage of REDTOP. With its ability to perform automated parametric sweeps, our customers can plot the impact of a wide range of variables, seek out target values for thrust, Isp, CStar and other performance measures, and design the best engine,” said Kevin Bagwell, who heads up the Software business unit at SpaceWorks Enterprises, Inc.

REDTOP (Rocket Engine Design Tool for Optimal Performance) was released as a major new update in December, and now functions as a research-lab-in-a-box, allowing customers to experiment with factors that impact thrust, Isp, turbine speed, power balance, cost and other outputs while they design their own engine. Starting with limited information? The software offers templates of information to fill in the gaps, including preset powerhead cycles and configurations.

“The space launcher, lunar and Mars lander, and space operations markets are taking off with new ideas, new concepts, new entrepreneurs, and new investments. Our new REDTOP software gets our customers past the learning curves and time commitments of running stacks of preliminary propulsion analyses and more quickly towards the strategic decisions that ultimately optimize their concepts and their businesses”, said Dr. John R. Olds, SpaceWorks CEO.

Want to take the rocket design to the next level? REDTOP enables engineers to ask “What if”.

REDTOP is intuitive and responsive, with an easy-to-operate graphical user interface (GUI). The code is written in Java, taking advantage of modern computing power, and cross platform (Windows, Mac and Linux). The target market for the product includes commercial aerospace companies and government agencies and is ideal for the conceptual vehicle designer exploring a large trade space.

About  SpaceWorks Enterprises
SpaceWorks Enterprises, Inc. (SEI), based in Atlanta, GA, specializes in advanced concept analysis, systems analysis, rapid prototyping, software and hardware product development, and economic assessment for a broad and diverse customer base. SpaceWorks is dedicated to advancing the state-of-the-art in the aerospace industry, from the early design phase through flight demonstration and system operation. More about this mission at

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