Feeds

Got a few minutes to help LOHAN suck?

Home-made vacuum pumps... bright ideas invited

Top three mobile application threats

As we recently reported, El Reg's Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) team has taken delivery of an AeroTech RC 32/60-100NS rocket motor – the proposed power plant for our Vulture 2 spaceplane.

Click here for a bigger version of the LOHAN graphicHowever, no one – including AeroTech – is sure whether the thing will fire while freezing its 'nads off at the intended launch height.

Accordingly, we've devised a cunning plan to put together a Rocketry Experimental High Altitude Barosimulator (REHAB – full details here) device to test the motor under the required low temperature and pressure conditions.

As we speak, trained botherers of steel down at my local metalworks (now dubbed "LOHAN's Anvil") are considering just how to make this concept a reality...

Our revised hypobaric test rig concept

...and while the lads are worrying some tubing, we've been busy sourcing the bits and pieces we'll need to complete this magnificent garden-shed contraption.

We've managed to sort a robust glass top plate*, along with its rubber seal, plus a viable temperature sensor. We are, however, scratching our heads about the vacuum pump. These babies don't come cheap, and we really don't want to blow a wad of cash for a single experiment.

So, it's over to you, our beloved and tech-savvy readers. Got any bright ideas for putting together a home-made vacuum pump that can create and hold a vacuum of 15 mmHg? Let us know... ®

Bootnote

*Yes indeed – we're going to put a mirror (not shown in diagram) at 45 degrees to the top plate so we can reflect an image of the motor firing and capture the drama with a high-speed video camera.

To clarify, the top plate isn't fixed to the inner tube, but is pulled down onto the rubber seal as the vacuum forms. When the motor fires, the plate will act as a pressure release "valve", to prevent the REHAB beast exploding. So, it's likely that the viewing mirror will be sacrificial, but it's better that it takes the force of the plate popping rather than the video camera.

It's so simple, it's hard to imagine what could possibly go wrong...

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Most Americans doubt Big Bang, not too sure about evolution, climate change – survey
Science no match for religion, politics, business interests
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
LOHAN and the amazing technicolor spaceplane
Our Vulture 2 livery is wrapped, and it's les noix du mutt
Liftoff! SpaceX Falcon 9 lifts Dragon on third resupply mission to ISS
SpaceX snaps smartly into one-second launch window
R.I.P. LADEE: Probe smashes into lunar surface at 3,600mph
Swan dive signs off successful science mission
Opportunity selfie: Martian winds have given the spunky ol' rover a spring cleaning
Power levels up 70 per cent as the rover keeps on truckin'
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.