Feeds

Got a few minutes to help LOHAN suck?

Home-made vacuum pumps... bright ideas invited

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

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...

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
Antarctic ice THICKER than first feared – penguin-bot boffins
Robo-sub scans freezing waters, rocks warming models
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Your PHONE is slowly KILLING YOU
Doctors find new Digitillnesses - 'text neck' and 'telepressure'
Reuse the Force, Luke: SpaceX's Elon Musk reveals X-WING designs
And a floating carrier for recyclable rockets
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k
3 days, and Kickstarter moves lander 37% nearer takeoff
prev story

Whitepapers

Go beyond APM with real-time IT operations analytics
How IT operations teams can harness the wealth of wire data already flowing through their environment for real-time operational intelligence.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Website security in corporate America
Find out how you rank among other IT managers testing your website's vulnerabilities.