Feeds

LOHAN fires up sizzling thruster

First test of Vulture 2 powerplant

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Video Things are moving apace at the Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) headquarters, and last weekend we did a first test firing of the proposed powerplanet for the Vulture 2 spaceplane.

Click here for a bigger version of the LOHAN graphicThe thruster in question is an AeroTech RC 32/60-100NS, specifically designed for gliders and without the ejection charge used to deploy the parachute on traditional amateur rockets.

As regular readers will know, we're currently working on the Rocketry Experimental High Altitude Barosimulator (REHAB) experiment, to see if the motor will fire at low pressure and temperature.

However, we thought we'd check out a couple of other performance parameters before sticking LOHAN in REHAB, namely the thrust and external casing temperature. Both are important considerations for our Southampton Uni Vulture 2 design team.

Here's the motor with its G-class reload (clockwise from left: reload, motor case, sealing ring, end cap and nozzle)...

The AeroTech rocket motor components

The reload kit comes with an AeroTech Copperhead ignitor, but since they're legendarily so fragile that just looking at one the wrong way will cause it to fail, we kept it in its cardboard shipping tube until absolutely necessary.

For measuring the temperature, we hooked up a K-type ring thermocouple to a digital thermometer...

Our digital thermometer and ring thermocouple

...and here's our apprentice boffin Katarina with the assembled test rig:

Our apprentice boffin peruses the rocket motor test rig

As you can see, we attached the motor to a large block of wood by means of some steel pipe clips, although it isn't clamped in hard, meaning it can move up and down freely.

The motor is sitting on a set of electronic kitchen scales. The vertical configuration of the motor is because the scales will only work when horizontal. At the top, you can see the connections for the Copperhead ignitor, running ultimately to an ignitor box and a big 12V car battery.

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Our LOHAN spaceplane ballocket Kickstarter climbs through £8000
Through 25 per cent but more is needed: Get your UNIQUE rewards!
Cutting cancer rates: Data, models and a happy ending?
How surgery might be making cancer prognoses worse
Boffins ID freakish spine-smothered prehistoric critter: The CLAW gave it away
Bizarre-looking creature actually related to velvet worms
CRR-CRRRK, beep, beep: Mars space truck backs out of slippery sand trap
Curiosity finds new drilling target after course correction
SpaceX prototype rocket EXPLODES over Texas. 'Tricky' biz, says Elon Musk
No injuries or near injuries. Flight stayed in designated area
Brit balloon bod Bodnar overflies North Pole
B-64 amateur ultralight payload approaching second circumnavigation
Galileo, Galileo! Galileo, Galileo! Galileo fit to go. Magnifico
I'm just a poor boy, nobody loves me. But at least I can find my way with ESA GPS by 2017
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
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?