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LOHAN enjoys a silicone lightbulb moment

Cracks hypobaric chamber seal

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We've been beavering away on the Rocketry Experimental High Altitude Barosimulator (REHAB) element of our Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) mission, and last week enjoyed a lightbulb moment as to how to create a decent seal between the metal hypobaric chamber and the glass lid.

Click here for a bigger version of the LOHAN graphicThose of you who are new to REHAB should cast your eyes on the graphic below, which shows just how our cunning plan to test solid rocket motors at low pressure and temperature works.

This is the final concept, reached after a not inconsiderable amount of head-scratching, and plenty invaluable input from our beloved reader experts...

Diagram of our final REHAB set-up

Here's a quick recap on how we put the chamber together. First up, our CAD-modelling expert, Federico Buenadicha, put together a representation of the REHAB chamber and inner assembly:

3D CAD model of the REHAB tube assembly

The CAD plans were whisked off to the plasma cutting machine, which crafted the essential inner assembly parts and flange:

Cut metal parts for our LOHAN REHAB chamber

Down at the local metalworks, Antonio Parra Cifre put the whole thing together...

Antonio welding the REHAB chamber

...and in a couple of hours we had the finished product. Note the addition of a flat metal plate to the chamber's outer wall, to allow connection of the evacuation tube, thermocouple and ignitor wires:

The finished REHAB chamber

Our test motor - an AeroTech RC 32/60-100NS - will sit inside the chamber like this, with a ring-type thermocouple strapped it its meaty girth:

The AeroTech rocket motor mounted for insertion in the REHAB chamber

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