Feeds

LOHAN breathes fire in REHAB

Hypobaric rocket motor test an explosive success – finally

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

Vid We're delighted – and somewhat relieved – to announce that last weekend we finally persuaded a solid rocket motor to fire at a simulated altitude of 76,500ft (23,300m).

Click here for a bigger version of the LOHAN graphicFollowers of our Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) mission will need no introduction to the ongoing saga of the Rocketry Experimental High Altitude Barosimulator (REHAB) tests, but if you're not up to speed you can get some background info here.

Our first foray into REHAB ended in disappointment last month, as both the AeroTech and Cesaroni motors selected for the tests failed to burn with their respective supplied igniters.

Evidently, more heat was required to kick-start the motor reloads, and as Reg commenters proposed the use of thermite, and plenty of it, reader Rob Eastwood got in touch to say he reckoned he'd cracked the problem.

Rob is Head Firer for Flashpoint Fireworks, and has rocketry experience, which led him to propose this solution:

Rob Eastwood's diagram of his custom LOHAN igniter

No sooner conceptualised than constructed, and here's the finished product:

Five of the custom LOHAN igniters

Naturally, we wanted to see just how much fire these things breathe, so with the REHAB rig assembled for action once again, we gave one a quick preliminary blast. This video still shows the Plastic Igniter Cord (PIC) burning after the E-Matches have popped out of the back end of the igniter, as they're designed to do:

Burning PIC during the igniter test

Suitably encouraged, we unboxed our first test unit – the AeroTech RC 32/60-100NS – seen below (clockwise from left) with its G-class reload, motor case, sealing ring, end cap and nozzle:

The AeroTech rocket motor components

Skilled REHAB operatives Federico Buenadicha (left) and Rui Luz were on hand to wire the motor to the igniter...

Federico Buenadicha and Rui Luz connecting the motor igniter

...and place the whole assembly in the REHAB chamber:

Lowering the motor into the REHAB chamber

It would be highly agreeable to say at this point that the AeroTech fired first time, and we all went down the pub for a few celebratory ales. What actually happened was the igniter worked a treat, but the reload refused to burn:

View of the first AeroTech reload, showing powder failed to ignite

Cue a second reload, which fizzled miserably for a few seconds, then decided it'd had enough. Readers are invited to ponder just why the motor actually ignited, then burned itself out:

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
IBM Hursley Park: Where Big Blue buries the past, polishes family jewels
How the internet of things has deep roots in the English countryside
Video games make you NASTY AND VIOLENT
Especially if you are bad at them and keep losing
Russian deputy PM: 'We are coming to the Moon FOREVER'
Plans to annex Earth's satellite with permanent base by 2030
Solar-powered aircraft unveiled for round-the-world flight
It's going to be a slow and sleepy flight for the pilots
LOHAN's Punch and Judy show relaunches Thursday
Weather looking good for second pop at test flights
Honeybee boffin STINGS OWN WEDDING TACKLE... for SCIENCE
Not the worst place to be stung, says one man
India's GPS alternative launches second satellite
Closed satnav system due to have all seven birds aloft by 2016
Curiosity finds not-very-Australian-shaped rock on Mars
File under 'messianic pastries' and move on, people
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
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.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.