Feeds

LOHAN breathes fire in REHAB

Hypobaric rocket motor test an explosive success – finally

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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:

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Bond villains lament as Wicked Lasers withdraw death ray
Want to arm that shark? Better get in there quick
Renewable energy 'simply WON'T WORK': Top Google engineers
Windmills, solar, tidal - all a 'false hope', say Stanford PhDs
Antarctic ice THICKER than first feared – penguin-bot boffins
Robo-sub scans freezing waters, rocks warming models
SEX BEAST SEALS may be egging each other on to ATTACK PENGUINS
Boffin: 'I think the behaviour is increasing in frequency'
Reuse the Force, Luke: SpaceX's Elon Musk reveals X-WING designs
And a floating carrier for recyclable rockets
The next big thing in medical science: POO TRANSPLANTS
Your brother's gonna die, kid, unless we can give him your, well ...
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
Your PHONE is slowly KILLING YOU
Doctors find new Digitillnesses - 'text neck' and 'telepressure'
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Driving business with continuous operational intelligence
Introducing an innovative approach offered by ExtraHop for producing continuous operational intelligence.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
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?