Feeds

LOHAN's fantastical flying truss sprouts tail

Vulture 2 launch platform design shapes up nicely

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The next step in data security

The Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) team has been bogged down over the last few weeks in hypobaric rocket motor tests, but we've also been busy firming up the design for the Vulture 2 launch platform - our fantastical flying truss.

Click here for a bigger version of the LOHAN graphicIt's been a while since we last pondered this critical structure, which will be a carbon fibre triangular truss under which our spaceplane will soar aloft to its launch altitude.

The truss will also act as a platform for mission electronics, batteries, cameras, etc, all of which will sit inside a styrofoam box at the structure's rear end.

The LOHAN mission summary gives an overview of our cunning plan. Note that the Vulture 2 launch system - and specifically how we mount the launch rod - isn't the definitive design, and we've already got some planned changes based on input from our beloved reader experts.

Click here for a bigger version

LOHAN fans will recall we've already tested one flying truss model...

Katarina with the flying truss ready to go

...which gave us enough information to come up with a definitive design.

Here's a one-quarter scale model of how the finished two-metre-long truss will actually look, complete with a mocked-up electronics enclosure and, provocatively, a shapely rear end:

The one-quarter scale model of our flying truss, with tail

We suspended the truss at its planned inclination of 20° from vertical and let the wind do its stuff. The biggest potential problem on the ascent is wild spinning, but our design has one big advantage over the Paper Aircraft Released Into Space (PARIS) solid main payload box.

The fact that we have an open structure at one end of the truss, and the electronics enclosure at the other, causes a weather vane effect which tends to dampen the spinning. By adding a tail, as seen in the above snap, we've been able to further reduce spin as the entire truss naturally orientates itself into the wind.

So, we're pretty happy with that, and are poised to buy some carbon fibre bits and get on with the full-fat truss. As noted above, just how we mount the Vulture 2 launch rod assembly is still to be firmed up, and since it depends on the final dimensions of the spaceplane, we'll deal with that when the Vulture 2 emerges from the 3D printing machine.

As we move inexorably closer to a stratospheric climax, your comments/suggestions on LOHAN's progress are warmly welcomed. ®

Further LOHAN resources:

  • New to LOHAN? Try this mission summary for enlightenment.
  • You can find full LOHAN coverage right here.
  • Join the expert LOHAN debate down at Reg forums.
  • All the LOHAN and Paper Aircraft Released Into Space (PARIS) vids live on YouTube.
  • For our SPB photo archive, proceed directly to Flickr.
  • We sometimes indulge in light consensual tweeting, as you can see here.

LOHAN - A Special Projects Bureau production in association with...

  • 3T RPD logo
  • University of Southampton logo
  • Applied Vacuum Engineering logo
  • Escher Technologies
  • Flashpoint Fireworks logo

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
SCREW YOU, Russia! NASA lobs $6.8bn at Boeing AND SpaceX to run space station taxis
Musk charging nearly half as much as Boeing for crew trips
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Thought that last dinosaur was BIG? This one's bloody ENORMOUS
Weighed several adult elephants, contend boffins
Edge Research Lab to tackle chilly LOHAN's final test flight
Our US allies to probe potential Vulture 2 servo freeze
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
India's MOM Mars mission makes final course correction
Mangalyaan probe will feel the burn of orbital insertion on September 24th
Cracked it - Vulture 2 power podule fires servos for 4 HOURS
Pixhawk avionics juice issue sorted, onwards to Spaceport America
City hidden beneath England's Stonehenge had HUMAN ABATTOIR. And a pub
Boozed-up ancients drank beer before tearing corpses apart
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
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?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.