Feeds

LOHAN's fantastical flying truss sprouts tail

Vulture 2 launch platform design shapes up nicely

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

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

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Video games make you NASTY AND VIOLENT
Especially if you are bad at them and keep losing
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
Solar-powered aircraft unveiled for round-the-world flight
It's going to be a slow and sleepy flight for the pilots
Russian deputy PM: 'We are coming to the Moon FOREVER'
Plans to annex Earth's satellite with permanent base by 2030
LOHAN's Punch and Judy show relaunches Thursday
Weather looking good for second pop at test flights
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
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.