Feeds

LOHAN rolls out racy rocketry round-up

Progress to date on our audacious spaceplane mission

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

In response to requests from several Reg readers who've been following the progress of our Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) ballocket mission, we've put together a round-up of just where we're at with the various aspects of the project.

Click here for a bigger version of the LOHAN graphicThe LOHAN team is fighting on several fronts to advance towards an explosive spaceplane climax, with the invaluable support of several companies who've chipped in kit, as well as volunteers who've stepped into the breach with expert assistance.

As is only right and proper, we'd also like to give a heads-up to all those readers who've offered quality advice and suggestions as we've battled away over the last year.

Here's our outline mission summary (click for a bigger version)...

Our LOHAN mission summary, with graphic of Vulture 2 launch system

...and the current lines of attack are:

  1. Vulture 2 spaceplane
  2. Rocket motor testing in the Rocketry Experimental High Altitude Barosimulator (REHAB) chamber
  3. Rocket motor heater
  4. Fantastical flying truss
  5. Mission electronics

1: Vulture 2 spaceplane

Our elite Southampton University team has been beavering away on the design of the spaceplane, which has presented some major technical challenges.

The aircraft is effectively required to act as both rocket and glider, meaning the team has to plan for two distinct flight phases: the launch from the flying truss and subsequent glide back to base under autopilot control.

As you can imagine, simply the calculations as to the centre of gravity shift as the rocket more burns its solid fuel reload have kept the chaps off the streets for a while.

They do, though, now have a working CAD model into which they can enter the parameters, and use to simulate the flight characteristics. Once they're satisfied, they'll fine-tune the CAD design for delivery to 3T RPD Ltd, who'll then ensure it's entirely ready for the 3D printing process.

Here's our video of Southampton's own printed aircraft - "Sulsa" - and the selective laser sintering (SLS) process, which shows just how the Vulture 2 will be hewn from the living nylon:

Watch Video

The design of the Vulture 2 is highly classified, so you'll just have to wait for the roll-out to admire its shapely form.

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Our LOHAN spaceplane ballocket Kickstarter climbs through £8000
Through 25 per cent but more is needed: Get your UNIQUE rewards!
LOHAN tunes into ultra long range radio
And verily, Vultures shall speak status unto distant receivers
NASA to reformat Opportunity rover's memory from 125 million miles away
Interplanetary admins will back up data and get to work
SpaceX prototype rocket EXPLODES over Texas. 'Tricky' biz, says Elon Musk
No injuries or near injuries. Flight stayed in designated area
EOS, Lockheed to track space junk from Oz
WA facility gets laser-eyes out of the fog
Volcanic eruption in Iceland triggers CODE RED aviation warning
Lava-spitting Bárðarbunga prompts action from Met Office
LOHAN Kickstarter push breaks TWELVE THOUSAND POUNDS
That's right, folks, you've stumped up OVER 9,000 beer tokens - and counting
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
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?