Feeds

LOHAN rolls out racy rocketry round-up

Progress to date on our audacious spaceplane mission

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

3: Rocket motor heater

One big concern is the effect of cold on the rocket motor at altitude, where the temperatures can get down to -60°C.

After a few sleepless nights imagining a frozen cylinder of ammonium perchlorate composite propellant (APCP), we decided to launch a pre-emptive strike on the problem and ordered a space-grade Polyimide Thermofoil flexible heater:

Our new Polyimide Thermofoil flexible heater

This will be wrapped round the motor casing, with a layer of space blanket as insulation, and held in place with some heat-shrink tubing.

The effective area of the heater is 46.54 in2 (300.257 cm2), and its resistance is 64Ω. A quick calculation revealed that at 12V, it'd be running at 0.1875A and pumping out 2.24W - a watt density of 0.05W/in2, or 0.0078W/cm2.

Once we've got the rocket casing and heater in a tight embrace, we'll test to see just how much juice we need, and for how long, to the keep the temperature up.

We have three options: pre-heat on the ground, heat during the ascent phase, or a combination of both. Whichever ultimately proves necessary, it won't impact on the Vulture 2's weight, since any batteries will be external.

If we do heat during the ascent phase, we'll have to work out an umbilical system to supply power to the heater, and which will detach easily when the aircraft launches.

We're sure readers have some bright ideas as to how that can be done with the minimum of fuss.

4: Fantastical flying truss

Watch Video

As the above vid shows, we've done some testing to see just how our flying truss will, er, fly, and now have a definitive design, seen here in our lovingly-crafted one-quarter scale model:

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

You'll note it's sprouted a tail, which helps keep the truss orientated into the wind. We've just ordered the carbon fibre rods and fittings to construct the full-fat, two-metre long truss, so we'll do more testing when we've put that together.

What we can't do at this stage is add the titanium launch rod, since we'll need the Vulture 2 to work out its exact positioning.

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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
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
Simon's says quantum computing will work
Boffins blast algorithm with half a dozen qubits
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.