Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/07/24/lohan_igniters/

LOHAN acquires mighty igniter arsenal

REHAB fireworks imminent, small island nations at risk

By Lester Haines

Posted in SPB, 24th July 2012 12:47 GMT

Our Rocketry Experimental High Altitude Barosimulator (REHAB) tests are back on track, following the arrival of the custom Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) igniters.

Click here for a bigger version of the LOHAN graphicAs you're doubtless aware, our shed-built hypobaric rocket motor test rig has proved a bit of a palaver, and the first foray into REHAB ended with both AeroTech and Cesaroni motors failing to ignite.

The probable cause was heat not being transferred from the igniters to the powder charge at the 20mbar test pressure, so we began to mull more effective ways to light LOHAN's fire.

At this point, Rob Eastwood, a regular Reg reader and Head Firer for Flashpoint Fireworks, got in touch to say he reckoned he had the solution, and quickly sent over this custom-made igniter concept:

Rob Eastwood's diagram of his custom LOHAN igniter

Well, the real thing arrived this morning at the SPB's mountaintop complex, along with "a few other bits and pieces" Rob kindly threw in for us to "play with".

Here's our igniter and pyrotechnic arsenal, which according to a quick search on the interwebs, means we currently have a greater military capability than some small island nations:

Our LOHAN pyrotechnics, including igniters

  1. Flying Fish fuse
  2. Sticky Match
  3. Visco fuse
  4. Red Lance
  5. European igniter
  6. Chinese igniter
  7. Portfire
  8. Plastic Igniter Cord (PIC)
  9. Custom LOHAN igniter
  10. Japanese time fuse
  11. QuickMatch

We've managed to resist the temptation to storm some Pacific beach as a prelude to establishing our own Tracy Island, and are instead rigging a wire support from the rocket motor casing to the custom igniter to ensure the PIC stays in place.

As soon as that's done, we'll be ready to stick the whole thing in the REHAB chamber for another low-pressure blast.

Before we do, though, we'd like to give a tip of the hat to reader Nick Woodruffe, who also dropped us a line offering his own custom igniter. Nick, who owns Cotswold Fireworks, had been thinking along the same lines as Rob, and believes we are indeed on the right track to light LOHAN's fire.

We shall see, because the moment of pyrotechnic truth is nigh...®

Further LOHAN resources:

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

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