We’ve gone through safety training (note the stylish set of safety glasses Riley is modeling here), so machining has begun. Below is a picture of what will eventually be our injector on the lathe. Don’t worry, there’s someone operating the machine just out of frame!
This week, we held a design review with some mentors and then put in a large order to several online vendors, biggest of which being to McMaster-Carr. By the time this is posted, we should have another couple dozen pounds of metal and electronics on their way. For next week’s update, we might even have some pictures of a partially assembled version of the pressurized “plumbing” system we’ll use to feed fuel and oxidizer to the engine!
Engineering Subteam Spotlight: Sensors/Ignition/Control
This week we fashioned some homemade igniters for the ignition of the rocket engine. We started with 22-gauge wire, which we stripped at different lengths. The two ends were connected with nichrome wire, as show below. Both ends were soldered together in order to prevent the nichrome from detaching from the 22-gauge wire.
We then dipped the wires in a paste of dissolved nitrocellulose and black powder. Each wire was dipped multiple times to add additional layers of the flammable material. After the igniters dried, they were tested for continuity. Finally, two of the igniters were tested with an ignition system. Video
The igniters were designed to burn for a longer than standard time and produce a flame as opposed to producing a large number of sparks. As seen in the video, the igniters accomplished this goal. During actual operation, the igniters will also be wrapped in cotton balls dipped in kerosene so as to produce a longer sustaining flame.
– Alex Pratt
On the business side, we won the small success of securing $50 from TeslaWorks (and thus from the University) to 3D print two ¼ scale, cutaway demonstration pieces. We’re also working hard on Romeo the Rocket setting his branding and interaction strategy. And finally, TeslaWorks likes to use Basecamp as their project management software, so we’re exploring to see whether Basecamp could be integrated into our current operations or whether we want to go a different route. We’re of course also keeping our Twitter up to date and full of cool facts, but you already know that because you already follow @LprdRocketry, right?
As always, we’d love to hear from you, so email us at LprdRocketry@gmail.com or comment below and let us know your thoughts!