Starting out with an exciting change this week, our test stand team has been renamed this week to the launch team! We also ran a pressure test at 500 psi this weekend and rearranged all our valves to match our procedures. Problem? Our control valves work, but popped again. On the bright side, our actuator didn’t break this time either. For future testing, we’re looking into a wireless design so our team members won’t have to be plopped down by the board the whole time during testing.
We’re finalizing a design for our engine that is feasibly machined. All is beginning to come together again for another round of testing.
Member Spotlight: Paige Owens
Hello! My name is Paige Owens. I am a sophomore in Chemical Engineering. I joined LPRD Rocketry because I thought the project was really cool and I wanted to be a part of a team to work toward something awesome! I am also a part of Society of Women Engineers and Science and Engineering Student Board. In my free time I love to read and eat! As far as what I want to do in a future career, I would love to work in a research and development role or a quality engineer!
Over these past couple of week, the test stand team has been super busy! In particular, we broke one of our control valves during testing a few weekends ago, but we opened it up this week, took a look inside, shifted some parts around, stuck it back together, and apparently it works.
None of the gears inside are structurally damaged, so we believe a gear slipping out of place was the reason for the popping noise and subsequent actuator failure.
The slip likely occurred due to an incomplete re-engaging of the gear box after manually changing the position of the valve.
This means that the valve/actuator assembly itself had no issues (other than its incredible slowness), so we went ahead and ordered new, faster moving actuators! They cost a bit ($220 each), but we think they’ll finally give us the responsiveness we need to fully fire our engine.
Of course, we’re also taking a look at the future and have two big projects lined up. The first is the creation of some composite tanks for our kerosene, nitrogen, and oxygen storage. The commercial, off the shelf piping has worked well so far, but if we’re ever to bring the weight of our system down far enough to put it into an actual rocket, we’ll need to shift to making our own tanks. This will be a year long project, and hopefully we’ll have some beautiful carbon fiber tanks ready for testing by Spring!
The second project is a shorter (we hope) project to incorporate force measurement into our test stand. We already have a Vernier brand force plate from our earlier excursions into testing solid propellant motors, but we need to find a way to incorporate it in.
This should be a fun several months!