Hi all, and happy Thanksgiving!
Here at LPRD Rocketry, we’ve been super busy making… CAD turkeys. To brush up everyone’s skills in CAD, we had our team members make some Thanksgiving turkeys for this post. Below are the delicious results.
Fun stuffs. In more project-related news, the team has been hard at work to bring the test stand to tip-top shape to get ready to fire the engine again. We’ve done a pair of late-night cold tests of our systems to try to iron out the kinks. They’re not quite gone, but we’re getting close! We haven’t yet set up a date with OrbitalATK, but with any luck, there will be some more fire coming out of our engine pretty soon.
The team will be winding down a little for Thanksgiving, so there might not be a formal update next week. Have a great Thanksgiving, and this Thanksgiving, may you be surrounded by those you love and who love you in return!
Member Spotlight – Anna Koene
Partners in Crime
Anna Koene (cane-E)
Anna says she didn’t have a care in the world. She is however truly amazing. Not only does she go to the University of Minnesota to be a mechanical engineer, but also works at a YMCA teaching swim lessons and lifeguarding. In the summer one can find her at Noah’s Ark Waterpark being the employee of the year. She’s a hard worker and is never afraid to do something crazy or get down and dirty. She doesn’t see much for her future but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t dream big. She wants to see the world and make everyone happy. To do so, all she wants is to become an Imagineer for Disney. It pulls all her loves into one dream job. She doesn’t think she can make it, but I know she will. In her spare time she is probably adventuring, swimming, dancing or anything nerdy. Whether it is obsessing over harry potter or geeking out about space, there is never a dull moment with the girl that can’t shut up. She doesn’t believe it yet but her future is a bright one because she is such a good person and my best friend.
Anna’s Partner in Crime
Subteam Spotlight: Launch
Here in the Launch subteam, we’ve been incredibly busy over these last four weeks. Our new, faster control valves have come in, but they unexpectedly include a ~2.8 second delay between being powered and moving. This is obviously not ideal for throttling of an engine, and we think we will eventually need to replace them, but for now, we’re making do.
Just this last week, we actually ran our very first set of tests with the new valves. Below is some relatively candid video of our misting nozzle test. Fair warning, this is at something like 9:40 at night, so we may sound slightly loopy.
We think we’ve figured out the problems behind throttling. We’re pretty confident in our ability to throttle oxygen (at least between the two settings of “kinda-open” and “really-open”), and once we modify the way we use our kerosene control valve, we should be able to throttle that as well. Once all that’s set, we’re ironing down our procedures and are ready to do a dress rehearsal and get firing. Later on, we’re thinking about changing to pneumatic valves (as suggested in the design review), but those cost hundreds if not thousands of dollars. If anyone has any suggestions for easier flow control, let us know in the comments below and save us ~15 tons of headache and late nights!
Separately, we’ve also started manufacturing the modifications needed to let our test stand measure force output by the engine. Also as suggested in the design review, we’ve shifted the design so the engine would push directly into the force plate instead of slightly offset.
Since we don’t have access to a mill at the university, Gary Stroick was kind enough to let us use his mill. He’s a mentor of ours and president of TripoliMN, a local high-powered hobby rocketry club. They don’t do much with launches over the winter, but they’re a cool group that does some really cool stuff and definitely worth checking out.
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