Update 9/18/2016 – All Around Me are (Un)Familliar Faces

Hi all!

LPRD Rocketry welcomed in several new faces this Saturday at our general meeting, and we certainly hope to see them around throughout the semester. As part of the general meeting, we introduced the 3D printed engine to some flow rate testing, and this continued on into the work day. The idea was to try to characterize the loss coefficient through the coolant channel of the 3D printed engine.

LPRD Rocketry Members pouring water in for flow test of 3D printed engine

Unfortunately, as we progressed, we realized something was causing an increasingly bad blockage, most likely in our filter, so we were unable to get the quantitative information we hoped we would. However, we did discover some interesting phenomena which might affect our operations later. Specifically, the pressure loss across the channels is insignificant compared to the pressure loss across the filter, even when not blocked. Additionally, once the fluid passing through the filter gives way from viscous liquid to gas, a sudden increase in flow occurs. We’ll hopefully be working through these and seeing how it affects our engine with some more testing in the upcoming weeks.

Subteam Spotlight: Ground-Ops (Previously “Launch”)

The Ground Operations Team has been hard at work over the course of the summer and the beginnings of Fall Semester working on our Mark 2 Test stand. This test stand will allow us to test our Mark 2 engines, which are designed to produce a thrust of 1000N (10 times the thrust produced by our Mark 1 engine). We’ve finished the structural assembly and are beginning to move on to our piping and plumbing.

LPRD Rocketry Vertical Test Stand

LPRD Rocketry Vertical Test Stand Skeleton

In addition, we’re starting to move towards operations. We will be scheduling more firing on our own tests, and we’ll be attempting to hold cold tests more frequently too. Thanks for following us as the semester starts to build up. We’re excited to continue with LPRD Rocketry and to begin a new phase of testing with the Ground Operations team!

-Vaughn Weirens

Member Spotlight: Vadim Stavitskiy

LPRD Rocketry Member Vadim Stavitskiy

My name is Vadim P. Stavitskiy.  This is my fourth year going to college. I am pursuing Aerospace Engineering degree and minoring in Physics. This is my second semester at LPRD Rocketry. I am currently a member of a Flight as well as Engine Sub-teams. I have always enjoyed a notion of space and when I heard of an opportunity of joining a Rocketry Club, I took that chance without a second thought.  During my free time, I like to either read a good book, listen to music, or walk in the park.  After I will get my degree, I am hoping to get employed at an aerospace company and help our nation to advance in human space exploration as well as making it easier and less expensive to get things into space.

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Update 9/11/2016 – Welcome Back!

Hey all!

Welcome back to LPRD Rocketry! We’re returning regular updates, so hold on to your seats! We are up and running again, and had our first general meeting of the school year! Heavy recruitment next week, so we’ll be busy bringing new people into the cult of liquid propellants!

Gaurav and Glen Recruiting people for LPRD Rocketry

I just want someone to look at me the way Gaurav looks at Glen

This semester, we’re adding a new segment to our general meetings – an engineering activity where we help a subteam solve their problems or test something out. This week, we looked at match-based e-matches for Avionics and Engine subteams, just to give them the feel of another potential ignition type.

LPRD Rocketry members construct homemade ematches

Lighting them off…

Lee Gaurav and Glen of LPRD Rocketry test homemade e-matches

And participating in rap battles.

LPRD Rocketry members gather around for rap battle

In any case, we hope to gather some new people and delve into a new year of rocketry. Hope to see you along for the ride!

David Deng

Subteam Spotlight – Flight

Flight team has been quite busy over the summer; before we start on some big plans it would be good to recap what has lead up to this point.

Our asymmetric thrust testing hit a high point in June, when we launched our mid-power asymmetric rocket. The plan was to scale up our design until we are confident that the thrust to weight ratio will be enough to get the rocket off the rail. (for more details on that, click here.

LPRD Rocketry mid=power asymmetric thrust rocket post crash

Overall, the test went pretty well. Our off-axis motor was able to get the rocket off the rail and then some. This test did not come without some hiccups though. The main on-axis motor did not ignite due to some wiring issues, and our recovery system failed due to human error of not knowing the proper signals from our device, which was trying to tell us that it was not wired properly.

However, since the off-axis motor was able to propel the rocket off the rail, we are confident that we can move forward to our high powered asymmetric thrust rocket, codenamed Cerberus, which we will be building and launching in the coming months. First at a higher thrust-weight ratio with I and J motor sizes, and then at a lower thrust-weight ratio with G and H motor sizes to better simulate the conditions that our liquid engine will provide.

Open Rocket design for LPRD Rocketry High Power Asymmetric Thrust Rocket

Another project that has been progressing over the summer has been a roll stabilizing system, as well as a new avionics bay to hold more equipment. Once it is finished, it will be used to prevent our rocket from spinning on its axis.

Bay for LPRD Rocketry roll control rocket

With new members joining us in the next few weeks, we’ll have more manpower to get things done, as well as a stronger community. A lot of exciting things will be happening in the coming months, so stay tuned!

Member Spotlight: Lee Thompson IV

LPRD Rocketry's Lee Thompson in Key West

My name is Lee Thompson IV and this is my 5th and final year as an undergraduate. I began my college career as a dual degree student studying Physics and Aerospace Engineering. After completing 3 years of Physics coursework at University of Wisconsin: Eau Claire, I transferred to University of Minnesota: Twin Cities to complete the program with Aerospace Engineering. I’ve always had an interest in rockets and space exploration so LPRD Rocketry seemed like a great group for me. I quickly settled into the engine subteam and this year I’m leading it! When I’m not attempting rocket science, I enjoy snorkeling. I’ve gone on a few trips off the shores of the Florida Keys. One time I even pet a jellyfish! After I graduate, I hope to work in the private sector of aerospace with the goal of increasing our access to space. Someday I’d like to see rocket launches become as routine as commercial airliner flights.

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