Update 10/9/16 – Maybe not fire fire fire

Hi all,

Unfortunately some bad news: there’s a possibility the majority of the footage from the firing last week did not get recorded. We’re still looking through to make sure we don’t overlook anything, but there might be lack of video footage from the event, which would be very unfortunate.

LPRD Rocketry Mk1 mark one test stand firing setup with video camera

Pictured: camera from which we may or may not have video footage

However, the firing as a whole went relatively well, but we did run into a few issues.

Glenn Smith of LPRD Rocketry troubleshooting avionics and sensors during engine firing

Pictured: (not) defeated by said issue

Instead of writing it, I’ll let you read directly from the people themselves. Below is a reflection from Glen:

The test was an overall success. Setup was performed in a timely manner, even with some hiccups in the sensors. During tests, procedures were followed very well and no small parts were lost in the process. Tests were performed with purpose and intent, and observational data was recorded to ensure a thoughtful analysis.

Full Report for Sensors Mishap:

The sensors were prepared and the program opened and ran without being attached. The cable was hooked up to the computer, but the USB device was not recognized and no data was received.

The device was un-plugged and plugged back in several times to ensure no hookup failure. The computer was then brought to where the two cables connected in between the operating room and the test stand and plugged in there. Data was received and the sensors were calibrated. Computer was brought back into the control room and the full length of cable gave the same error as before. The cable order was then switched, which did not solve the problem. The computer was then attached at the closer cable, which then still gave the error. The other cable was used in its place and the data was then received.

One of the cables was defective in transferring the data to the computer. The cable was marked as broken and not used during the test.

The other cable was used during the test, attached to the computer which was stationed outside of the operating room. A camera was stationed to monitor the computer. The data was turned on at T-3min during the area clearing stage of the test. An auxiliary countdown clock was used in its place. Data was stored after the 5 minute wait period of the test was over.

And a summary of the firings themselves from Vadim:

Test #1:
No ignition
Cotton ball was shredded and the ignition wires were ripped from their soldering connections. Possibly due to cold/ poor soldering.
From observation, the cotton ball was not ignited and the nichrome wire did not change color which most likely means that the disconnection occurred prior to ignition.
Inside of the engine looked nominal
Test #2
No ignition
The igniter was thrown out of the engine
No burn signs on the cotton ball as well as no change in color of the nichrome wire. Most likely the leads were disconnected before the ignition
Note: Glen and few other people confirmed seeing a sign of fire at the end of the jet flume.
No apparent leaks or damage to the engine itself.
Test #3
Successful ignition and engine burn!!! Yay!!!
We used an e-match this time and ignition worked perfectly compared to the cotton ball igniter
Temperature rose to about 20ish degrees and the thrust output was at about 60 Newtons
More charing on the inside of the combustion chamber and on the injector.
No damage to the engine nor o-ring
No apparent leakage signs
Char built-up at the throat
Fluid had color to it during depressurisation process
Engine burned was stopped prematurely
Igniter was not burned at all
Test #4
Successful ignition and burn of the engine
Thrust output reached 100 N
Igniter leads were not burned
Somewhere in the middle of the engine burn, the flame length decreased and the burn oscillation became significantly noticeable
No leaks have been observed nor any damage to the engine
Same amount of char built up as in the previous firing
The hook on the injector was broken/melted off( might be a reason to the change in the burn characteristics).
Char built up on the injector
During the depressurisation the fluid appeared to be clear
Igniter was slightly burned
Test #5
Successful ignition
Combustion occurred outside of the combustion chamber (flame thrower)
Engine burn was stopped prematurely
Surrounding was burned in small amount
No leaks have been detected
Charring of the injector and the combustion chamber(most likely from previous burn)
The throat appeared melted. The circular diameter of the throat slightly deformed.
Fluid during depressurisation appeared to be clear.

If you want to read all the reflections from the day, feel free to follow this link to the report.

Member Spotlight: Pierre Abillama

Pierre Abillama of LPRD Rocketry

My name is Pierre Abillama and I’m a freshman hoping to major in Computer Engineering. I joined LPRD Rocketry because I’ve been doing some programming for quite some time, but I think LPRD will give me the exposure to hardware and circuits that I’m missing. I enjoy the sense of commitment everyone has to the project and hope to be a part of it. I like to play rock music on my guitar and listen to music, I’m part of the UMN Shotokan Karate Club and I regularly attend Science & Engineering Student Board meetings.

Pierre Abillama the guitarist of LPRD Rocketry

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2 thoughts on “Update 10/9/16 – Maybe not fire fire fire

  1. Pingback: Update 10/2/16 – Fire Fire Fire Fire | LPRD Rocketry

  2. Pingback: Update 10/16/2016 – Featuring…Us! | LPRD Rocketry

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