Some big news: we’re planning on doing an engine firing on our own next week! In preparation for that, this week, we spent some time doing some flow tests to help better characterize the timings on our test stand.
During our last attempt at firing on our own, we realized that the timings for when propellant reached the engine was not quite accurate, since the last time we did tests to characterize it was back in summer 2015 before all the extensive modifications we made to the test stand.
With this new data, we’re in a good place to move forward with confidence that oxygen and kerosene are reaching the combustion chamber at the times we think they are!
Subteam Spotlight: Nitrous
With a new year comes a new subteam. The Nitrous subteam is the newest part of LPRD, and this semester we will be focusing on enabling the existing Mk1 test stand to handle and deliver nitrous oxide instead of gaseous oxygen. In addition, we will be designing a Mk1-sized engine to run on nitrous and kerosene. One of the major issues caused by running on gaseous oxygen, especially for flight, is the low oxidizer density. This requires larger tanks to hold enough oxidizer for a full burn. Nitrous oxide can be stored as a liquid, however, which is why nitrous was formed. Liquid nitrous oxide has a significantly higher oxidizer density that gaseous oxygen, so a rocket fueled by it should have much better performance. So far this year, we have gotten the team up and off the ground. We have a total of four members now, and we are working on the preliminary design for converting the Mk1 test stand.
Jonathan Liberman – Nitrous Subteam Lead
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