On February 25, 2018, the club conducted a successful test fire of the Hybrid Motor 7 – Heavy propulsion system. The important shift in this test fire is that we have identified and resolved past issues with combustion stability and thrust. Our propulsion team discovered that the regulator between the pressurant tank and the oxidizer tank was not sufficient, and there was not enough flow for our larger heavy variant of Hybrid Motor 7. We placed two of our smaller regulators in parallel for this most recent test fire, and we produced sufficient thrust to clear the launch rail with a safe speed. The thrust curve for the engine is below:
This test served as a proof of concept that increasing flow between our tanks will increase our thrust. With a new single regulator with a higher flow coefficient, performance may even increase beyond what we have achieved in this test. The next steps are to do a full duration test fire to verify the engine continues to operate for a full 17 seconds, and a test launch to verify the system as a whole is ready for IREC. The video of our most recent test fire can be found here. Look out for more updates!
This year’s Open House Club Showcase was a rousing success, a big thank you to all the members that could come and talk to the incoming freshmen! We had a triple-booth this year to set up the trailer and (half of) the launch rail with Caution: Flammable. There was a steady stream of people interested in our display, from small children who like to press big red buttons to parents that work in aerospace. There were also several current students interested in joining, so keep an eye out for new faces.
The first test rocket has been touched up and prepped for paint. Design of the second rocket, to test the parachute deployment system, has already started.
The trailer is nearing the test fire milestone. There is just 4 more tube bends to make and 2 fittings to install. After that, all that needs to be completed is the electrical. We are now waiting on just a few more parts to finally get the trailer fully operational. Over the next week the team will be finishing up the tasks outlined above as well as wiring the interconnects for the sensors. Assuming all goes to plan, next Saturday will be the full systems checkout for the trailer.
The trailer is on track to be completely assembled by this Saturday, with testing to begin next Saturday.
The first of several test rockets will also be assembled this Saturday. The individual components have been built over the past three weeks and will need to be assembled and painted before the launch (date TBD).