[burt-all] Re: Update

  • From: Nicholas Doucette <nd2009@xxxxxx>
  • To: burt-all@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 22 Sep 2006 16:28:42 -0400

I didn't mean at all to forget about Greg's rocket, I think we should absolutely continue with that. Sorry for the confusion. If we can then, we should email Norton ASAP, that way we can get going. Do you think then that myself and Eddie should start working on the aerospike for our engine? We are really interested in that part of it. That way we can start progress on both the hybrid and the aerospike.

- Nick

On Sep 22, 2006, at 4:20 PM, Jonah Zimmerman wrote:

Nick,

I'm sorry to hear that Linde wasn't able to give us more help. They were a great resource when we were figuring out the surprisingly complex fittings and connections that we needed, but I guess this sort of thing is just outside of their knowledge base.
I'll have to disagree with you, however, on the point of going back to solid fuel and putting the hybrid engine aside. The central focus of the rocket team since the last launch of the rocket has been integrating the hybrid with the aerospike, and I don't think there's enough reason for us to change that mission. Hybrid propulsion is much much more complicated than a traditional solid-fuel propulsion system, but we should not let the roadblocks and obstacles that we encounter deter us. A very large amount of work has been done towards this end over the past few years, and to suddenly decide to switch our direction I believe would be premature.
The only thing standing in the way of a static test at this moment is the solenoid valve, and this problem could be resolved in the near future if we decide to purchase one from Norton (the place we got our current one from). It may not be the most cost- efficient solution, but it would be the fastest, and would allow us to start testing soon.
It would also be unwise to forget about Greg's rocket, which (Greg, you can correct me here) is currently being designed as a solid-propulsion rocket with a traditional valve, and could later be integrated with an aerospike. I don't know the exact time frame of the small rocket, but it should doubtless be much shorter than that of the larger rocket.
I could go on in this manner for pages, but we all know how much Seth loves these endless chains of emails, so I propose that we delay further discussion on this topic until the monday night meeting. I know that Nick won't be able to make it, but it sounds like Eddie is on the same page and he should be able to argue in Nick's place.


See you all monday

-Jonah


Nicholas Doucette wrote:
Hey everyone,

Here's the scoop: Eddie and I went over to Linde Gas today with the solenoid to get some help with our situation. The guy there said he has never seen one that size nor does he know where we can get one. They only deal with smaller solenoids and flow systems. On our way back Eddie and I talked at length about what the next step should be as we progress towards a static test. We concluded the most reasonable and practical path to take is to completely ignore a Hybrid system for the time being. In our proposal and in our goals for this year we stated we want to test a Hybrid-Aerospike rocket engine. Our best bet right now is to ignore the hybrid and focus on a solid aerospike engine. This way we can test the efficiency of an aerospike nozzle to that of a conventional nozzle at low altitudes (high atm. pressure). Once we have data that shows this relationship AND a working aerospike engine, we can then integrate the hybrid system into the rocket. Going along this path will allow us to achieve more in the next semester or two. We can make our own solid engine (or buy one) and the machining of the aerospike would not take nearly as along as the plumbing system for a static test never mind the actual launching of a hybrid rocket. Eddie will fill you in some more at Monday's meeting about what we think would be a good path to take right now (I have lab that night).

Send some thoughts about this option and any other options.

- Nick (sorry for the long ass email)
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