CS TVC Test Writeup

A new blog post from Copenhagen Suborbitals, actually Jop Nijenhuis, who has been interning at CS and built the recent Thrust Vector Control module for the BPM-5 rocket engine.

This is where I come into the picture, when I started my internship in February 2016. I was given the opportunity to design and built a TVC system for the Nexø class of rockets. Based on gimballed thrust vectoring, just like the RS-25 rocket engines on the space shuttle. I called my project TVG-BPM5, also known as the Thrust Vectoring Gimbal for the Bi-Propellant Motor 5 kiloNewton. This being my graduation project for my bachelors in Mechatronics System Engineering in the Netherlands.

As this is intended to be scaled up so to speak for the BPM-100, Jop disregarded electric actuators as you may find on VTVL and suborbital rockets in use today.

Looking at the actuators used for TVC on the Space Shuttle and most other modern rockets, both Kasper and me came to the conclusion that we should try to create an EHA (electro hydraulic actuator) setup for my gimbal. In a nutshell meaning that instead of using an electric motor with a linear spindle drive. We would now be using an electric motor to drive a hydraulic pump, which on its turn would actuate a hydraulic linear cylinder.

The whole system fitted into a neat 300mm diameter package for use on the Nexo series of rockets, it is quite spectacular to see all the pipework and required systems all neatly packaged to make this work.

For some great detailed pictures of the setup, check out here.


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