Video caption: As part of the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Aerospace Research programme, the test was part of a plan to develop expertise in rocket propulsion technology.
The plan? To send payload-carrying rockets into short suborbital flights before returning to earth. Masters students and industry experts waited in anticipation to see the two-year-old project take off.
Video Caption: Mixing over 290 lbs of propellant for 236,380 Ns of Impulse, the MIT Rocket Team has one of the premier student propulsion teams on the planet, and we’d like to recognize the countless hours they’ve put into their work. Producer: Sam A.
Based out of the Federal University of ABC (UFABC) in Brazil the QUARK Rocket Project started in 2016. Focusing on the development of hybrid rockets, the team first entered the Spaceport America Cup in 2017, unfortunately, the team did not get to fly but walked away with maximum points on their technical project report.
In late 2017, teaming up with other universities and the Brazilian Airforce, the group launched a solid-fueled rocket to 12,795 ft, gaining a student altitude record in Brazil.
Fast forward and the 21 strong team, sponsored by PION Labs, a new space startup, continue their development of hybrid rockets, focusing on Nitrous Oxide and an in-house fuel called PWCB to deliver the 650 N of thrust from their Gluon engine. Which up to now has been fired 6 times this year.
The engine will power the teams Gluon 3k3 Mission later this year, which aims to test the remote launch control unit, engine control unit, avionics, and remote fill system, as well as reach an apogee of 1.5 km.
The team has their goals set high, after the Gluon mission the focus will shift to making an attempt at the South American apogee record for an amateur experimental rocket, planning to fly in 2019.
You can find out more about the QUARK Rocket Project by checking out their,
Relive the excitement and tribulation of the Stratos III launch.
The team is still investigating the cause of the failure.
As is customary during study week, pre-semester 1 exams, I find myself getting distracted by rockets. With winter coming out in full force, the garage is not so enticing so I found some computer work I could do for my spark torch igniter. I am gearing up to test it again soon (I finally have some time) and thought I would sort out my data analysis spreadsheet.
The igniter GUI will log all the data to a CSV file from which I can post process. To make this even easier I wrote a MATLAB script to import the data, graph it, display the performance specifications and resave all this new information and graphs into the second sheet of the raw data file. Thus having the whole test info in one place.
While doing this, I found a mathematical error in one of my post processing equations which in turn gave some pretty good performance specifications (I left the π out of the orifice area calculation!). The old data was within reason and hence is why I never thought to double check, it did not help I was gearing up to leave town for the summer after the last test as well. If I had analysed the video better I may also have picked up on this.
Now fixed, the corrected test data was as follows,
|Fuel mass flow rate
|Oxygen mass flow rate
The flow rates are well and truly off the total expected, of 0.0099kg/s, whereas the mixture ratio was correct but from the video, it looked very oxygen-rich, not sure about this. The chamber pressure was also about 15 PSI higher than what it should have been. I am going to essentially write this test off, as discussed earlier I now have some pretty accurate orifices and have verified these with water testing. Along with this improvement, I will also remove the swirl injection of the fuel and run the optimum mixture ratio for the propellant, and hopefully, then I will be in the ballpark of the calculated specs.
For more igniter updates and background, check out the page here.