Based on a lot of discussion with the chemists on Arocket its clear that the potasium catalyst was about 1/7th as active as the sodium catalyst I’d designed for. So we need to rerun the test when we get our sodium permangenate. We have it on order from two different sources. I finally reduced the data from my test and I got zero thermocouple data. I need to work on that. We hope to rerun the test on the 14th.
Several things to note. first off my pressure regulator is not healthy. Its hitting the correct final pressure, but it is not happy doing so. Second according to the CV calcs I did the 1/2 inch valve should have about 10 PSI drop at full flow, it clealry had 150 PSI of drop. This could be because chamber pressure did not come up due to incomplete decomposition, but in that case I would have expected a larger injector drop due to too high of flow. Toward this end I spent the last two nights fabricating a fast 1” ball valve controller, I’m waiting for one more McMaster part and I’ll test it Thursday night.
We are currently fleshing out the details of our 90 second test vehicle. We made baffles and parts for welding the tanks together. I’ll provide pictures when the tank starts going together. The last parts should be back from the Water Jet Cutters Friday. We are going to use AN fittings for all the plumbing smaller than 3/4 and probably sanitary fittings for the larger plumbing. We have one area where the two Pauls do not yet agree, we can’t decide if we are going to use attitude thrustors or jet vanes. For the monoprop the jetvanes are clearly a win, but our longer term plans include making the vehicle a bi/tri prop by adding fuel to the peroxide and getting more performance. The bi/triprop is a bit warm for jetvanes. It probably means we need to use some kind of exotic refrectory metal or ceramic. The bi/tri prop is the current path to the 180 second prize.
For the Monoprop the safety system will be easy, we will add one small normally closed valve to the liquid catalyst. As you can see in the video the thrust stops abruptly when the catalyst is all gone. (You can also see this in the chamber pressure trace above) The bi/tri prop is more problematic as one might expect the biprop to keep going even if you turn off the catalyst. If all goes well we expect a compete monoprop vehicle in about 6 weeks. We have all the long lead parts in hand. The current design is really really simple
I’ve glossed over a whole bunch of work… cat pack research, small thrustor chambers, learning about peroxide chemistry,high temperature ball bearings, big servos, off the shelf source thrust chambers, work on the helicopter, etc.. etc…
I’ll present the details of the 90 second monoprop vehicle design at Space Access. We will be at Space Access for all three days.If you are a space fanatic, and enjoy hanging out with three sigma nerds you can’t beat space access.