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Aerospace Aerospike Engine Project

  1. Feb 24, 2010 #1
    Ok so I'm no grad student asking for help on a research project. I'm a senior in high school that is totally burnt out when it comes to the daily grind. I think I found a project, that hopefully is possible, and that will take me oodles of time and feed my hunger for education without a stupid non-stimulating curriculum. Stop me if I'm wrong or if I should do something else.

    I want to do some rocket science. My friend and I enjoyed a fun project making rocket candy and model rockets last summer but I thought that it was a bit low on the satisfaction chain. I wanted a rocket that had a mixture of fuels. Something a tad more challenging. I heard aerospike was the way to go in this field over the bell nozle and it seemed pretty straight forward to turn on on a metal working lathe. That being said, how the hell does one actually start it up? What's the actually engine part to it? Get two pressurized cans of oxidizer and liquid fuel, cut them on and light it up? Can't be... Also in the recipe I heard about they talked about three fuel components: GOX, high grade kerosene and an acrylic rod (solid fuel?). I get the others just not the solid fuel part. Is that required?

    Secondly, does anyone have some kind of base design to spin off of? Some people said to call up Boeing and be like "hey could I have plans for a missile engine?" Grad students must find other ways. I mean this project has been done before.

    Last but not least, one person on youtube had a problem with their nozzle melting. He was using chromoly as his aerospike material. Would composite or ceramic work? Or would they light on fire? I was thinking about a solution and wanted to run it by some people. you know those liquid coolers for computer components? Do you think you could make a groove inside the center of the aerospike engine and CNC cut a heatsink kind of thing into it? Pump some of that cooling fluid through a loop from the aerospike heatsink up to the top of the rocket. It was just a thought. I made some silly illustrations and attached them. Maybe they'll help.


    Attached Files:

  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 2, 2010 #2
    Well, I guess I should start out by saying that no high school student should make a rocket with out adult supervision.

    Now, as for combustion. Yes, theoretically and realistically, combining an oxidizer a fuel and a spark will produce combustion.
    The bell nozzle is used to maximize the thrust by directing the explosion in a useful direction.
    In its simplest form, a pressurized oxidizer flowing over a solid fuel source and ignited will produce a rocket.
    Just be very careful about your materials. Because a controlled burn is a rocket, but an uncontrolled burn is a bomb.
  4. Mar 2, 2010 #3
    I understand that there are inherent risks when doing an explosive project... Are you saying that I should use a bell nozzle instead of the annular aerospike nozzle? Also does anyone have a good fuel combo? i.e. rubber and NO2 (like SpaceShipOne) or plexi and GOX (what I mentioned above). Should I use a hybrid engine or two gaseous fuel.
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