EXPLORE - HyEnD's First LOx Hybrid Rocket
HyEnD is proud to announce that development for its first ever liquid oxygen hybrid rocket EXPLORE (Experimental Paraffin Liquid Oxygen Rocket) is in full gear. EXPLORE will be a stepping stone for a bigger project, using a variety of new subsystems to prove their sustainability.
The rocket will be able to reach a maximum altitude of 4500m while continuously transmitting telemetry data. Data will be recorded using a TeleMega and an Arduino. We will manufacture the structure out of carbon fibre composites, in order to not surpass the targeted launch weight of 19kg. EXPLORE's dual parachute recovery system will be radially ejected, as this has been proven feasable with the successful recovery of our CanSat Launcher.
Besides our usual paraffin mixture, we will ustilize liquid oxygen as oxidizer. As liquid oxygen doesn't possess the same self-pressurisation capabilities as nitrous oxide, which has been used as oxidizer in the past, an external pressurisation system for it's tank is being developed. Passive stabilisation is achieved using four fins attached to the rear end of the rocket.
The preliminary definition phase of the project has been completed and detailed designs for the different subsystems are currently being developed.
Updates on the development will follow soon.
CSL Maiden Launch
Great News! Our CanSat Launcher has been launched successfully. CanSat and parachutes were deployed flawlessly and the rocket landed softly in the fields near Lampoldshausen. It is completly intact and can be launched again using a new motor. Below you can see a video of the launch, recorded with several ground cameras and a drone.
Weighing 3.2kg, the CSL reached an altitude of approximately 450m. It achieved a maximum velocity of 90m/s, thanks to its solid engine producing a thrust of 250N. During the 83s long flight, the electronics system collected a lot of data, like acceleration and atmospheric pressure. We are are going to evaluate the gathered data in the coming weeks. Simultaneously we will start the development of a new launcher, so stay tuned for future updates!
CanSat Launcher Progress
Recently, great progress has been made in the development and production of the electronics subsystem. By now there’s a complete hardware package made of an Arduino, a TeleMega and the primary batteries which are mounted on a platform in the nose cone. The software and hardware will be tested soon. The testing of the electronics involves drone flights and a vacuum chamber to make sure the software will trigger the deployment of the CanSat and the parachutes after reaching the apogee.
Lately the fins were attached to the lower end of the rocket. To lower production and development time two identical compartments were produced. One will be used for the CanSat, while the other will contain the main parachute.
Shortly after reaching the apogee, the software will trigger a cable cutter to cut the string used to keep the door of the CanSat compartment closed to the rocket. By releasing the compartment door the CanSat will be ejected immediately via a block of foam material. An ejection mechanism based on foam sounds like a simple solution, but has two main advantages: During the ascent the CanSat is kept in its position in the compartment and the ejection doesn’t need an extra trigger by the software.
Above the compartment for the main parachute is a perpendicular to the rocket axis oriented cylinder. This cylinder contains the drogue parachute designed to decelerate the rocket. Additionally it will pull out the main parachute later during the descent. A load test for the main and drogue was performed this week.
Unfortunately, the launch had to be postponed, as no permission could be granted yet. We look forward for a launch during the next weeks and keep you updated as we receive the launch permission. For now, the major work lies in testing and qualifying. This week an assembly and static load test of the structure is planned. For next week a trigger test of the CDM (CanSat Deployment Mechanism), DDM (Drogue Deployment Mechanism) and MDM (Main Deployment Mechanism) is scheduled to qualify the software.
CanSat Launcher Announcement
HyEnD is teaming up with student group KSat Stuttgart e.V. for a cooperative project. "CanSat launcher" is a small platform developed to carry K-Sat's CanSat satellite to an altitude of up to 500m. Equipped with a drogue and a main parachute, the solid motor based rocket can be recovered and reused. It is made out of CFRP, with a GRP nose and aluminum for structural elements. We will use a TeleMega to deploy the CanSat and the parachutes with pyro charges and an Arduino for flight data acquisition. As of now, we are finalizing the design and will soon start the production of the rocket parts and testing of all subsystems. While this project does not have the scope of HEROS, it is used as introduction and practice for our many new member.
HEROS 3 On Display
Three months after its record flight, HEROS 3 made its long trip back from Northern Sweden's tundra to the exhibition at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) Lampoldshausen site! It is easy to see that HEROS 3 is one of the tallest exhibit in the museum. Here HEROS has found its place next to famous rocket engines and rocket parts like Vulcain 2, Viking, Ariane 5 Upper Stage etc... It's really a nice place to visit, now even more. Next to HEROS 3 there are some posters and the demonstrator rocket MIRAS.
The HEROS 3 rocket parts were closely inspected and we are happy to announce that the rocket is reusable in principle. Maybe one day it will be relaunched?
Record Flight Video Summary
After carefully evaluating the onboard data from last week’s HEROS 3 flight, we can now happily confirm the maximum flight altitude of 32300m (~106000 ft). This sets a new record for European student and amateur rocketry which was held until now by Delft Aerospace Rocket Engineering and their rocket Stratos II. Furthermore, to our knowledge this is also a new altitude world rocket for hybrid rockets built by students. The maximum speed of HEROS 3 was 2600 km/h with a Mach number of 2.3. The drogue parachute deployed at Apogee as intended and the rocket safely descended to the ground, where the main parachute opened and the rocket landed softly without any damage in 20 km distance to the launch pad.
The launch angle of HEROS 3 was at 80°, which is quite low, since experimental rockets are subject to higher safety requirements at the European Space and Sounding Rocket Range (ESRANGE). Additionally the rocket was only filled to about 70% of the tank volume with oxidizer. The reason for this is that we wanted to make sure with the flight of HEROS 2, that the rocket structure can sustain the high thermal and mechanical loads of supersonic flight. Unfortunately HEROS 2 was not sending any flight data and could not be recovered. Therefore, we decided that also HEROS 3 should not be filled to its maximum level to make the flight as safe as possible. According to analyzed flight data form HEROS 3, a higher launch angle and a fully filled tank would enable a maximum flight altitude of up to 50 km. Currently the team is busy with processing all the data and video recordings. We proudly present a first, short glimpse on our onboard camera footage in the above video. More video material is currently processed and also flight data graphs will be released in the coming days.
European Student Rocket Altitude Record
On Tuesday 8th November 2016, 10:30 LT, -18°C: our HEROS 3 rocket was launched from ESRANGE, Kiruna. At almost perfect weather conditions and great visibility it reached an apogee of over 30 km according to telemetry data and was successfully recovered with the drogue and main parachute being released. Further flight analysis is ongoing and awesome on-board video data will be released soon. Below is an on-board picture made at apogee of the flight and a group photo with the rocket after the flight!
HEROS 2 Lift-off
After one tough week with a lot of work, our HEROS 2 hybrid sounding rocket was launched from the MRL launcher at ESRANGE Space Center in Northern Sweden on 31st October 2016 at 12:00 UTC. The countdown went very smoothly: The tank filling with nitrous oxide was quickly done, the heating system both at the GSE and at the launch rail with the air-heated styrofoam box brought the nitrous oxide to the right temperature for launch, despite the cold and freezing outside temperature. The ground and on-board electronics worked flawlessly during the countdown. A lot of great video material of the lift-off and the ascent into the clouds was produced and will be presented in the near future.
However, an electric interference right at the zero time of the countdown caused a failure of the on-board electronics and telemetry system. Without a telemetry signal it was not possible to get any information about the position during and after flight of HEROS 2. We did a detailed analysis and were successful in identifying the failure that occurred. Now we are waiting for the approval of our HEROS 3 launch, which could be on Tuesday or Wednesday.