The Sky is Not Always the Limit!

Mar 02, 2021

The Sky is Not Always the Limit!Cadets on the SPEAR team recently tested their motor ignition system that will eventually be part of an effort to test a sub-orbital rocket. The multi-disciplinary Space Engineering and Applied Research-Hypersonic Rocket Team (SPEAR-HRT) capstone team is developing a two-stage sub-orbital sounding rocket capable of passing the Kármán line at over 100km altitude, defined as the boundary of space. The team is focused on solving the difficult problem of designing a second stage solid-rocket motor ignition system that uses electric igniters to trigger a small amount of Boron-Potassium Nitrate to ignite Ammonium Perchlorate solid rocket propellent at 30,000 feet altitude (at 3 psia ambient pressure) while traveling over Mach 3, as well as converging-diverging supersonic nozzle design. Upon ignition, the second stage booster rocket travels the remaining 90km and reaches hypersonic speeds > Mach 5.

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