Demo Engine


Overview

The demonstration engine is the first liquid propelled engine build by DanSTAR. It will function as a test engine to give us the necessary knowledge and expertise to build the next engines in line, but also to get familiar with testing engines on a test stand. The propellant and oxidizer we are going to use for our engines, as well for our rockets, are respectively isopropanol (2-propanol) and nitrous oxide (N2O). Building a scaled-down rocket engine allows us to demonstrate the propulsion system intended to fly on later rockets. At the same time, the experience gathered from the construction and testing of this engine will allow us to improve our later designs, since they'll all be based on the same principles.

Due to the massive amount of heat generated during test firing, rocket engines need careful consideration with regards to cooling. There are different ways of cooling a rocket engine - for our first try, we want it to be as technically simple as possible, which is why we went with capacitive cooling. This means that we can just use a solid mammoth-sized combustion chamber to absorb the heat, as well as building the chamber from copper, which has a high heat conductivity and heat capacity as well as a high melting point. The down side of choosing capacitive cooling is the significant reduction in burn time, since it is not possible to "get rid" of the heat fast enough. At some point the temperature in the combustion chamber is going to be so high that the engine will start to deform and eventually melt.  That is why the burn time for the Demo engine will be no more than 8 seconds, depending on test results.

Technical overview

  • Fuel: Liquid Isopropanol (2-propanol)
  • Oxidizer: Liquid Nitrious oxide (N2O)
  • Thrust at Sea-Level: 300 N
  • Cooling Method: Capacitively cooled
  • Injector Type: Shower head
  • Burn Time: No more than 8 seconds