RocketLynx Hybrid Rocket Propulsion System

Department of Mechanical Engineering

Project Abstract

The main objective of RocketLynx is to design, build, and test a lightweight hybrid rocket propulsion system. This hybrid rocket engine was designed to be capable of producing a peak thrust 250 lbs in a 10-seconds long static fire. This rocket engine is designed around Spaceport America Cup requirements, since one of our long-term objectives is to eventually participate in this competition with a similar engine. Spaceport America Cup is one of the largest intercollegiate and international rocket competitions in the world happening every summer in White Sands, NM. The hybrid rocket engine consisted of an oxidizer based on Nitrous Oxide, also known as NOS, and hydroxyl-terminated polybutadiene as a solid fuel, also known as HTPB.

The project was divided into different sub-teams according to the different components of the engine: the oxidizer, combustion, nozzle, manufacturing, and data acquisition. RocketLynx also built its own test stand apparatus consisting of a steel frame, a load cell, and linear bearings which was responsible for measuring the thrust produced by the engine. A monitoring system was also developed and integrated in order to keep record of the temperatures and heat transfer from the combustion process to the combustion housing. This system was integrated in order to keep the structural integrity of the housing and not be totally damaged by thermal shocks resulting in creep. The short-term objective was to conduct a static fire test by the end of March 2020. Since the pandemic shut down campus and other facilities necessary for the completion of our static fire test, the project was paused in the middle of the manufacturing phase.

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