Meeting Minutes (2013 Nov 18)

Rocket Team Meeting

November 18, 2013


Level 1 Certification

  • Launch went well!
  • Version 2 fins worked a lot better; version 1 fins still wobbled
  • We got a Level 2 certified!


Orbital Sciences Sponsorship

  • Interested in advising/mentoring sponsorship role
  • During IAP, offered to send group of senior engineers to talk through design with us à good time to get feedback on our engineering design from professionals and to meet people à contacts!
  • Ian wants us to send updated schedule for Pyralis à what time useful for Orbital people to come
    • Send technical documentation about what we’re doing so far à know which people would be most useful to send
    • Comments on how much to share à Eric: shouldn’t share code, only results of cold
    • Mark everything appropriately (everything is MIT Rocket Team)
    • Only include what you want to eventually be published (don’t give raw data, give processed results)
    • Send funding packet with technical documents à help with funding!



Sensors & Instrumentation

  • Picked up pressure transducers
  • Use a load cell to measure strain gauge
  • Need a mounting/cage engine thing
  • Need someone who can CAD the engine mount – Julia? Eric help show SolidWorks?
  • Using smooth rods instead of threaded rods because the rocket still needs to “slide” à all the force transferred to load cell
    • Tube casing over threaded rods? Pinning the rods?


Test Stand

  • Using uni-strut
  • Fully designed the cooling system
  • Might need a pump to pump all the water back in?



  • Starting once we have measurements and final CADs down


Propellant Flow

  • Eric – propulsion code from Talaris is working & can use their hardware (for a couple months…) à stuff for cold flow should be set
  • Something that we might need to get back soon is regulator for nitrous
  • SSL has spare tank; will look around Draper for spare parts
  • Working on obtaining gases – Connie = check for ECAT


Optical Sensors

  • Got the mirror – tried it out last week with pictures of pressure gradients, etc
  • Photographs should have been able to photograph a higher area à problem with mirror? Need to get into Edgerton to test their mirror if we want to order a more precise mirror
  • Pressure-sensitive paint ongoing


Engine Geometry & Design

  • Pressure-fed cycle à no turbo-pumps to get propellants into engine
  • Problem with original design is need extreme amounts of power to keep boiling to maintain pressure system
  • Bottle of inert gas (~4000 psi) + regulator (~600 psi) and inert gas pushes fuel and oxidizer down into engine
  • Including check valves to prevent fuel and oxidizer to prevent from mixing à need to make own pressure vessels again
  • Inert gas tank ~1 kg
  • Build own pressure vessels à trade off safety for weight?
    • Need to worry about materials certification – make sure metal that we get has been certified and tested for material properties
    • Ethane and nitrous oxide super miscible à not just a tame explosion (potential to mix for a while)
    • Should read 2 NASA documents – Glass-Fiber Pressure Vessel Reinforcement Guide & another Pressure Vessel Reinforcement paper…
    • Don’t need these tanks for cold flow – will be using tanks from Airgas – but need trade-off over IAP if we should build this
      • Nitrous oxide is picky à we should be careful
      • Talk to Orbital?



  • We have a castable ceramic for insulator!



  • Was originally being designed for gases
  • Solid igniter? Want it to be repeatable

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