June Progress Update (now with pictures!)

Its been a while since our last update but that’s mainly because the guys out in Santa Clara have been really busy as you can see below. Pictures will be coming as soon as I receive them. Enjoy!

Engine Development

  1. Made several minor tweaks and fixes to make the engine fit correctly.
  2. Assembled everything, and with a few tweaks got it leak tested. It now doesn’t leak at expected run pressures.
  3. Finished flow testing all the injector sets. Caught a few problems and corrected some of them.
  4. Flow tested the cooling jacket so we can size a pump for it. Installed the hoses for connecting the cooling water.
  5. Test instaled the engine in the trailer
  6. Got back the frangible bolts for the endplate attachment. Still need to tensile test them and get the final bolts installed.
  7. Will probably be running a “snow blower” test sometime soon–an end-to-end test flowing LN2 through the LOX side, and water through the IPA side to test all the sensors, controls, and procedures before we haul the trailer up to the remote facility..
  8. Engine in frame Engine assembly Complete engine before installation in frame

Igniter Development

  1. Have had over 1000 succesful igniter firings with several design iterations.
  2. Eliminated problems with killing spark plugs and valve seats
  3. Have a design that is almost ready that once qualified by a 1000-run burn-in should be usable in our test engine.
  4. Designed, built, and have done some preliminary testing on a small pressure switch. Had to do this, since the igniter mounting port on the injector head was designed to work with our old catalytic igniter body, which had a much more compact form factor.
  5. Will probably be going with a bigger spark plug so we can use a coil-on-plug setup, and so we can be sure that the spark plugs will be reliably available.

Final igniter design

Test Trailer

  1. Installed the Fire Suppression System mentioned last time.
  2. Added a LOX flowmeter, and then leak tested the LOX part of the trailer. Also did a cryogenic leak test using LN2. No leaks!
  3. Installed the new blast frame assembly. It now comes on and off in well under a minute.
  4. Installed several cameras to watch the various plumbing sections, and engine during operations.
  5. Doubled the number of A/D daq ports. Upgraded the DAQ board. Tested all the ports to verify that the daq system is reading them properly.
  6. Tested and installed an IPA filter, and an IPA accumulator system for the igniter.
  7. Design, built, and tested main valve interlock boxes, emergency shutoff boxes, and the fire-suppression system valve cart with controls.

CAD/Documentation Stuff

  1. Switched CAD systems to SolidWorks.
  2. Succesfully ported over most of the test trailer models previously made into SolidWorksTrailer drawings
  3. Currently finishing up modeling the trailer, engine, and igniter for documentation purposes.
  4. Writing checklists and documentation for all the important test procedures, so we know what we’re doing when we got to test.

Remote Facility Stuff

  1. Installed firehose adapters and shut-off valves to the existing water supply at the test stand.
  2. Installed DAQ relay boxes, pulled several thousand feet of ethernet cable (8 runs or about 500 feet each), installed gigabit switch, tested setup.
  3. Cut down all the weeds around the test site.
  4. Cleared out the lower block house.
  5. Still not done pulling all the power line from the generator to the test site, but we can probably get away with using a small portable generator for the next little bit.
  6. We may or may not get around to finishing the construction of the upper block house.