September 4, 2016
by bluShift Aerospace
Here at bluShift we have been ramping up our operations in preparation for our larger diameter, proof-of-concept rocket engine test. In the last few months we have refined our company goals, designed our rocket motor, nozzle, and test stand. We began work on our custom software for controlling our new rocket, and have begun negotiations to gain access to a testing site. With the launch of our website we look forward to sharing regular updates with you on our progress.
We kept two things in mind when designing our motor: keep it environmentally friendly and low cost. Our first prototype was a small – 25mm and about 225N – but successful convergent-divergent nozzle, and proved that our fuel mixture has potential. While our fuel mixture and nozzle design are currently under wraps, we can reveal that our scaled proof-of-concept prototype is 100mm in diameter, and we are anticipating approximately 2.2KN of thrust.
We faced a lot of challenges with our innovative nozzle design. Ultimately this nozzle choice will not only reduce our cost, but should increase system reliability by reducing the number of mechanical parts that could potentially fail. We have just finalized the design after it successfully passed FEA (Finite Element Analysis). Now the model has been passed over to manufacturing for CAM (Computer Aided Manufacturing) design and actual machining with the Tormach PCNC 1100. With a little luck, we’ll have our physical nozzle shortly after the start of the New Year.
Our CEO, Sascha Deri, has been talking with a local municipality to gain access to an old quarry they own. This site would provide us with an ideal location to perform our smaller tests, as it is both close by and shielded from any residential or commercial properties by the surrounding woods and geography. If the negotiation goes well and the weather is favorable, it may only be a month or two more until our next round of test firing. We will keep you updated as we work out a deal with the town and get closer to the test date.