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A Small Armadillo Update by James Bauer !!!!

Posted by: MarcHopkins - Sun Aug 17, 2008 6:15 am
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A Small Armadillo Update by James Bauer !!!! 
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Post A Small Armadillo Update by James Bauer !!!!   Posted on: Sun Aug 17, 2008 6:15 am
>>>>> James posted on another thread. I figured to bring it to the top<<<<<

Sorry for the lack of posts everybody. We have all been busy. There are three of us (Phil, Tommy and me) working full time now for AA. The rest are working full time at other jobs and part time AA, and with the current projects, it is hard to keep up. I wish I could assuage everyones need and update the site, but html is not one of my skills. You will have to wait for John... :-)

We have had two priorities as of late:

Current RRL work has been the biggest priority. As most already know, at the RRL's request we can not say anything about the current project or give out pics/vids. Really blows, but they are paying for it. I can say that things are going really well, our current lox alcohol engines are really doing well, and I hope the RRL will post some stuff soon, or will allow us to. I would not count on it though. I can say we are trying to make things happen for an air show sometime in Reno, I believe in September. I hope saying that doesnt get me in trouble!
Weather lately has made logistics tough, and you can not always test when the weather is bad. It is really a bummer when you are ready for something groundbreaking, and you cant do anything about it. It has been about the hardest project I have ever worked on, but also the most exciting. The RRL work has been good for AA though, as we currently have a really tough engine, improved ignition sequence, and an ever growing understanding of our current size engines. The hard starts are gone, efficiency is up to around 175 to 185+ ISP (I think I heard the guys say this number, could be wrong) and we have improved other aspects of the engines, such as the welding of the current injector assemblies.
The current engines have several buried critical welds that seperate lox and fuel, and if not done correctly can cause really bad problems during ops. We recently had a chamber pop off, not from a hard start, but 14 seconds into a run. Examination of the engine indicated that one of the welds likely had a pinhole or very small crack, allowing liquid to mix, and Bang! It threw the chamber and injector face about twenty five feet out, and left the manifold assembly attached. It was frustrating for me, but helped in that we put together a turntable that now allows me to perform a semi automatic weld on the injector parts (rather than fully hand welded) that is much better than I have ever achieved.
As for the bang, things ended well, all the safety interlocks shut the system down safely, and we had the rocket back together in short order. The chamber/injector face had all kinds of really cool deformation characteristics with lots of interesting things that happened from the bang, and it gave us ideas as to the weakness of the current design and allowed us to make some improvements. Good stuff.

NASA- The methane work has been on a back burner due to RRL work. We have been working on the engine, but have had limited success with it. The methane injector is quite different in design from lox alcohol engine. The guys feel it is really close, and we hope to have it working by next tuesday. If it works, we will fly it under one of the modules. It is really cool stuff though, and from Johns explanation to me, it will be really useful for upper stage work. A bit of brevity here though. I am a rocket welder, not a rocket scientist.

The LLC is also on the back burner, but we do expect the improvements from the RRL work to help there. We do still need to fly the Module and Pixel through their flight profiles and see if the engines actually work though.

Again- sorry for the lack of updates. I can only say we have been working really hard. John works harder than most, and updates/forums take precious time of which he has little to waste. He will get to it sometime though. Hopefully soon


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Post Also check out James Bauer's Pics   Posted on: Sun Aug 17, 2008 9:17 pm
Be sure to check out James Bauer's latest pics on page 93 of the Armadillo sticky forum.

http://spacefellowship.com/Forum/viewto ... start=1380

or direct to flicker

http://www.flickr.com/photos/29153024@N07/


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Post    Posted on: Mon Aug 18, 2008 4:26 am
Thanks!


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Post    Posted on: Tue Aug 19, 2008 7:54 pm
Yeah, thanks James! I appreciate it!

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