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Nebula Aerospace - Test Fuel and Oxidiser Tanks

Published by Rob Goldsmith on Sat Oct 10, 2009 2:32 pm via: source
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An update from N-Prize team “Nebula Aerospace”

The image to the right shows a fuel/oxidiser tank assembly for testing the prototype single FIDO engine (one of 8 that make up the Cerberus Aerospike Engine).

Test Fuel and Oxidiser Tanks  - Image Credit: NAs / Peter Jones

Test Fuel and Oxidiser Tanks - Image Credit: NAs / Peter Jones

Designed to accept a variety of fuel/oxidiser combinations in both pressurised gaseous (up to 400 psi) and liquid form, the tanks slot into the rear of the engine test rig and mate with filtering units before connecting to the fuel-flow assembly and thence to the engine itself.

Pressurisation comes from an external source and both tanks are pressurised equally. Although an analogue pressure indicator is shown in the picture, the tank pressure is also fed back to the controlling electronics and telemetry via a pressure transducer. Two blowout disks are manufactued into the top of the tanks that are designed to act as a fail-safe should the pressure regulation exceed design limits.

Initial testing concentrates on the switchover from gaseous atomspheric oxygen as the oxidiser through to liquid Nitrous Oxide (N2O).


Nebula Aerospace (NAs) is a non-profit making organisation based entirely in the UK.

Its purpose is to test and explore innovative ways of providing propulsion and control to vehicles from the surface of the Earth to Earth orbit.

An additional aim of NAs is to raise the profile of UK-based expertise in high-technology engineering by entering high-profile multinational competitions such as the n-prize.

View The Space Fellowship’s interview with the team.

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