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Development and testing of a third-stage regeneratively-cooled bipropellant rocket engine
Group Members
Thomas Bramfitt, Joseph Seymour, Lamdin Shuenn Yuh Low, Connor Joseph Matthews, Jun Yin Phang, Tyen Likh Woon
Professor Antony Musker, Dr Charles Ryan
Anopol Ltd, Titan Enterprises, Custom Fittings Ltd, Festo
Project Sirius was founded in response to the UK Government’s intention to build a spaceport within the British Isles. The project aims to design and build a cost-effective, three stage rocket to launch small satellites into low Earth orbit from this spaceport.

The present Group Design Project is a continuation of a project completed last year, which concentrated on designing and manufacturing a one-sixth scale prototype of the third-stage engine for the Sirius launch vehicle. The current project is focused on preparing the engine and associated test platform, so its performance may be evaluated and quantified.

A propellant delivery system was designed and produced to supply fuel and oxidizer to the engine during ground-based testing. This is controlled using a computer-based LabVIEW system. This system also acquires and records data outputs from any instrumentation for post-test analysis, as well as automating a re-pressurisation system which ensures a constant propellant mass flow rate.

The manufacture of the engine’s two main sections was completed. The design of the upper section, encompassing the oxidizer decomposition chamber and fuel injector, was altered to include test ports for the instruments used to characterise the engine.

The propellant delivery system and the engine were integrated using an engine mount, designed to secure the engine during testing whilst simultaneously recording thrust measurements. In addition, work on catalyst testing was continued from last year, alongside an Individual Project. This aimed to determine the optimal method for manufacture, and to ensure enough catalyst could be produced to allow testing of the engine.
Prototype rocket
Section view of Sirius engine, including sensors used for performance characterisation.
Section view of Sirius engine, including sensors used for performance characterisation.