The new test stand is a progression from TS01-70N and was designed to carry out engine tests using nitrous oxide as the oxidizer. It differs from its predecessor mainly by the more robust structure and fluid management system. Thus, this test stand allows us to test and develop flight worthy liquid-fuelled engines that can be used in small rockets like µHoubolt. The key data of the test stand are briefly summarized below.

Key data:

  • Arrangement – This is again a test stand with a vertical engine arrangement. These designs have the advantage over horizontal arrangements that no fuel can accumulate in the combustion chamber. This reduces the likelihood of a “hard start”, which can damage the engine or the test stand itself.
  • Structure – The basic structure consists of a four-legged construction made of stainless steel
  • Thrust – In the current configuration, the test stand can be used for engines with a thrust of up to 500 N.
  • Propellants:
    • Fuel: In general (with the exception of methane) all hydrocarbons can be used, the current tests are carried out with ethanol
    • Oxidator: The test stand was primarily designed for the use of nitrous oxide

Piping and Components:

  • Piping – The piping and all critical components consist of suitable Swagelok products.
  • Pressure supply – The nitrogen for the pressurization of the propellants is provided in gas bottles. The pressurization is carried out by controlling two monostable solenoid valves, so that it can be stopped at any time by cutting off the power supply.
  • Valve control – The ball valves are controlled by self developed attachments for servo motors.
  • Refueling system – The nitrous oxide tank is filled using a specially designed fill system. The control of the temperature and the necessary pressure difference is ensured by means of a heat exchanger.
  • Ignition – The ignition is currently pyrotechnic, an electric arc ignition system is also implemented.
  • Thrust measurement – The thrust measurement is carried out by three load cells arranged in a circle so that not only the thrust but also a potential thrust vector offset can be recorded.

A preliminary version of the LE-03 Amalia engine designed for the new test stand has already been successfully tested with ethanol and Nitrox. However, it is currently still under development.