LPL is currently working on a variety of projects:

Balerion ENGINE

The LPL has a strong attitude towards international collaboration and it is seen both within the laboratory and through its partnership with the Kyushu Institute of Technology (Kyutech), Japan. LPL currently is partnered with Kyutech to collaborate on developing liquid engine powered launch vehicles in several iterations with the final goal of reaching space. The first launch vehicle that Kyutech is developing is a Winged Reused Sounding Rocket 13 (WIRES#13). LPL is providing the entire feed system for two Balerion Engines. To note, no part of the WIRES#13 project is ITAR restricted.

    ENGINE CHARACTERISTICS

    • Thrust - 2,250 lbf
    • Regeneratively and Film cooled
    • Burn Time - 25 sec
    • Propellants - LOX/KEROSENE
    • Chamber Pressure - 375 psi
    • OF ratio - 1.5
    • Chamber Temperature  - 2590 K
    • Specific impulse - 247 s
    • Total Mass Flow Rate - 4.13 kg/s

    ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING - The engines will be quickly iterated and 3D printed out of Inconel-718. The engine development program will feature one development engine, one qualification engine, and two flight engines.

    WIRES#13 VEHICLE - The purpose of this iteration is to develop and test both the recovery system and ground support equipment. 

    • Length - 4.6 meters
    • Wet mass - 900 kg
    • Apogee - 6 km

    HYDRA

    Hydra serves as a test stand and feed system; it's structure is rated to secure an engine with a maximum of 1000 lbf and provides a remotely operated pressure regulated feed system for liquid rocket engines.  It was designed with several key aspects in mind: portability, modification, versatility, and safety.  Hydra is a critical milestone for LPL’s future capabilities and will be used as a platform to test and modify future engine and feed system ideas.

    Hydra is a workhorse for liquid rocket engine research and development and allows LPL's members to learn about the operations, electronics, control, high pressure systems, sensors, safety, valves and a host of other feed system topics affecting liquid rocket engines

    Water-Flow Test StanD

    A fully automatic water-flow test stand has been designed by LPL. The test stand aims to improve testing infrastructure at the lab, specifically in cold-flowing liquid rocket engine and feed system components. The goal is to be able to determine the flow coefficients of test articles with an accuracy of better than 1 percent. The system will also be used for examining injector spray formation, conducting atomization research, testing cooling systems, testing throttle valve functionality, etc, and as a learning tool for new lab members

    Specs:

    • Two main water lines to simulate fuel and oxidizer flow
    • Capable of flowing water at mass flow rates of up to 5 kg/s
    • Pressures of up to 900 psig
    • Automated data acquisition and control system
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    Blue steel (GOX/Kerosene)

    The team’s first engine, Blue Steel, has become the cornerstone of the Liquid Propulsion Lab.  Designed to be robust and reliable, this engine provides a dependable system to serve as the lab’s baseline for years to come. Each component of Blue Steel is made to be both simple and easily replaced, as we encourage new members to design their own parts and see how varying engine parameters will affect engine performance during our monthly firings.

    Specs:

    • Thrust – 1000 lbf

    • Burn Time – 10 seconds

    • ISP – 295 seconds

    • Chamber Temperature – 3,200 K

    • Chamber Pressure – 770 psi

    • M – 1.5 kg/s

    • O/F – 1.85

     

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    For me, I am driven by two main philosophies, know more today about the world than I knew yesterday. And lessen the suffering of others. You’d be surprised how far that will take you.
    — Neil Degrasse Tyson