Introduction

Development of liquid propulsion has a long history in DARE. The first attempts at firing a rocket engine powered by liquid fuel started shortly after DARE was founded. However, with experienced members graduating, the development ceased to progress after promising first results. However, in 2009/2010, the Deimos project was re-started, and at the beginning of 2013 DARE saw a series of extremely successful hot fires of a fully liquid fueled rocket engine, the Deimos M. Work on this engine resulted in a number of conference publications on the combustion properties of the tested propellants. Below is a video of the Deimos M being tested.

Liquid Rocket Propulsion Team in front of the Korolev Lab

Liquid Rocket Propulsion Team in front of the Korolev Lab

Since 2013 the team is working on the Deimos-F engine, the successor of the Deimos-M. The new engine is designed to provide thrust in the order of 1100 N, which is sufficient to lift more than 100 kilograms. The Deimos team offers an incredible working atmosphere, with friendly and cheerful colleagues from all around the world. The current team line-up of the team includes people from 7 different nationalities.Deimos3_6

Currently the liquid team is working on a larger, and mass-optimized version of the Deimos M, using lessons learned and the gained experience. The new “Deimos F” aims at bringing a modified CanSat V7 – dubbed Deimos Research Atmospheric Demonstrator – to 1 km altitude. Furthermore, a lot of research into advanced concepts is being conducted, exploring various designs, like for example a swirl injector. Also, research has been conducted in the field of electronics and control, in order to potentially control the burning of the propellant though throttling.

Injector test April 2016

Injector Test, April 2016

In April 2016 Deimos successfully performed an injector test with demineralized water. We learned a lot again about the feed system behavior during filling and will implement several improvements. The injector uses 3 coaxial injection elements. The fuel system side was pressurized to 45 bar and the oxidizer system side to 60 bar. Visual inspection of pictures and video footage of the test show good atomization performance. Next the team will focus on getting the system ready for a hot fire test.

Engines

Deimos M (2010-2013)

Specifications:

Deimos M, 7 seconds hot fire test in early 2013.

Deimos M, 7 seconds hot fire test in early 2013.

  • Type: Liquid
  • Total impulse: ~910 Ns (max.)
  • Specific impulse: 140 – 190 s, depending on configuration
  • Max Thrust: 170 – 270 N, depending on configuration
  • Average Thrust: ~130 N
  • Burn Time: 27 seconds
  • Fuel:  Methane
  • Oxidizer: Nitrous Oxide
  • Specific Length (L*): tested with 1 m, 2 m, and 3 m
  • Chamber Pressure: 9 – 18 bar
  • Number of full-scale tests: 7 test days, with 1 to 10 consecutive tests per day
  • Number of flights: 0

 

Deimos F (2013-ongoing)

Specifications:

Test day of an early iteration of the Deimos F engine.

Test day of an early iteration of the Deimos F engine.

  • Type: Liquid
  • Total impulse: TBD
  • Specific impulse: 171s
  • Max Thrust:1090N
  • Average Thrust: 983N
  • Burn Time: ~3-4 seconds
  • Fuel:  Ethanol
  • Oxidizer: Nitrous Oxide
  • Specific Length (L*): ~2 m
  • Chamber Pressure: ~20 bar
  • Number of full-scale tests: 5, mostly unsuccessful
  • Number of flights: 0