CELMI srl (Italy) - The second edition of EuRoc - European Rocketry Challenge has just ended, the first university rocket launch competition in Europe, promoted by the Portuguese Space Agency - Portugal Space, which brought together 20 teams, from all over Europe, including Italy, through Skyward Experimental Rocketry, of the Politecnico di Milano, which triumphed by winning two prizes.
The Italian group Skyward, of the Politecnico di Milano, was founded in 2012 and with 5 launches to date holds the Italian record for student missiles. EuRoC 2021 was Skyward's first ever competition, in which they participated with Lynx, a modular rocket which, according to its creators “… is much larger, more complex and has reached more than double the altitudes of previous launches. Lynx made two incredibly successful flights in 2021: a test flight in Roccaraso (Italy) and the 2021 EuRoC flight at the military base of Santa Margarida in Portugal, reaching an apogee of 3076 m, just 2.5% off the coast. 'target of 3000 m. This outstanding performance at EuRoC 2021 has given us two awards: second place overall, award flight (3 km COTS category) as well as Team award. We are a hundred. We started with a “homemade” project. Now, the award for the best flight recognizes our achievements: over 3,000 meters, control of the apogee, opening of both parachutes, recovery without damage”.
We at Celmi congratulate these young Italian researchers who, with their ingenuity and professionalism, give prestige to the research and development activity carried out by our university teams. We hope that the same successes can also be achieved in 2023, when Skyward will participate in the new edition of EuRoc, with the aim of bringing a certain load up to an altitude of 3000 m (category h3 of the competition). The solution adopted to achieve this goal is the hybrid engine called Chimera. We at Celmi have the honor of having participated in this project, having supplied Skyward with our TIPO SAS traction load cell. The aforementioned project, which has recently passed the preliminary design phase, faces an extensive test campaign aimed at validating the models used to describe the behavior of the engine during its use. The first of these tests concerns the oxidant injection system in the combustion chamber. The objective of the test is to obtain information during the discharge phase of a pressure tank filled with nitrous oxide. This fluid is the main reactant inside the engine which, in contact with the material present in the combustion chamber, will allow it to sustain combustion and therefore generate the desired thrust. The test involves the construction of an experimental apparatus that uses the Celmi srl S-type parallel/shear beam load cell type SAS, to record the weight of the tank at any moment. Starting from the initial mass, through a differential measurement, it will therefore be possible to obtain the desired data. During the discharge, thermodynamic properties such as pressure and temperature of the fluid are acquired, being fundamental for the final sizing of the injection plate. This component is the last element in the supply line and has the function of atomising the fluid and injecting it according to certain methods. The test will also be useful to evaluate the correct functioning of the hydraulic and electrical components, also present in the final configuration of the rocket. Finally, since the way in which the oxidant is expelled into the combustion chamber is also of particular interest, the decision was made to make the chamber where the fluid is expelled transparent. Through a high resolution video camera it will be possible to study the distribution and size of the atomized oxidant droplets, parameters that will be useful in subsequent design phases as regards combustion stability.
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