Ignitor Team: Go!
[This is an update from the Ignitor Senior Design team.]
Welcome back! This week, we will walk you through our preliminary plans.
After weighing out the risks and benefits of all potential methods, our team chose an industry standard ignition method known as the augmented spark plug system. In short, a portion of the fuel will be diverted from the combustion chamber and injected into a smaller sub-chamber for ignition via spark plug. This resulting fireball will then travel down a channel into the primary combustion chamber and create the thrust necessary to get our rocket off the ground and up to the Karman Line.
Below is an extremely simplified initial diagram:
As you can see, this system will require quite a bit of design overhaul on original build. However, we hope that the hours of sweat and tears we put into this system will result in a reusable, economical, and safer rocket.
Currently, we are working on the first iteration of this new injector. Recently, we started modeling the new sub-chamber which will house the augmented spark igniter system. We are simultaneously working on the chamber geometry, injection elements, and creation of the spark plug itself.
Each of these tasks offer their own set of chanllenges, but we can’t wait to solve them. Past them, we will move on to finalizing the first iteration using SolidWorks. We will then move onto inert water flow tests before actual combustion.
We can tell this project will be a lot of work which will push us to our technical limits. Particularly, crunching all the numbers associated chamber geometry and flow characteristics will take some time. But we plan to give this project everything we have to develop an innovative injector/ignitor system — and get this rocket to space.