Finished a 20 gram gamma detector, perfect for high altitude balloons, rockets, robots and UAVS. Can comunicate directly with a microcontroller. Displays when Gamma and X-rays pass through the detector and the approximate energies of the photons. Visit Kickstarter
for more information.
DIY Cryocooler is nearly complete. How-to videos and manuals will be available soon.
I have been developing a Plasma Speaker over the last couple weeks. Visit Kickstarter
for more information.
Engines are available for purchase. Just visit the Products
Finished developments on a mini thermo jet, a type of Valveless pulse jet. This engine is very special because it uses no moving parts to generate thrust from while stationary. This is important because unlike many commonly used engines such as turbine engines which have very complicated parts moving at very high speeds which wear out and need replacing often, these do have any moving parts and require little or no maintenance!
The engine performance is incredible for its size. Weighing just 0.72 Pounds (326 grams) it generates over 2 pounds of thrust. After some modifications, such as thrust augmenters (which add thrust without burning more fuel!) and special ducting the engine will produce more than 10 pounds of thrust. The engine consumes only 3 pounds of fuel per hour, which makes it exceptionally fuel efficient not only for a pulse jet (which are notoriously inefficient) but for any type of jet engine. The engine operates at extremely high frequency, over 600 Hertz! Which means that it pulses over 600 times per second! From an engineering stand point that is basically continues thrust. Continuous thrust is ideal because it minimizes vibration and is easier to control the vehicles that it is powering.
This type of engine is very well suited for aircraft such as airplanes, especially model aircraft and radio controlled airplanes, as a very inexpensive alternative to a turbine engine. Our application of the engine is for getting a ramjet up to operational speed(a ramjet tends to start operating at speeds greater than 450 MPH) and a way to get rockets up to a reasonable altitude before firing. The thermo jet is ideal for small jet powered personal aircraft, because of their exceptional reliability and low cost.
With a few more improvements the thermo jet will become a main power source of our vehicles. We also plan to begin selling these engines soon for hobbyists and researchers so check back soon if you are interested!
Why is the Aerosplice approach better?
Every second that a conventional rocket burns fuel, it plows through economic resources, and leaves a wake of a destroyed budget behind. Why begin acceleration as a rocket? There are so many options now to reach reasonable speeds at a cost of a thousand times less than that of conventional rockets.
To go from stationary (at rest on the launch pad) to orbital velocity (Mach 25) or even escape velocity (Mach 35) a vehicle must accelerate. Acceleration requires that you continuously burn more fuel or decrease the mass of the rocket continuously. So shouldn't that burnt fuel be as inexpensive as possible to achieve the maximum acceleration and altitude (potential energy)? Of course! Especially if that fuel is as cheap as Kerosene or nearly free in the case of hydrogen produced from sunlight and water.
Currently the conventional rocket fuels of choice are extremely expensive such as liquid Hydrogen/ Liquid Oxygen, Liquid Oxygen/ Kerosene, or Nitrogentetroxide/ Hydrazine. When using conventional rockets most of the vehicle's weight is fuel! 90%! and only a tiny percent is payload, usually between 2% and 5% . That has to Change.
What Aerosplice provides is alternative technologies to the expensive conventional routes to space. Technologies like valveless pulse jets to get the rockets off the launch pads and get them up to speeds between Mach 0.5 and Mach 0.9. Then Ramjets to get the Rockets to speeds greater than Mach 10. Then finally Hydrogen Peroxide based rocket engines to get vehicles into space and beyond. We also do extensive research into Ion, Plasma and Hydrogen Fusion systems for travel between planets and for satellite re-orientation.
The technologies are not necessarily new but what we do that is special is applying all the best technologies to the right situations. Instead of one do-all-solution that is not specialized for specific tasks, like conventional rocket engines for entire orbital launches.
We do things differently. We manufacture nearly all our own parts, which saves a tremendous amount of money and makes prototyping considerably faster and less expensive. The other benefit to manufacturing locally is that we help to bring jobs back to the United States and help to stimulate local economies.
AeroSplice is registered as a competitor in the N-Prize!
We are Team number 16, in a contest that many people think is impossible, but the careful distinction should be made between impossible and difficult. The contest is to launch a Nano satellite of 9.99 to 19.99 grams and prove that it completes 9 orbits, while the cost of the launch (not including ground facilities) is under £999.99 pounds (about $1500 US). It's not impossible, but certainly difficult. Using existing technologies will produce a working launch system, but they are excessively expensive. That's why we chose the unconventional route, it's cheaper, better and safer, plus by manufacturing all the parts and fuels ourselves, the cost is thousands of time lower than that of the conventional "of the shelf" route.
We are extremely confident that we can win this contest, or we wouldn't even try. But even if we fail to complete the orbital launch of a Nano satellite by the contest deadline of September 19th of 2011, then we still will have made significant improvements in technologies and growth toward inexpensive space travel.
A lot of people ask, "why would you want to launch a nano satellite?" Well, as technology improves it gets smaller while still getting more powerful. Why should satellites remain the same massive school bus sized telecommunications systems in the 21st century? The major benefit to tiny yet powerful satellites is that they are less expensive to launch. Space technology is such a major part of modern people's lives from the Internet, Cable Television, and Cellphones. We cannot live without space communication tools such as satellites, and the more we have at a lower cost, the better. What can then be done is to start launching large grids of nano satellites into orbit to relay messages around earth very rapidly and if some satellites fail or get struck by micro-meteorites then the satellite network will still be intact. Basically it is like having lots of little baskets carrying one egg each, instead of very large and expensive baskets filled with fragile eggs that can ruin a company if they get lost.
We are excited for the opportunity to compete in a contest that fits our mission so well. We will definitely have to make some huge improvements before we have a chance at winning, but we are well on our way.