Static testing of the BURT Mk. II began on 07 April 2012 in Deep River, CT. A single cold flow test (CF-1) and two hot-fire tests (ST-1 and ST-2) were performed, with one failure to ignite and one successful ignition. Testing of the Mk. II will continue through the end of the Spring 2012 semester as we establish a performance baseline for our testbed and gather experience from the results of multiple live hot-fire tests.
Static Testing Summary
07 April 2012
This first series of test represented the first successful hot-fire test by the Rocket Team in close to five years. One cold-flow test (CF-1) was first performed to verify the plumbing system and firing sequence functionality and was followed by two hot-fire tests (ST-1 and ST-2). The first hot-fire static test was performed without replacing the fuel grain from the cold-flow and resulted in a failure to ignite. The failure to ignite is most likely due to the fact that the previous cold-flow cooled the HTPB fuel grain to a point at which ignition could not be achieved. Similar ignition problems were encountered during testing of the Mk. I in January of 2010 due to sub-freezing temperatures (~15° F). A quick assessment was made and fuel grain was replaced with a new, warm fuel grain for ST-2. ST-2 achieved ignition and burned for approximately 8.5 seconds before an igniter blowout force a premature shutdown. The full report for the 07 April test date can be found in the link below.
14 April 2012
Testing continued on 14 April 2012 with the goal of testing the functionality of a thrust-vector control (TVC) system designed by Kevin Zagorski and Ryan Lacy for their senior design project. ST-3 resulted in a failure to ignite due to a grounding issue that prevented the igniters from firing. ST-4 followed, successfully igniting and burning for six seconds before suffering an igniter blowout and forcing a shutdown. No useful data was gathered from TVC system and another series of tests was scheduled for the following week.
21 April 2012
Three hot-fire tests, ST-5, ST-6, and ST-7 were performed on 21 April 2012 with the TVC system implemented in place of the standard aft bulkhead. ST-5 burned for 5 seconds before another ignited blowout forced an abort. ST-6 was aborted prematurely (~1.5 seconds after ignition) by the operator due to a perceived combustion instability. ST-7 was the most successful Mk. II test to date, burning for 10 seconds of the scheduled 12 second burn before a blowout triggered a shutdown 400ms short of the full nitrous flow. Due to the consistency of the igniter blowouts, the igniters are being redesigned