The Sky is Not Always the Limit!
Cadets on the SPEAR team recently tested their motor ignition system that will eventually be part of an effort to test a sub-orbital rocket. The multi-disciplinary Space Engineering and Applied Research-Hypersonic Rocket Team (SPEAR-HRT) capstone team is developing a two-stage sub-orbital sounding rocket capable of passing the Kármán line at over 100km altitude, defined as the boundary of space. The team is focused on solving the difficult problem of designing a second stage solid-rocket motor ignition system that uses electric igniters to trigger a small amount of Boron-Potassium Nitrate to ignite Ammonium Perchlorate solid rocket propellent at 30,000 feet altitude (at 3 psia ambient pressure) while traveling over Mach 3, as well as converging-diverging supersonic nozzle design. Upon ignition, the second stage booster rocket travels the remaining 90km and reaches hypersonic speeds > Mach 5.