Status Report

Flometrics Rocket Pump and Student Rocket Update

By SpaceRef Editor
July 29, 2009
Filed under , ,

This is an occasional email about our rocket projects.

We launched a rocket on a renewable JP-8 developed for DARPA by the EERC. The fuel has been tested at the AFRL, and it worked well in turbine engines, so we tried it in a rocket.  It worked much better thane expected and it made an awesome sound when it went up. We observed less coking than usual on the injector plate. The web page is at.

We finished up our NASA SBIR on the Rocket Pump,  meeting the key objectives:

Designing a pump that could work in space  to pump liquid oxygen or methane and testing it under zero gee and simulated vacuum conditions.

Demonstrating a pump pumping Liquid  Nitrogen at 400 psi and 2 gpm with less than 3% pressure variations

Calculating that it could increase the payload mass up to 28% for missions like Cassini.

We are proposing that we test the pump with a LOX/Methane RCS thruster for a phase two contract. We updated the web page:

At UCSD, we launched another 6 rockets and measured various parameters thanks to funding from MSFC and technical assistance from George Story.  The best rocket was a tie this year, There was one that measured the pressure of the nitrous oxide and flew very well and generated a beautiful pressure vs time graph, and there was another that measured the separation rate of the rocket and the nosecone with a string potentiometer.

One of the groups was flying a spinning hybrid wherein the spin rate was controlled via fin angle to be able to prevent early propellant dropout, and this is exactly what George Story from MSFC had worked on. (SOREX-2 booster) so he was able to give the students some tips.  Unfortunately, due to low thrust, it only made one revolution. In the future we will test the engines before flight I will be at the Joint Propulsion Conference in Denver on Sunday night through Tuesday afternoon. We had hoped to have a booth pumping margaritas, but flaky customers and the economy have conspired to make it too expensive at this time, maybe next year.

We are still looking for more engineering services work, product development, problem solving, aerospace, medical, consumer etc.  Your problem may not need a rocket scientist to solve it, but it can’t hurt.


Steve Harrington Ph. D
President, Flometrics, Inc.

Also: Lecturer, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, UCSD
5900 Sea Lion Place Suite 150
Carlsbad CA 92010
Cell: 760-994-5544
fax 760-476-2763

SpaceRef staff editor.