Autophage Rocket

I'll admit this is not quite the headline I imaged would be printed when I finished my masters dissertation,

but it's not technically inaccurate. I worked on an experimental rocket engine with the University of Glasgow

and the University of Dnipro, Ukraine. I was involved in the test-firing of the novel type of ‘self-consuming’ solid-propellant rocket engine, seeking to interpret and evaluate the results relevant for aiding the Attitude and Orbital Control of miniature satellites and spacecraft (e.g. CubeSats) by providing an efficient means of propulsion. I assisted ongoing development efforts with a CFD simulation of the combustion chamber in Star-CCM+, discerning potential effects of pulsed combustion (as in airbreathing/valveless pulsejets) improving fuel consumption performance, and ultimately proving the rocket design to be throttleable - arguably a first in solid rocket science.

Results & discussion have been published by the AIAA in the Journal of Spacecraft & Rockets, under the title:

'Autophage Engines: Towards a Throttleable Solid Motor' - V. Yemets, P. Harkness, K. Worrall, M. Middleton.

 

More media articles:

The Economist

Science.org

Glasgow University News

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