Abstract Title

Using a Solenoid to Launch a Rocket

Authors' Class Standing

Kyle Roberts, Sophomore Francisco Pastrana, Sophomore Lucy Kliethermes-Jones, Sophomore Alex Wheaton, Sophomore

Lead Presenter's Name

Kyle Roberts

Faculty Mentor Name

Dr. William Barott

Abstract

Research into Using an Electromagnetic Solenoid to Launch a Rocket was accomplished through the Technical Communications class, COM221, at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in a paper titled Using an Electromagnetic Solenoid to Launch a Rocket: A Feasibility Analysis. The research investigated whether a rocket could be launched into orbit using only electricity. The analysis overwhelmingly confirmed that it is possible to launch a rocket into orbit using only electricity, so the next step in research is an experiment using a 2 meter (m) solenoid to launch a 1.4 m model rocket up to 1000 m. This research is being conducted with the help of the Spark Fund through the Ignite Initiative at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. The setup for the experiment consists of the following materials: 18-gauge solid copper wiring (600 feet (ft)), PVC pipe (1/2 inch (in) diameter X 6 ft length), VOLTEQ Power Supply HY3020EX, Estes Pro Series II Argent, PVC Pipe (1-1/2 in diameter X 2 ft length), PVC Sch 40 Cap (1-1/2 in diameter), 440C Stainless Steel Tight-Tolerance Rod (1/2 in diameter X 6 ft length), 18-8 Stainless Steel Jumbo Flat Washer (2-1/2 in outside diameter, 11/16 in inside diameter), and a Qstarz BT-Q1000EX Professional BT Data Logger GPS (10 Hz refresh rate, 5 Hz logging rate), among other small materials.

The 6 ft PVC pipe will be wound with the 18-gauge copper wiring in order to produce the solenoid. The solenoid will be connected to the VOLTEQ power supply in order to produce a time-dependent magnetic flux density as the current is increased linearly. The stainless steel washer will be connected to the model rocket, and the model rocket/washer combo will be put over top of the solenoid. The 1-1/2 in diameter PVC pipe will be connected to the inside of the model rocket in order to house the GPS device which will track different parameters throughout the trajectory. Voltage will be produced across the washer as the magnetic flux density changes with time, and the repulsive force between the solenoid and the washer will propel the model rocket up to an estimated height of 1000 m. This research intends to record and analyze the velocity attained by the rocket in relation to the amount of current which was provided to the solenoid. It also intends to study the acceleration of the rocket, the amount of electromagnetic force produced by the solenoid as well as the work done by that force.

Keywords: electromagnetic propulsion, electromagnetic solenoid, alternatives to rocket engines

Location

Flight Deck

Start Date

9-4-2014 10:00 AM

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Apr 9th, 10:00 AM

Using a Solenoid to Launch a Rocket

Flight Deck

Research into Using an Electromagnetic Solenoid to Launch a Rocket was accomplished through the Technical Communications class, COM221, at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in a paper titled Using an Electromagnetic Solenoid to Launch a Rocket: A Feasibility Analysis. The research investigated whether a rocket could be launched into orbit using only electricity. The analysis overwhelmingly confirmed that it is possible to launch a rocket into orbit using only electricity, so the next step in research is an experiment using a 2 meter (m) solenoid to launch a 1.4 m model rocket up to 1000 m. This research is being conducted with the help of the Spark Fund through the Ignite Initiative at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. The setup for the experiment consists of the following materials: 18-gauge solid copper wiring (600 feet (ft)), PVC pipe (1/2 inch (in) diameter X 6 ft length), VOLTEQ Power Supply HY3020EX, Estes Pro Series II Argent, PVC Pipe (1-1/2 in diameter X 2 ft length), PVC Sch 40 Cap (1-1/2 in diameter), 440C Stainless Steel Tight-Tolerance Rod (1/2 in diameter X 6 ft length), 18-8 Stainless Steel Jumbo Flat Washer (2-1/2 in outside diameter, 11/16 in inside diameter), and a Qstarz BT-Q1000EX Professional BT Data Logger GPS (10 Hz refresh rate, 5 Hz logging rate), among other small materials.

The 6 ft PVC pipe will be wound with the 18-gauge copper wiring in order to produce the solenoid. The solenoid will be connected to the VOLTEQ power supply in order to produce a time-dependent magnetic flux density as the current is increased linearly. The stainless steel washer will be connected to the model rocket, and the model rocket/washer combo will be put over top of the solenoid. The 1-1/2 in diameter PVC pipe will be connected to the inside of the model rocket in order to house the GPS device which will track different parameters throughout the trajectory. Voltage will be produced across the washer as the magnetic flux density changes with time, and the repulsive force between the solenoid and the washer will propel the model rocket up to an estimated height of 1000 m. This research intends to record and analyze the velocity attained by the rocket in relation to the amount of current which was provided to the solenoid. It also intends to study the acceleration of the rocket, the amount of electromagnetic force produced by the solenoid as well as the work done by that force.

Keywords: electromagnetic propulsion, electromagnetic solenoid, alternatives to rocket engines