These pages contain information about some small liquid fueled rocket engine projects I am working on.
Frame from the first test of my GOX/Ethanol Engine on 9/9/12
Building rocket engines involves working with high pressures and chemicals that can be potentially dangerous if not handled correctly. All of the work documented here was done in a carefully controlled environment in order to minimize the risk of accidents. Neither the author nor FUBAR labs are liable for any misuse of the information contained within these pages.
The links below contain information on the various projects I am working on (or past/future tense).
is a link to the code I use to run the engine. Currently it’s compiled and loaded onto an Arduino Uno, however, it is very close to running out of main memory. At some point I plan on offloading most of the logic onto a client program that connects over serial to the Arduino. The idea being that the Arduino would only be responsible for processing inputs or returning raw data from sensors. The client program would be responsible for logging, debug, calculations, etc...
Here is a list of important resources I’ve utilized in learning about, building, and designing engines.
- "Rocket Propulsion Elements" Sutton & Biblarz -
- Highly recommended as a starting point for learning about engines. Clearly written, engaging, and good level of detail for a book that covers so many topics.
- "Modern Engineering for Design of Liquid-Propellant Rocket Engines" Huzel and Huang -
- Good coverage of engine hardware and fabrication. The latest edition is a tad old but much of the content is still relevant.
- "The Home Machinists Handbook” Briney -
- The edition I have was published in 1983... and it’s excellent! Great book for learning about machine tools.
- "Fundamentals of Aerodynamics" Anderson -
- While not entirely relevant to test-stand engines, the treatment of sub, sonic, super, hyper flows is very interesting.
- "A First Course in Differential Equations" Zill -
- I used as a study aid for Differential Equations.
- ARocket - an online discussion group of engine hobbyists and small "new space" companies. Invaluable resource for getting questions answered and learning about the business/industry in general.
- Rocket Propulsion Analysis (RPA) - Useful and powerful tool for modeling engine behavior. I built most models on my own but used RPA as a check to make sure I was in the ball park.
- NIST Reference Fluid Thermodynamic and Transport Properties Database (REFPROP) - very powerful tool for calculating species behavior at different temperatures and pressures. This tool is used in my thermal analysis for steady state engines.