First HyLIGHT-2 Test with CFRP Casing

HyEnD is proud to announce that the first 15 s test firing of its lightweight engine HyLIGHT-2 with CFRP-casing was a success! In the upcoming weeks, the operation time will be increased to 25s. The test was conducted at the test bench M11 of the DLR Institute of Space Propulsion. Thanks to all who made this achievement possible!

YouTuber Senkrechtstarter zu Besuch

Please note that the video is only available in German.

Im Juli des vergangenen Jahres hat uns Mo vom YouTube-Kanal Senkrechtstarter besucht. Wir haben uns sehr gefreut einige Einblicke in die Arbeiten im Rahmen des aktuellen DLR STERN Projekts geben zu können. Unter anderem zeigen wir verschiedene Komponenten der Compass-Rakete und mischen mit Mo den Brennstoff für unsere Hybridtriebwerke an. Das Video ist nun auf dem Kanal Senkrechtstarter verfügbar – danke für deinen Besuch, Mo! 

First results of HyLIGHT Test Campaign

On 9th September 2021, HyEnD has successfully tested its HyLIGHT 10kN rocket engine for the first time. In contrast to the planned flight version of the HyLIGHT engine, the prototype engine tested features an aluminum casing. This allows a modular engine design and a reuse of insulation components in multiple test configurations. The first test was conducted with an impingement injector and film cooling ablator in the post combustion chamber. The burn time of the engine was restricted to five seconds, as the goal of the test was to prove that all required systems are working correctly and reliably.

The current test campaign will assess the effectiveness of film cooling and the influence of various design changes to the combustion efficiency. The regression rate will be evaluated and optimized as well. Since September, various prototypes of the engine have reached a culminated operation time of more than 37 seconds. In the following weeks and months, the design of the fuel grain, injector and insulation components will be finalized, and the burn time increased to up to 25 seconds. First tests with an engine with CFRP casing are planned for early 2022.

Update from January 2022: We now have conducted a total number of 7 hot fire tests within the HyLIGHT-1 test campaign. Some impressions from the tests are summarized in the following video:

Compass launched successfully

On 25 June 2021, HyEnD successfully launched its subscale demonstator rocket „Compass“ for the DLR STERN project. The launch took place at the Truppenuebungsplatz (military training area) Heuberg. Compass was able to reach an altitude of more than 3200 m / 10,000 ft above ground and an initial accelleration of more than 6.5 g. During ascent, all systems performed nominally. Drogue and main parachutes were ejected– however, the main parachute was not able to unfold, and the rocket landed with a descent rate of about 20 m/s. This resulted in some damage to structural components and the fluid system. We want to thank all supporters that have made this launch possible! Scroll down for more pictures of the launch.

Note: All participants were tested negative for COVID-19 or were fully vaccinated.

Compass Recovery System tested successfully

At the beginning of May, the drop test of the Compass recovery system took place. At an altitude of 500m, a dummy with the dry mass of Compass was dropped out of a model aircraft. The drogue chute decelerated the dummy down to 26 m/s and the main chute to 3.3 m/s. The parachutes had already been tested in the IAG wind tunnel and the drogue parachute ejection system had been tested on ground a few weeks ago. The aim of this overall test was to verify the forces that occur in the simulation and to ensure that Compass can be recovered safely.

One step closer – Compass Static Test Fire

HyEnD has successfully conducted the Static Hot Fire Test of the Compass Demonstrator Rocket. Engine, tank, fluid system and ground support equipment were tested together. The test has shown that remote tanking and launching of the rocket works safely and reliably – we are looking forward to the launch.

HyFIVE-3 with CFRP-Casing successfully tested

On March 24th, 2021 HyEnD has tested its first rocket engine with a carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) casing. The casing consists of multiple layers of carbon fiber and is produced on our winding machine in our facilities at the MPA Stuttgart. This marks a big milestone in our STERN project participation, since the new, lightweight casing was one of the most ambitious goals of the project.

The resulting engine has a dry mass of only 0.95kg and can handle pressures of up to 100 bar / 1450 psi. Tests have shown stable and efficient combustion with a measured specific impulse of more than 210s.

Pictures from Production and final Engine

Engine Hot Fire

Oxidizer Tank tested and ready for Compass Launch

In the last weeks, we completed the manufacturing of the oxidizer tank for the Compass rocket. For the manufacturing, we used a newly developed technology, which will help us to reduce the structural mass of the larger N2ORTH rocket significantly. The oxidizer tank is mainly made of winded CFRP and coated with a thin layer of fluoropolymer on the inside to ensure N2O compatibility. The connectors for the upper and lower part of the rocket are mounted on the bulkheads and reinforced with additional CFRP winding. The first pressure tests showed excellent results and we are confident about the upcoming launch of Compass.

Thrust and Efficiency Improvements with HyFIVE-2

In the last few weeks, we were able to improve the performance of our HyFIVE engine. The following video shows a test with a freestanding nozzle expansion part, as it is required for the CFRP casing. The nozzle is made of winded silica fibre. More testing of such components will take place in the coming weeks. With only a few minor adjustments to the design to be tested, the first test of the CFRP casing comes closer and closer. We are looking forward to see HyFIVE flying with our Demonstrator Rocket Compass in only a few months!

Our Mission Patch and Demonstrator Rocket Name

It is time for some exciting news about our STERN participation! Our subscale demonstrator rocket finally has a name – Compass. Compass is scheduled to launch in only a few months, and we have made a lot of progress in the last weeks. Also, we now have a mission patch for our N2ORTH rocket! We hope you like it. 🙂