Cryogenic rocket engine development at Delft aerospace rocket engineering

J Wink, R. Hermsen, R Huijsman, C. Akkermans, Luka Denies, F. Barreiro, A. Schutte, Angelo Cervone, Barry Zandbergen

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This paper describes the current developments regarding cryogenic rocket engine technology at Delft Aerospace Rocket Engineering (DARE). DARE is a student society based at Delft University of Technology with the goal of being the first student group in the world to launch a rocket into space. After the launch of the hybrid engine powered Stratos II+ sounding rocket in October 2015, DARE decided to investigate highly efficient liquid rocket engine technology . In this context DARE initiated the cryogenic project with the goal of developing a liquid rocket engine using liquid oxygen and liquid methane as propellants with a nominal thrust in the order of 10kN. Eventually this engine shall power a future sounding rocket into space. As an intermediate step, a 3 kN class engine is being developed. Subsystem development tests and possibly a hot-fire test campaign on this engine are planned for 2016 and its development intends to provide DARE with the required experience and knowledge to develop large scale liquid rocket engines. The engine is developed in cooperation with Heliaq Advanced Engineering and is designed to meet the requirements of the second stage engine of the ALV reusable launch vehicle. The design is a pressure-fed engine, regeneratively cooled using the liquid methane fuel. After passing the coolant channels, the methane is injected into the combustion chamber in gaseous state together with the liquid oxygen in a co-axial manner. The engine is ignited by means of a pyrotechnic igniter using an ammonium perchlorate based propellant. During a test sequence, the propellants are stored in insulated run-tanks and are pressurized using helium. This paper describes the project objective, the current progress on the design and production, and finally four proposed research topics that are indented to be conducted at the faculty of Aerospace Engineering of Delft University of Technology.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSpace propulsion 2016
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventSpace propulsion - Marriott Rome Park Hotel, Rome, Italy
Duration: 2 May 20166 May 2016


ConferenceSpace propulsion
Abbreviated titleSP2016
Internet address


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