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Linear Aerospike Rocket Engine

The Demonstrator 3 uses a linear aerospike engine to increase the flight readiness level of Haas 2CA Executor linear aerospike engine. An aerospike engine exhaust jet ideally expands from sea level up to space, ensuring superior efficiency at all flight levels. A "classic" bell-shaped nozzle works efficiently at only one flight level, usually at sea level, or a little bit above sea level. After that point, the engine isn't properly taking advantage of the atmospheric pressure decrease as the gases are contained by the nozzle. An aerospike nozzle allows virtually unlimited expansion ratios, thus significantly increasing the specific impulse of the engine at high altitude. A proof of aerospike engine increased efficiency is the fact that Demonstrator 3 rocket uses hydrogen peroxide 70% as monopropellant thus being able to reach suborbital space in one stage.

 

 

Fully Composites

Demonstrator 3 is made entirely out of composite materials. The tanks weight is critical and ARCA owns the technology to fabricate probably the lightest composites tanks in the world. The below photos show an ARCA composites tank tested at ultimate load. These tanks used in pressure fed configuration are as average 1.5 times lighter than aluminum tanks used in conjunction with pump fed engines. One of Demonstrator 3 objectives is to test this tank type in flight, qualifying it for Haas 2CA SSTO rocket.

 

Even the injection head and the feed system are built out of composite materials. This reduced the fabrication time, the weight and cost. This technology was implemented and tested in flight at ARCA during the Helen rocket program 2009-2010. To further increase the simplicity of the rocket, Demonstrator 3 will use burst disks instead of valves for the engine feed.

 

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