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Opennautics is a community of enthusiasts dedicated to open source space exploration.

Open Source Products

Opennautics is developing open source space exploration hardware, such as rocketry and astronomy products. Collaboration of product development and documentation can be accomplished in the cloud with GitHub and by building up the wiki. View the calendar to see upcoming events and project milestones.

Community

The success of Opennautics and open source space hardware depends on the community. Submit ideas and discuss new innovations. Add images and give your thoughts in the forum. Take a look at the user contributed showcase to see photos and altitudes that members have achieved.

Start Exploring

Join the Opennautics community by creating a new account. As an open source hardware advocate, Opennautics encourages anyone to freely download design documentation (CAD), view bill of materials (BOM) and improve upon the existing products. Tutorials are available for beginners. View the frequently asked questions, and learn how to help Opennautics grow.

Open Source Hardware

"Open Source Hardware (OSHW) is a term for tangible artifacts -- machines, devices, or other physical things -- whose design has been released to the public in such a way that anyone can make, modify, distribute, and use those things." Opennautics has chosen to use the CERN Open Hardware License for all products.

 

 

Casting the Fireproof Concrete Nozzle/Chamber

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The last time I submitted a blog entry, I proposed a design to create a mold that would cast a nozzle and combustion chamber from fireproof concrete. The idea is to use a 3D printer to make the mold then poor the concrete, let cure, and melt away the plastic in a fire. This is a result of the successful combustion that Damien has created with the fireproof nozzle, paraffin grain, pressurized air and aluminium chamber. We can move quicker with our static tests if we simply use the fireproof concrete as the nozzle and combustion chamber.

Designing to Cast a Fireproof Concrete Nozzle/Chamber

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We have now tested combustion with an aluminium tube, a fireproof concrete nozzle and a paraffin grain with gaseous oxygen. From the pictures Damien has posted, a nozzle from fireproof concrete is sufficient enough to quickly test our designs. This led me to the conclude: Since casting the nozzle with fireproof concrete is quick, cheap and easy, why not create quick prototypes and iterate with a single-piece casted fireproof concrete nozzle and combustion chamber.

Combustion!

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A great milestone was reached last Tuesday at the lab: we achieved the first real combustion in our test combustion chamber! You can see it in this video (in the first seconds you'll see some sparks of a first test, then browse directly to 1:30 to see the really exciting part). 

Ignition with a disposable camera flash system

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While waiting for a new Spark Gap Igniter to be delivered to replace the one that failed during the previous test, I tested yesterday evening ignition with a modified disposable camera flash system.

Testing a First Injector Plate With Water

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Continuing from the last post, where I had acquired our injector plate components, I wanted to simply test the flow that the oxidizer will have. Fortunately, I have access to a 3D printer which allows me to create many useful items. In this case, I quickly modeled an adapter that screws onto the threads of the injector nozzle and slips over an outdoor faucet so that we can see how water will pass through. This gives a good indication of how the chosen oxidizer will behave.

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