Pressure sensors monitor liquid propellant rocket

Hansjürgen Roth
06. February 2024

The TU Vienna Space Team, an association run by students at the University of Technology in Vienna, is working hard on an exciting rocket project called «Lamarr». This ambitious project aims to launch a liquid rocket using ethanol and liquid oxygen as fuel in 2024.

 

The «Lamarr» liquid rocket is expected to reach an altitude of nine kilometers and while there conduct exciting satellite experiments. «Lamarr» supports the student project WerndlExplorer, which won the CanSat (Can = can, Sat = satellite) competition run by the ESA (European Space Agency) education program. In the CanSat competition, pupils had the opportunity to build a mini satellite the same shape as a drinks can, which will conduct various experiments on board the rocket. At the end of the experimentation period, «Lamarr» will begin its journey back to earth. The landing will be carried out with the help of a sophisticated two-stage recovery system, which should enable the rocket to return safely.

Forerunner µHoubolt

Also, on board the «Lamarr» rocket are KELLER pressure sensors from the PAA-23SY, PAA-21Y and PD-39X series. These high-precision pressure sensors are crucial components for the smooth running of the mission. They measure the pressures in the pressurization and fuel tanks as well as in the combustion chamber of the rocket engine. The measurement data supplied helps the project team monitor and control various aspects crucial for a successful flight.

GEORG MIKULA

TU Wien Space Team
( uHoubolt rocket at EuRoC 2022 )

 

«I am very happy with the KELLER sensors, they worked straight away without any problems, and unlike previous sensors, the data was reliable and reproducible. I particularly like the series 21 because its small design allows for very compact installation in the rocket.»

Piezoresistive pressure sensors for space travel

Pressure measurement technology in aerospace is subject to the highest safety aspects and places high demands on functionality. Highly specialised pressure measurement systems tailored specifically to the aerospace customer are therefore usually produced for this application. In the «Lamarr» project, the space team at the Vienna University of Technology opted for piezoresistive pressure transmitters from the KELLER standard range. The successful use of standard products in this liquid rocket shows that all KELLER pressure sensors live up to their good reputation in terms of accuracy, durability, and reliability even in extreme environments.

 

«Lamarr» project

The «Lamarr» project is the continuation of the award-winning bi-liquid rocket project «µHoubolt». Based on the knowledge that the Space Team at TU Wien has gathered over the years on the ethanol-nitrous oxide rocket, «Lamarr» is now building the «Hedy» rocket. This should be more reliable and aim for greater goals than the previous project. The name «Lamarr» was chosen in memory of the Austrian actress and inventor Hedy Lamarr.

Mission objective and requirements:

  • Reach an altitude of 9 km
  • Successful 2-stage recovery with a parachute system
  • Collect telemetry and flight data during the entire flight
  • Thorough documentation of the acquired knowledge for subsequent teams

 

The «Lamarr» project of the TU Wien Space Team not only demonstrates the commitment and innovative strength of the students, but also the importance of precise pressure sensors for successful space missions. With a combination of technical expertise, curiosity and a passion for research, the team is helping to push the boundaries of space travel and shape the future of space exploration.

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