Volkon Launch Vehicle Products
Our current vehicle for the CASPAR Initiative, the Volkon, is based on bipropellant liquid oxygen / E85 (ethanol) and uClinux technologies. The primary structure and tankage is welded aluminum construction acting as both structural members and fluid storage.
Volkon is based on spherical tankage for the bipropellant propulsion fluid and pressurization gases. Primary vehicle control is established through a gimbal mechanism that has pitch and yaw authority. Roll control is established via a cold gas system arranged around the periphery of the vehicle. The gimbal ring is similar to the Apollo Lunar Excursion Module (LEM) with the gimbal plane located near the head end of the engine.
The avionics software is written in C and C++ targeting the Blackfin uClinux Real Time Operating System (RTOS). All actuators are based on Electro-Mechanical Actuator (EMA) technology to enable rapid prototyping and to simplify operations. A discrete-time digital control system has been designed and tested in Simulink that takes output from the navigation subsystem and provides real-time control inputs. The control system is mode-based to provide specific behavior during during various flight regimes and implements general linear feedback stabilization on the primary controls of throttle and engine deflection.
Dragoon Launch Vehicle Products
The first launch vehicle we developed during the CASPAR Initiative, the Dragoon, is based on solid and hybrid rocket motors whose design characteristics lend themselves to high reliability and low cost. The Dragoon can be flown in a suborbital and an orbital configuration.
The suborbital Dragoon is unguided, fin-stabilized and rail-launched. Boosted by solid propellant (aluminized ammonium perchlorate, HTPB), the rocket is capable of transporting 22 lbs to altitudes approaching 200 miles while maintaining a stable, near-vertical trajectory. During flight, the rocket is rolled to reduce dispersions due to thrust and structural misalignments. The major components of the vehicle are the first stage motor, the interstage, and the payload container with attached nosecone. Significant structural pieces are aluminum, with all fasteners manufactured of stainless steel.
The orbital Dragoon is a multistage vehicle with spin stabilized lower stages, and elementary guidance on the terminal stage. The standard orbital Dragoon can lift a payload of approximately 11 lbs with the Dragoon-H lifting approximately 22 lbs. The guidance system allows insertion into low inclination and high inclination LEO orbits. The major components of the vehicle are the first, second, and third stage motors, the interstages, the payload container with attached nosecone, and the guidance package.
The vehicle will be launched from a variety of sites. Suborbital campaigns will be carried out in Black Rock and White Sands Missile Range (WSMR). Low inclination orbital missions will be flown from East coast facilities. High inclination orbits will be serviced from Kodiak Island in Alaska.