Volkon Launch Vehicle Products
Our current vehicle for the CASPAR Initiative, 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 fluids 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, Dragoon, is based on solid rocket motors whose design characteristics lend themselves to high reliability and low cost.
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.