Research & Development

Students Prepare for the First Flight Powered by an Aerospike Engine Using Liquid Propellants, Sept. 20 - 21, 2003

Following the recent successful static fire test of their 1000 lbf thrust ablative annular aerospike engine, the CALVEIN team is gearing up for a Sept. 20-21 weekend launch of the first powered flight of an aerospike engine using liquid propellants

A new set of graphite components has been machined by Electro-Tech Machining in Long Beach and a new ablative liner has been made. The engine is now ready to be integrated into the Prospector-2 (P-2) vehicle which flew and was recovered back in Feb. 2002..

solid model of engine cross section of engine

Solid model of the engine and cross-section of actual engine (reconstructed from spare parts)

Engine integration check on P-2

Engine integration check on P-2 (P-3 also shown hanging above P-2)

Another major on-going effort is the modification of the 2-stage recovery system deployment mechanism to avoid the use of pyrotechnic devices. Both pneumatic and electromechanical actuation systems are being developed in parallel and will be evaluated over the next few weeks.

P-2 will fly several payloads, including a GPS receiver with data downlink using the telemetry package being developed for P-3, Flight Test #2 (based on Wi-Fi technology with a 1W amplifier) and a small video camera. Information about other payloads will be posted here as it becomes available.

For additional information about either the CALVEIN project and/or the cooperative program between CSULB and Garvey Spacecraft Corporation, please contact the following project representatives:

  • Dr. Eric Besnard
  • Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Dept.
  • California State University, Long Beach
  • 1250 Bellflower Blvd Long Beach, CA 90840
  • Tel:(562) 985-5442
  • Fax:(562) 985-1669
  • John Garvey
  • Garvey Spacecraft Corporation
  • 389 Haines Avenue
  • Long Beach, CA 90840-1841
  • Tel:(562)-498-2984
  • Email: