in Technology / Space / People
Dubai youngsters develop new rocket fuel
A group of high school students calling themselves Dubai Amateur Rocketry have developed a new type of rocket fuel that they say is much easier and cheaper to manufacture.
The youngsters, with an average age of 17, said that while the fuel itself may not be the best out there, their way of making it considerably improves upon traditional methods.
The idea of eutectic composites was originally invented in the 1960s by the Monsanto Research Center in the USA, however it was never used or tested in a rocket engine.
Group member Mahir Tuli said: “By dissolving lithium perchlorate in prepolymers, we found more uses and advantages that were previously unknown.
“We noticed our propellant is denser, more efficient, burns at higher temperatures and is safer. It also has a slower burn rate, a higher specific impulse, and is easier to prepare.”
The group does not have a professional laboratory, so they develop the fuel and engines at home. Testing is done outside, often in the desert.
Group member Tianze Cheng said: “We started making these engines because we are interested in many fields of science, and it was a few years ago when we decided to concentrate on and study rocketry-related topics.
“We have made countless rocket engines with countless types of fuels. However, we have never flown any because Dubai law prohibits it.”
The group would be interested to hear from other rocketry groups or experts who might be interested in their research. A paper outlining how they made the fuel is available.