08.12.2017 change 08.12.2017

Amber, Polish ecological rocket

Photo: Fotolia Photo: Fotolia

ILR-33 "AMBER" - the world\'s first rocket capable of reaching the threshold of outer space that uses more than 98% hydrogen peroxide as an oxidizer- has recently reached the 15 km ceiling. It was developed at the Center of Space Technologies of the Institute of Aviation.

The results of construction and tests of this rocket had been presented at the Institute of Aviation in Warsaw during the plenary meeting of the Space and Satellite Research Committee of the Polish Academy of Sciences.

ILR-33 "AMBER" (Polish name: "BURSZTYN") rocket is a project of the Center of Space Technologies of the Institute of Aviation. It is the world\'s first rocket that uses more than 98% hydrogen peroxide as an oxidizer. The technology for obtaining such a high concentration was developed and patented at the Institute of Aviation a few years ago. The exceptionally concentrated oxidizer allows the rocket to achieve better performance at a lower mass - the project leader Eng. Michał Pakosz explained in an interview with PAP. (The commonly known hydrogen peroxide solution has a concentration of only 3%).

ILR-33 AMBER uses an innovative ecological rocket propulsion - instead of the commonly used toxic and caustic hydrazine, the fuel is specially prepared (also at the institute) polyethylene. Pakosz admitted that polyethylene waste could theoretically be used as rocket fuel.

The test flight took place on October 22, 2017 on the training ground in Drawsko Pomorskie. With partially filled fuel and oxidant tanks, the rocket reached the ceiling of almost 15 km - the maximum altitude flight limit for inland training grounds in Poland. However, after full refuelling, it could reach a ceiling of 100 kilometres, which is a conventional boundary of the outer space. The maximum speed is over 1200 m/s - higher than muzzle velocity of a rifle.

The project refers to the history of the Institute of Aviation - meteorological rockets "Meteor", developed in 1967-1974. However, thanks to the latest available technologies and proprietary solutions, ILR-33 "Amber" has performance similar to the historic Meteor 2 rocket at half the launch weight (about 180 kg).

ILR-33 AMBER allows to test rocket components at 10G and conduct tests in micro-gravity conditions during suborbital flights (micro-gravity 1000 times lower than the Earth gravity lasts up to 150 seconds).

"This is an alternative to such solutions as a drop tower, parabolic flights and costly research on board the International Space Station" - Eng. Pakosz told PAP. The rocket will allow to test, for example, prototypes of small devices intended for use in space.

"The development of the rocket is not only about publications in leading international scientific journals and the possibility of conducting research. It is above all a way to carry out a number of commercial project" - Pakosz emphasised. The specialist from the institute mentioned military applications, for example. (PAP)

Author: Paweł Wernicki

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