Technology

Draft innovative airborne engine SABRE received the "green light"

Innovative Hybrid DevelopmentSABRE (Synergetic Air-Breathing Rocket Engine) hypersonic jet engine from the British company Reaction Engines, which can work effectively both in the atmosphere and in the conditions of space vacuum, has entered a new phase. Recently, the company was able to successfully defend the conceptual design of the engine in the European and British space agencies of Great Britain. As indicated on the ESA website, now in the next 18 months, developers will test individual components of the new power plant.

In particular, in the coming months in the newUnder construction at a research center in Buckinghamshire, Britain, the first tests of a gas generator demonstrator of a power plant operating on atmospheric air and liquid hydrogen are to be held.

Sketch design is one of the firststages in the development program of any technology. At this stage, the designers determine the possible appearance of the equipment, the main functions, the technologies that can be used in it, preliminary design solutions.

The peculiarity of the new power plant isusing a revolutionary pre-cooling chamber, the conceptual work on which began more than 10 years ago. The pre-cooling system uses an array of thin twisted pipes filled with liquid hydrogen. This design allows you to cool the air flow entering the front air intakes from 1000 degrees to -150 degrees Celsius in 1/1000 seconds, after which it enters the engine. Under normal conditions, this can cause condensation to form in the air, followed by icing of the engine. The company, however, found a way to avoid this.

Diagram of a hybrid air-jet engine SABER

At start and overclocking, SABER will work asthe usual direct-flow jet engine, working on atmospheric air and liquid hydrogen. At this stage, the air will be supplied to the gas generator through bypass air inlets running around the fuel supply system and the oxidizer. When the speed reaches 5 Machs (5966 km / h), the engine will switch to the rocket mode, in which liquid oxygen will be used as an oxidizer. Air ducts will overlap. In rocket mode, the engine will be able to provide acceleration to a speed of 25 Mach numbers.

Artistic presentation: space planes based on hybrid air-jet engines SABER will be fully reusable, and significantly cheaper to operate than conventional missiles

Financial support for project developmentThe innovative SABER engine is implemented by Rolls-Royce and Boeing. ESA (10 million euros) and the British Space Agency (50 million euros) also contributed financially. Earlier it was reported that tests of a fully assembled power plant can take place in 2020-2021.

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