BIS West Midlands Branch Talks

Date: Saturday 21 November 2020
Start time: 13:45
End time: 16:30

Venue: The Gardeners Arms, Vines Lane, Droitwich, Worcs WR9 8LU

12.00 onwards – West Midlands Committee members will be on site setting up chatting with
attendees and grabbing a pie and pint!
13.45 -13.55 – Meet up with Friends and Colleagues
13.55 – 14.10 – Welcome from West Midlands.
14.10 – 15.10 – Adam Hibberd- Optimum Interplanetary Trajectory Software’, from Interplanetary to
15.10 – 15.30 – Break – Beer etc.
15.30 – 16.30 – John Harlow – UK Nitric Acid Oxidiser Rocket Engines

Optimum Interplanetary Trajectory Software’, from Interplanetary to Interstellar
How do you get a spacecraft from Earth to another celestial body in the solar system? An obvious
answer is directly, such as missions to Mars, like the Mars Insight Lander launched in 2018. However,
for certain missions, a sequence of planetary encounters may allow for higher spacecraft masses – an
example of this is the Cassini spacecraft to Saturn.

Amongst other things, Adam Hibberd is a software engineer who has worked in the aerospace
industry and this is a talk about his ‘Optimum Interplanetary Trajectory Software’, OITS, the general
principles and its application. He developed it on his own and it turned out to be quite a powerful
tool, particularly to solve the problem of sending spacecraft to intercept interstellar objects,
‘Oumuamua and Borisov.

UK Nitric Acid Oxidiser Rocket Engines
Nitric acid is one of three liquid oxidizers employed in the development of early liquid propellant
rocket engines at Westcott. Of the other two, hydrogen peroxide was being studied and used in
development of novel torpedo propulsion systems before World War II. At the outset of the war all
further such work was abandoned until wars end. The remaining oxidizer, liquid oxygen, was well
known before the war but did not find use in liquid propellant rocket engines in the UK until the
early 1940’s. Before World War II there appears to have been no rocket engine work at all in the UK
involving the use of nitric acid or indeed of its derivative oxides of nitrogen.
This presentation gives an overview of how work on nitric acid engines began in the UK at Westcott
and follows through to the development of propulsion systems that were used in flight test vehicles
and eventually in the Chevaline Twin Chamber Propulsion Unit (TCPU).
Mention is also made of the use of nitric acid as a liquid propellant rocket oxidizer in other foreign
missile systems imported for use by the UK armed forces.

Please register your attendance via Eventbrite.

Be sociable; support the BIS!