Access to Orbit from Scotland with Robin Brand and Leros Bi–Propellant Rocket Engines with Mark Perman

Date: 5 March 2022
Time: 12:00 am - 12:00 am
Location: The Gardener's Arms, 47 Vines Ln, Droitwich, WR9 8LU - and Zoom
BIS West Midlands | International | Online

BIS West Midlands Branch Talks Presents:

Two talks in one afternoon!

1. Access to Orbit from Scotland with Robin Brand

Robin will describe how orbital access to space could be economically implemented by means of vertical launches from the north of Scotland, and will provide an update on current progress towards this goal. He will present a global perspective on launching from Scotland, bringing together the work of the BIS’s Small Launch Vehicle (SLV) feasibility study and the launch site proposals of the Shetland Space Centre (SSC). Robin will build on the SLV study’s work on launch safety corridors, trajectory analysis, launch vehicle design, market analysis and operating economics, and will explain why Unst in the Shetland Islands became the SLV project’s favoured launch location. He will include a realistic “worked example” of a vertical ascent to LEO via an efficient and safe intercepted Hohmann transfer orbit to an SSO of 500 km will be described.

PLEASE NOTE: These are the personal views of the speaker and not those of the BIS.


This talk continues the theme of two of the BIS West Midlands Branch online talks last year – “Skyrora Launch Vehicles” by Robin Hague in April, and “Building the UK’s Spaceport” by Scott Hammond in May.

Copies of the original BIS RISpace 2019 conference paper and the subsequent 2021 JBIS article will be available at the talk.


Robin Brand:

Although an electronic engineer by profession, Robin Brand, has always been interested in space matters.

His early interest was enhanced when science fiction started coming true with the advent of the first Earth orbiting satellites. Those were the days of great public interest, when the times that the satellites could be seen passing overhead were published in the daily newspapers, and their data transmissions could be heard on the radio.

Many years later, he was able to find the time to write and publish the standard work on the British ‘Skylark’ sounding rocket.  In 2015 the book was short-listed for a Sir Arthur Clarke Award for space activity in the media category.

2. Leros Bi–Propellant Rocket Engines with Mark Perman

Mark will describe how an organisation in rural Buckinghamshire came to be a designer and manufacturer of Liquid Propellant Apogee Engines. The Leros Engine design will be described and some applications discussed. Some engine hardware will be available to view and handle on the day (for those attending the pub).


Mark Perman:

Mark Perman joined RPE Westcott as a Mechanical Engineering Apprentice in 1974 on completion of his apprenticeship he worked in the Design Office in the Solid Propellant motor section before moving on to a post in the Liquid Motor Project Office working on the TCPU Long Term Storage and Surveillance Programmes this role later expanded to cover the tanks of the Hydrazine Actuation System (HAS). Additional work included time on Hydrazine Mono-Propellant Thrusters and support to the Leros Bi-propellant engine programme.

In 1998 he moved up to Roxel Summerfield to work on Solid Propellant Rocket Motors. He held posts in project management and Configuration control.


Meeting Timetable

12.30      Committee will be in the Pub setting up the talk and chatting to early arrivals (maybe even grabbing a pie and pint!)

13.45      Meet up with friends and colleagues

13:55      The meeting is available to join online

14:00      Welcome from West Midlands

14:05      Robin Brand – Access to Orbit from Scotland

14.55      Questions and Answers (for Zoom attendees we enable microphones to allow an interactive Q&A session)

15.10      Break – Beer etc

15.30      Mark Perman – Leros Bi-Propellant Rocket Engines

16.15      Questions and Answers (for Zoom attendees we enable microphones to allow an interactive Q&A session)

Plan and Joining Instructions!

  1. Register for the Talk using the link below
    1. For those intending to attend in person please tick the appropriate box on the registration form – It helps the branch to plan if we know roughly how many people are attending in person!)
  3. Before the event, we will send you an email with the joining link for the meeting.
  4. On the day, click meeting link (and follow the on-screen instructions to install Zoom if prompted)



The Talks and Q & A sessions will be recorded (which may capture your name, picture, voice or video) and made available via the West Midlands Facebook group and possibly via the BIS HQ website. You consent to this by registering for the Conference Call/Q & A sessions.

Broadcasting from the pub is an experiment please bear with us in the event of problems!