Ukrainian Vitaly Yemets won to speak at the International Aerospace Congress in Dubai, UAE
In short, Ukraine may soon become a leader in the development of space rockets in launching nanosatellites into orbit. The total global space market over the next few years is estimated at more than $ 30 billion.
Vitaly Yemets, technical director of the Ukrainian startup Promin Aerospace, became one of 3,370 participants from 86 countries who applied. And he won, receiving the right to tell the world about a special launch vehicle for launching nano and pico satellites, which is currently being developed by the company in Ukraine. The main innovation is a unique engine that burns a solid fuel rod during flight, which is the body of the rocket.
On October 27, 2021, at the IAF SPACE PROPULSION SYMPOSIUM, he presented new information about the latest research conducted by the Promin’s team “Heat flows in the gasification chamber of the polymer propelled autophage launch vehicle”.
The approval of Vitaly's speech at the Solid and Hybrid Engines section was coordinated by representatives of NASA and other space structures: George Schmidt, NASA Glenn Research Center, United States; Giorgio Saccoccia, (ASI), Italy; Christophe Bonhomme, (CNES), France; Riheng Zheng, (CASIC), China; Vanessa Vial, SAFRAN, France; Elena Toson, T4i, Italy.
What information impressed the congressional audience?
The modern launch vehicles with liquid and solid rocket engines can have disadvantages when it comes to price of launch, ecology and efficiency. The autophage rockets can be so small that they theoretically can deliver only one small satellite per launch which is not possible with traditional rockets. Among other advantages described in is the simplicity of production and safety of handling. Space debris problem and safety of objects on orbit will become one of the main challenges for near-future space missions. As the autophage rocket doesn’t have the metal tanks delivered to orbit it means a significant decrease of delivering junk together with payload.
The autophage launch vehicle concept is one the promising ways in creation of a new type of cheap small-lift launch vehicle. The necessity of creation of such rockets is caused the increasing demand for small satellite launches. The application of polymer fuel, polyethylene in particular, allows a number of advantages to be realized: low cost and high energy efficiency, however, it requires the introduction of a gasification chamber into the engine design. With the help of the mathematical model proposed in the work, heat flows and processes in the combustion chamber and gasification chamber of an autophase engine were investigated. It is shown that in the process of fuel combustion sufficiently powerful heat fluxes are formed, as a result of which the engine structure is heated. Part of the generated heat is used for the polymer fuel gasification process. The theoretically obtained temperature values closely agree with experimental data.
At Promin Aerospace, a team of developers has successfully carried out theoretical work on the design of missiles, ballistics and engine combustion. Fuel and oxidizer gasification processes require separate investigation.
The Ukrainian company still faces many challenges. Expectations of a new round of investments (in the first round the company has already received $ 500,000 for engine development and testing), completion of the rocket itself and its test launch, first commercial launches (expected launch cost up to $ 200,000, which is a significant price advantage in the market in terms of short preparation times for launch and the absence of the need for long queues and large spaceports). However, the attention to the Ukrainian's speech at the International Aerospace Congress this year gives us confidence in the success of both Promin Aerospace and Ukraine's success in regaining the status of a powerful space power.
Head of Communications Promin Aerospace