Building on past successes in student rocketry, we are undertaking our largest rocket project to date, with a self-developed bi-propellant liquid engine at the forefront of our engineering efforts. As the pathfinder for our future spaceshot-rocket, we look towards a Norwegian future in space. Bifrost is a true testament to our commitment to innovation and exploration.
Liquid ethanol & nitrous oxide
On 11th of March we conducted the first hotfire test on the prototype bi-propellant liquid engine, shown in the video above. The prototype has a steel uncooled chamber with throat, and the test was a success.
3,5kN of thrust
2sec full burn
Bifrost's bi-liquid propulsion system is fully researched and developed in-house, using knowledge and test facilities from our previous Hybrid engine R&D project. The airframe is in large a flight-proven design previously used on Stetind (2021) and Birkeland (2022), with the SRAD recovery system and avionics also building upon previous years' designs. You can find a more detailed description below.
Outer Structure - The airframe is load-bearing and the lower half is filament wound carbon fiber, while the upper sections are glass fiber due to avionic’s requirement of radio transparency. Four carbon-fiber fins ensure proper vehicle stability.
Inner Structure - Designed with modularity and assembly in mind, while still handling flight forces and minimizing the mass.
Payload - Biosat, a 3U CubeSat made by our friends at Orbit NTNU.
Recovery - Ensures successful recovery of the rocket with two self-sewn parachutes. The separation of the forward and aft airframe is done by filling the airtight chute bay with pressurized gas. The recovery functions can be activated by both our self-designed system and a COTS system.
Avionics - The flight computer, engine control and other electronics. Responsible for controlling and monitoring propulsion and recovery systems, gathering and logging sensor data, doing onboard processing, and transmitting data to the ground station.
Feed System - Supplies the combustion chamber with fuel and oxidiser, allowing the engine to generate thrust once ignited. The system consists of propellant tanks, a nitrogen pressurization system, and plenty of valves and piping to enable filling, control and emptying of the tanks.
Combustion Chamber - As the most complex part of the rocket, the combustion chamber is where the propellants are injected and burned to provide thrust. The system consists of a 3D printed burn chamber and bulkhead, an injector plate and an exit nozzle.
Ground Station & Radio Tracker - Receives and stores telemetry data from the rocket, as well as arming the software and enabling the filling process. The radio tracking system keeps the ground radio pointed to the rocket, ensuring an optimal connection and an additional source of position data to aid with recovering the rocket.
Test Site - The facilities & logistics concerned with propulsion testing in a controlled environment. Initial hardware is tested in a horizontal configuration, with the combustion chamber parallel to the ground. New generations of flight hardware will eventually be tested in a vertical configuration.