Australia’s Hypersonix Launch Systems has tested the Spartan fifth-generation scramjet engine in a hypersonic shock tunnel, H2 Bulletin reports.
The tests demonstrated that the fixed geometry scramjet could accelerate to high speeds and deliver high ISP in real flight conditions. The Spartan scramjet engine is fuelled by hydrogen and delivers an ISP five times greater than a typical rocket. It will use Delta-Velos, a re-usable aircraft, where the speed can reach up to 10 times the speed of sound in real life flight conditions.
Hypersonix conducted 111 ground firing tests for the Spartan scramjet engine at the University of Queensland’s T4 shock tunnel test facility in Brisbane. Spartan is a composite, self-igniting re-usable scramjet engine powered by green hydrogen, delivering payloads to lower earth orbit (LEO) in a carbon-efficient way.
The successful results from the shock tunnel tests of Spartan are a significant step in the commercialisation of Hypersonix’s disruptive technology. Hypersonix was awarded last year by the Australian Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources Commercialisation with a grant to expedite the commercialisation of the scramjet technology to enter the small satellite launch market.
David Waterhouse, Hypersonix CEO and co-founder, said, “We put our Spartan scramjet through 111 shock tunnel test shots from Mach 5 to Mach 10, and it came through with flying colours, validating our latest design.”
Hypersonix co-founder, Dr Michael Smart, said, “Launching satellites into LEO in a green and sustainable way has not been attempted before.”
“Most businesses in the emerging small satellite market are using single-use rockets with high pollution to deliver their payloads,” Dr Smart added.