Vert Rotors ‘blasts’ into second stage of ESA test
Posted on 18 Jan 2020 and read 916 times
Edinburgh-based Vert Rotors has embarked on the second stage of a research project with the European Space Agency (ESA) after the successful first phase of testing its patented Conical Rotary Compressor (CRC) to assess its suitability as a pump for rocket engine propellent.
The aim of the programme is to reduce weight and improve efficiency, allowing rockets to travel faster and further. It involves laboratory testing at Vert’s compressor design centre in Edinburgh, as well as work at ESA’s testing facilities in the Netherlands.
The company’s head of design, David Noake, said: “It is a new and different application of our technology. We have been commercially developing the CRC for air compression and gas compression, so to use it as a pump means that there is a different set of parameters for its operation.
"Space is quite a tough sector to get into, because of the need for high-quality assurances — your technology has to go through extremely rigorous testing before it will be approved for use in space, which takes a long time and is quite expensive.
"A company of our size cannot do that on its own, so being part of this ESA programme is a fantastic opportunity.”
Vert Rotors (www.vertrotors.com
) was set up in 2013 to develop the pioneering CRC technology, which is one of the largest innovations in the compressed-air industry for over 40 years.
The technology is capable of continuous operation, producing low noise and high pressure in a single stage.
It has previously been used as a prototype satellite-cooling system, produced in conjunction with the Ministry of Defence’s Centre for Defence Enterprise.