Emerson is sponsoring the Texas Rocket Engineering Laboratory (TREL) in the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin) — the company will donate TESCOM™ regulators that students from this interdisciplinary research lab will use to fabricate TREL’s historic Halcyon rocket.
More than twice the length of average collegiate rockets, the Halcyon rocket has a launch goal that’s 338,000 feet higher than the current record for a bipropellant liquid propulsion rocket. More than 300 TREL engineers and aerospace pioneers have worked on the project since rough sketches began two years ago.
By donating TESCOM regulators for Halcyon, Emerson provides critical materials for the rocket’s fluid systems. Located onboard, some regulators will maintain pressure levels within the fuel and oxidizer tanks during engine ignition. Others will manage the pressure of the reaction control system and the purge system that will shut down the engine post-burn, an action that is critical to the success of the mission.
With an established heritage in the aerospace market, Emerson’s TESCOM product portfolio includes a broad range of standard and custom-engineered pressure control solutions that are cleaned to CGA 4.1 and ASTM G93 standards and conform to strict military and international standards. This comprehensive scope and quality assurance allows TREL to tailor their product selection and choose components that exactly meet or exceed their requirements.
The TESCOM products TREL has selected for their Halcyon rocket include the 26-2000 Series air actuated regulator, which will be piloted by the ER5000 Series electropneumatic PID controller, for automated, precision control of the fuel tank pressures.
TREL also selected the 44-1500 Series pressure regulator, which will atop the rocket to control pressure to the Reaction Control Stabilization (RCS) system; the 44-1300 Series pressure regulator to control the Main Engine Cut Off (MECO); and the BB-1 Series miniature pressure regulator to maintain the pneumatic supply to a number of components, including the ER5000 PID controllers.
TREL members use three separate state-of-the-art spaces to complete work on Halcyon. The TREL Design Space is used to develop component schematics, system requirements and proprietary software programs, while the Fabrication and Assembly Facility is equipped with the tools, equipment and test stands needed to assemble the rocket, as well as a full clean room to ensure safe and effective construction. Finally, the team works closely with Firefly Aerospace to conduct high energy tests like engine hot fire in Briggs, Texas. The Halcyon rocket is scheduled to launch in 2022.
“We are proud and excited to partner with TREL to support the development of their Halcyon rocket,” said Nick Buccheri, vice president, general manager of TESCOM at Emerson. “At Emerson, we’re deeply committed to STEM education, so it’s an honor to provide these ambitious pioneers who are on their way to making history with the same components that leading aerospace companies depend on.”
“Getting to partner directly with and be supported by Emerson in our mission to launch Halcyon is incredibly exciting for our (fluid systems) team at the Texas Rocket Engineering Lab,” said Roman Stromeyer, a UT Austin aerospace engineering master’s degree student and member of the Halcyon team. “These pressure regulators will control all the critical functions of our vehicle and enable us to successfully carry out our suborbital flight to space — an absolutely groundbreaking accomplishment for collegiate rocketry.”
TREL comprises 249 members across more than 20 different majors, including engineering, natural sciences, fine arts, liberal arts, as well as communications and law and business. The lab provides guidance, resources and membership to the next generation of aerospace professionals.
In addition to TREL, Emerson has partnered with more than 350 universities and technical colleges worldwide in its dedication to making STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education and experiences accessible. The company has also donated millions of dollars to inspire and empower future generations and has reached more than 2,000 students through its “We Love STEM” events, 30 of which the company has now hosted in 12 different countries.