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Varvill R.,Reaction Engines Ltd
Acta Astronautica | Year: 2010

The SABRE engine for SKYLON has a sophisticated thermodynamic cycle with heat transfer between the fluid streams. The intake airflow is cooled in an efficient counterflow precooler, consisting of many thousand small bore thin wall tubes. Precooler manufacturing technology has been under investigation at REL for a number of years with the result that flightweight matrix modules can now be produced. A major difficulty with cooling the airflow to sub-zero temperatures at low altitude is the problem of frost formation. Frost control technology has been developed which enables steady state operation. The helium loop requires a top cycle heat exchanger (HX3) to deliver a constant inlet temperature to the main turbine. This is constructed in silicon carbide and the feasibility of manufacturing various matrix geometries has been investigated along with suitable joining techniques. A demonstration precooler will be made to run in front of a Viper jet engine at REL's B9 test facility in 2011. This precooler will incorporate full frost control and be built from full size SABRE engine modules. The facility will incorporate a high pressure helium loop that rejects the absorbed heat to a bath of liquid nitrogen. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Source


Patent
Reaction Engines Ltd | Date: 2014-06-05

The present disclosure relates to an engine having two modes of operationair breathing and rocketthat may be used in aerospace applications such as in an aircraft, flying machine, or aerospace vehicle. The engines efficiency can be maximized by using a precooler arrangement to cool intake air in air breathing mode using cold fuel used for the rocket mode. By introducing the precooler and certain other engine cycle components, and arranging and operating them as described, problems such as those associated with higher fuel and weight requirements and frost formation can be alleviated.


Patent
Reaction Engines Ltd | Date: 2014-06-05

A rotational machine such as a turbocompressor has a fluid recovery system for recovering leaked working fluid such as gaseous helium in a helium circuit which has leaked past a shaft seal, a purifier being provided for removing contaminants from the working fluid, and turbocompressor may have one fluid such as helium or hydrogen working through one turbo component such as a turbine thereof and a second working fluid such as air or helium working through a second turbo component such as a compressor thereof, the rotational machine being installable in an engine of a flying machine.


Patent
Reaction Engines Ltd | Date: 2014-06-05

A heat exchanger which may be used in an engine, such as a vehicle engine for an aircraft or orbital launch vehicle. is provided. The heat exchanger may be configured as generally drum-shaped with a multitude of spiral sections, each containing numerous small diameter tubes. The spiral sections may spiral inside one another. The heat exchanger may include a support structure with a plurality of mutually axially spaced hoop supports, and may incorporate an intermediate header. The heat exchanger may incorporate recycling of methanol or other antifreeze used to prevent blocking of the heat exchanger due to frost or ice formation.


Patent
Reaction Engines Ltd | Date: 2014-06-05

A nozzle arrangement for an engine that is operable in both an air-breathing mode, in which the engine combusts air taken in from atmosphere with hydrogen from a store thereof, and in a rocket mode, in which the engine combusts oxygen from a store thereof with hydrogen from the store thereof. The nozzle arrangement may include a rocket combustion chamber fluidly coupled by a rocket throat to a rocket nozzle. The rocket nozzle includes a first portion adjacent the rocket throat and a second portion remote from the rocket throat and axially moveable relative to the first portion between a rocket position in which they form a substantially contiguous rocket nozzle and an air-breathing position in which they overlap to define an annular throat therebetween. The nozzle arrangement may also include at least one air-breathing combustion chamber arranged to be fluidly coupled to the annular throat when the first and second portions of the nozzle are in the air-breathing position.

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