SpaceX Raptor 2 Testing | Elon Musk’s New Electric Actuators?
SpaceX is coming closer to launching its first Falcon Heavy rocket with an upgraded payload fairing. SpaceX has been testing its new electric actuators in the Raptor 2 engine recently and the video from a live test just leaked online. These actuators are extremely important for powering the engines of the rocket during launching and any malfunction could result in catastrophic consequences for the company. The powerful new electric actuator is integrated with Raptor 2, giving it an additional boost in performance.
Even though it’s still early days for this technology, companies that have already made use of these electric actuators include Boeing and Airbus. These new actuators could be used by future SpaceX rockets that power their engines through electricity instead of chemical fuels like kerosene or liquid oxygen. Earlier this year, we reported about how Boeing was also looking into this technology to power their hypersonic jets that can fly at supersonic speeds over land at Mach 5 speeds (five times the speed of sound).
What is an electric actuator?
An electric actuator is a kind of motor that converts electricity into motion, just like a combustion-engine powered motor does. However, it doesn’t use a spark, flame, or combustion and instead uses electricity for power.
The way an electric actuator works is by using magnetic forces and semiconductors to convert electrical energy into mechanical energy. The actuator can be made from permanent magnets, neodymium iron-samarium alloy, or any other material that can produce strong, controllable magnetic forces.
When an electric current is passed through the magnets, the motor is powered by electromagnetic forces and can produce rotational energy. A significant advantage of an electric actuator over a combustion engine is that it doesn’t pollute the atmosphere in the same way as a combustion engine.
In fact, electric actuators are more efficient and can produce much more power than combustion engines. Moreover, if the right semiconductors are used, the motor can be made quieter than combustion engines and produce less noise pollution.
SpaceX Raptor 2 Testing: Elon Musk’s New Electric Actuators?
Recently, SpaceX has posted a video of one of its tests of the new electric actuators. The video shows the Raptor 2 engine undergoing several tests and the start of an engine test for the Falcon Heavy rocket.
The video starts with a live test at the NASA Glenn Research Center in Ohio. The engineers are testing the Raptor 2 engines and are trying to get the engine to work continuously for over four minutes. During the test, the engine is lit up with red flames and then switched off.
The engineers are then trying to restart the engine after a short while. However, they are unable to get it to run again. However, soon they restart the engine and the flames die down.
A few seconds later, they restart the engine again and switch it off again. After a few seconds, the engine is restarted again, but this time it works flawlessly and flies for a few seconds. The engineers then shut it down and shut down the test chamber.
The Raptor 2 engine is the second-generation version of the Merlin engine that powers Falcon 9 rockets.
The new engines are capable of more thrust than the first-generation Merlin engines, which were first used on the Falcon 9 rocket. The engines are powered by liquid oxygen and kerosene fuel and are designed for deep space missions.
Live Test of Falcon Heavy with Raptor Engine
During the live test at NASA Glenn, the engine is lit up with a red flame and then switched off. The engineers then switch on the engine again and observe that it works flawlessly. After a few seconds, the flame dies down and the engineers then restart the engine and observe that it works flawlessly again.
They then switch off the engine and the test is over. The engineers are testing the engine in a test chamber of the NASA Glenn Research Center. The test chamber is specially designed to withstand the extreme heat generated by rocket engines.
The engineers are trying to get the engine to work continuously for over four minutes. They are also trying to perform several other tests during the test, like testing the engine’s thrust, pressure, and rupture chamber pressures.
Raptor 2 Testing: Improvement Over the First Version?
One of the major improvements in the Raptor 2 engine is the integration of the electric actuators. Earlier, Raptor 2 was powered by a combustion engine. However, as the company is trying to move towards more environmentally friendly technology, SpaceX has decided to make use of electric actuators.
The electric actuators can be used to produce thrust by using electricity. A significant advantage of an electric actuator over a combustion engine is that it doesn’t pollute the atmosphere in the same way as a combustion engine.
In fact, electric actuators are more efficient and can produce much more power than combustion engines. Moreover, if the right semiconductors are used, the motor can be made quieter than combustion engines and produce less noise pollution. All these advantages make electric actuators a very promising technology and they can be used in a wide range of applications.
Future for SpaceX Actuator Technology
If this new technology proves to be successful, it could be used in the future on the Blue Moon and Mars Colonial Transporter (MCT) missions. These missions would be capable of transporting humans to the Moon and Mars, and they would need to have engines that are capable of running on electricity.
SpaceX has already announced that it is planning to use a new Super Heavy Lift launch vehicle for the MCT missions. This launch vehicle will be capable of transporting payloads that weigh up to 100 tons to the Moon and Mars. The new generation of electric actuators could be used in future for powering the engines of these heavy launch vehicles.
It is also worth noting that Boeing was also reportedly working on electric actuators for future hypersonic jets. If these two companies prove to be successful in integrating electric actuators into their rockets and aircraft, then it could be a major threat to SpaceX in the future.
Companies are always looking to improve their technology and future launches. SpaceX is one such company that is always trying to improve its technology. Earlier, it was using the first-generation Merlin engines powered by liquid oxygen and kerosene fuel. The new Raptor 2 engine is capable of generating more thrust than the first-generation Merlin engines, which were first used on the Falcon 9 rocket.
It is also designed for deep space missions. Now, with the integration of the new electric actuators into the Raptor 2 engine, it could lead to a revolution in the space industry. With the advancement in the electric actuator technology, it could be possible to power future SpaceX launches using only electricity.