Hypersonix completes successful hydrogen tests at Bulwer Island


Bulwer Island HIL testing set-up. Image credit: Hypersonix.

Hypersonix Launch Systems announced they have completed all successful green hydrogen tests covered by the Department of Industry, Science, Energy & Resources Accelerating Commercialisation (ACA) grant on 31 March. 

The grant project called for the manufacture of a scramjet engine prototype, SPARTAN, and its hydrogen fuel system. 

The company conducted high-pressure hydrogen gas flow tests through its additive manufactured scramjet combustor at Bulwer Island on test rigs designed by its engineering team. The hardware in the loop (HIL) bench top tests were the final series of steps required by the Accelerating Commercialisation grant awarded to Hypersonix in 2020. 

The successful tests have proven that the scramjet engine fuel system is working as designed and will inform future builds of the fuel system. 

Hypersonix Launch Systems 3D printed the SPARTAN scramjet engine in Australia with Amiga Engineering to Hypersonix’s precise specifications. It was delivered to undergo a series of measurements and tests, initially using Nitrogen and then hydrogen, through the first quarter. 

“The SPARTAN scramjet powers all Hypersonix’s unmanned hypersonic UAVs currently under development,” Hypersonix managing director David Waterhouse said. 

“There is also a composite version of the SPARTAN scramjet engine currently in development.” 

Bench test. Image credit: Hypersonix.

The 3D printed DART AE technology demonstrator, launching in 2023, will feature a single SPARTAN scramjet engine. 

Both the Delta Velos Demonstrator and Delta Velos Orbiter will use four SPARTAN scramjet engines. The Delta Velos Orbiter is the large-scale hypersonic vehicle designed to place small satellites into Low Earth Orbit. 

“It was an extremely exciting and pleasing week to finally run green hydrogen through our 3D printed scramjet engine as part of the testing at Bulwer Island,” Hypersonix Scramjet Propulsion engineer Ryan Whitside said. 

The bench tests were led by Andrew Dann, engineering manager at Hypersonix. 

The ACA Grant accelerated the company’s steps to prove its technology, grow the team and introduce processes required to commercialise its products. 

The team is excited to work on their new funded projects and getting ready for the next build and growth stage of Hypersonix Launch Systems.