HAL5's Project HALO team has been building, testing and launching hybrid rockets since the
creation of Project HALO in 1994. The Project HALO team consists of engineers and
students, working out of a garage in their spare time with mostly own equipments and supplies.
HAL5 set the record in 1997 with the SL-1 mission, a weather balloon launched rocket that flew
from a perch at 18 km. off the cost of North Carolina to an altitude of over 50 km. We have
done various missions since. After a short hiatus, we are back with a "new" concept.
The desire for lower cost, more reliable and simpler design, HALO decided on a concept of a gas-generator assisted launch tube. The new HALO launch concept borrows heavily from the Atlantic Research Corporation's ARCAS line of sounding rockets that were manufactured and flown from 1958 up until the late 1970s (see below). The team has determined that a similar launch tube design could be used to send a single stage hybrid rocket to an altitude of 100 km. The official boundary of space is 100 km. This mission has been dubbed as Tube Launch 1 or TL-1. The primary objectives for this mission will be to reach an altitude of 100 km with altitude verification by onboard avionics.
We started design work in 2002-2003 time frame. Manufacture for flight motor test #1 started in spring of 2005. TL-1 flight motor static firing #1 occurred in November 2005, static firing #2 occurred in September 2006, and static firing #3 occurred in October 2007. A subscale tube launcher have been built and performed initial testing in 2008 and 2009.
More to come.