The Bloodhound Project Suggested projects for students

The page below contains a range of project ideas that have been identified by the Engineering Team working on BLOODHOUND SSC. This list has been collated in response to requests from students at schools, colleges and universities across the world for project ideas based around the World Land Speed Record car. They can be tackled by anyone at any level.

We're sorry, but the Team in the BLOODHOUND design office can't support any projects you undertake from this list as they are too busy working on the Car. However, if you would like to share what you've discovered, go to our Contacts page, choose Engineering from the list and we will pass it on for them to look at.

1. Runway wheels

A set of wheels is needed for moving the Car on tracks and runways. The wheels would be aluminium and require solid tyres. The project would involve the rubber interface with the wheel, some solid tyre research and testing for speeds up to 200mph. The tyres would probably be hand made like F1 tyres.

2. Wheel tuning

Tune the compliance of the rubber for the wheels in 1 above, to the compliance of the desert.

3. Desert compliance

Carry out tests on a sector of the car wheels on the desert to measure the compliance of the desert surface. Tests should include loading the wheel sector and moving it across the surface of the proposed desert.

4. Lateral stiffness and stability of wheels

Cranfield University has a vehicle that has been used at Millbrook to check aircraft wheels. Using this or similar methods, test the stiffness and stability of the wheels and wheel design.

5. Design of the hydrogen peroxide fuel tank

The hydrogen peroxide fuel for the rocket needs to be fed to the fuel pump through flow straighteners. However, there is very little room in the vehicle for long flow straighteners. The pump also needs to be close to the fuel tank. Find a solution to this.

6. Wheel stress and strain measurement

Finite element analysis has shown various stress points on the wheels. A project is needed to measure stresses and strains on a spinning rig to validate the finite element work.

7. Steering force simulation

There is very little natural feel in the steering mechanism. An artificial feed system is required. How can the forces in the track rods etc be measured.

8. Will the parachute work?

How can the parachute system be tested?

9. Canopy sealing

A design for fastening and sealing the canopy is required. It should be as simple as possible. How can a system be tested when made?

10. Windscreen

Examine the windscreen design. What are the problems of internal reflection, bird strike etc? How can these be overcome?

11. Turn round problems

A procedure is needed for turning the car round between runs. How can the wheels be inspected between runs? How can the wheels be changed if necessary?

12. Air intake auxiliary inlets

The engine air inlet may require auxiliary inlets. A design is needed and the design needs to be tested.

13. Crashworthiness of cockpit

Tests to demonstrate the crashworthiness of the cockpit are required

14. Refuelling procedures

All the systems - engine fuel, rocket hydrogen peroxide, cooling system, fuel for hydrogen peroxide pump etc - will need refuelling between runs. Procedures are needed for all these. What do you suggest?

15. Paint test

A simple test is required to see if the paint will stay on the vehicle at supersonic speeds. A test of a sample on a plate in a supersonic tunnel would supply the answer.

16. Air brakes

Investigate the forces on the air brakes and their operation.

17. Thermodynamic balance of the cooling system

The engine that pumps the hydrogen peroxide to the rocket needs to be cooled. The present design is an ice/water system. What is the cooling time of the ice/water mixture? What is the delay in cooling capacity if the vehicle is delayed from running for some time? What is the thermodynamic balance of the ice/water mix and the heat from the engine and other heat sources in the vehicle? An operating procedure is required for various scenarios.

18. Rocket motor force measurement

The rocket is to be loaded on to the vehicle for each run. It will be fitted on guide rails or something similar. A strategy is required to measure any asymmetry of thrust at the rocket exit nozzle. Also it is necessary to know if the system is working when the rocket is fitted.

19. Dynamics of the fuel tank

The fuel for the jet engine is held in a tank of irregular shape. The minimum amount of fuel is to be loaded for a run as a weight requirement, BUT the tank must not run dry. So enough fuel must be loaded to keep the engine running. The various 'g' forces will move the fuel around in the tank, but there must always be enough in contact with the fuel pump inlet to feed the engine. All these dynamics need solving.