Test Firing An AI-Generated, 3D Printed Rocket Engine

With over 17 years of writing experience, Jonathan has had a passion for all things tech-related, ever since watching Inspector Gadget as a child. He's disassembled countless appliances and managed to put a few back together, and one still works. When not writing, he can often be found playing video games or accidentally hurting himself in the garage.

Developed by Dubai-based engineering firm LEAP71 using their Large Computational Engineering Model, Noyron RP, this rocket engine was designed entirely with artificial intelligence in two weeks, then 3D printed out of copper before being test-fired. Would I trust a rocket engine created by artificial intelligence? Probably more than I would one developed with my own brainpower. That has dangerous explosion written all over it.

According to LEAP71 co-founder, Lin Kayser, “We are extremely pleased with the outcome. The engine worked flawlessly on the first go, including a long-duration run, that validated steady-state. The burn time was only limited by the amount of fuel available and lasted for 12 seconds. The team at Airborne Engineering Ltd in the UK executed the test campaign brilliantly.”

The engine uses a combination of kerosene and cryogenic liquid oxygen (LOX) as fuel. It has a series of cooling channels surrounding the engine, which the kerosene is pumped through for active cooling before being ignited in the combustion chamber. While the combustion chamber can reach temperatures as high as 3,000°C, the engine’s exterior maintains a temperature around 200°C thanks to this cooling, and prevents melting.

This marks the first time a rocket engine has been designed without human intervention, and LEAP71 hopes to progress the field of engineering even further through the use of Computational Engineering, which can create a new iteration of a rocket engine in only 15 minutes. Wow, I can’t even decide what I want to eat in 15 minutes and we have artificial intelligence systems designing rocket engines in the same amount of time.

[via VoxelMatters]

Journalist at Technabob | Website | + posts

With over 17 years of writing experience, Jonathan has had a passion for all things tech-related, ever since watching Inspector Gadget as a child. He's disassembled countless appliances and managed to put a few back together, and one still works. When not writing, he can often be found playing video games or accidentally hurting himself in the garage.