Project HARP

Journal of Aircraft and Spacecraft Technology, Volume 1, Issue 4, Pages 249-257, 2017; DOI:10.3844/jastsp.2017.249.257

9 Pages Posted: 28 Dec 2017

See all articles by Relly Victoria Petrescu

Relly Victoria Petrescu

Polytechnic University of Bucharest - ARoTMM-IFToMM

Raffaella Aversa

Advanced Material Lab - Department of Architecture and Industrial Design

B. Akash

American University of Ras Al Khaimah

Filippo Berto

Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) - Department of Engineering Design and Materials

Antonio Apicella

Advanced Material Lab - Department of Architecture and Industrial Design

Florian Ion Petrescu

Polytechnic University of Bucharest - ARoTMM-IFToMM

Date Written: December 23, 2017

Abstract

The HARP project, abbreviated from the High Altitude Project, was considered a joint project of the United States Department of Defense and Canada's Department of Defense, originally designed to study low-cost re-entry vehicles. Generally, such projects used rocket launchers to launch missiles, costly and often inefficient. The HARP project used a non-rocket space launch method based on a very large weapon capable of sending objects at high altitudes using very high speeds. Beginning in 1961, the HARP project was largely created due to the concerns and insistence of the talented engineer Gerald Bull, a controversial ballistics engineer and he and his project, but ultimately successful, the engineer who led the entire project. Bull developed the high-speed weaponry technique while working on the Ballistic Missile (ABM) and Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) research at CARDE in the 1950s, firing high-speed interceptor rocket models, unlike other researchers who proposed to use the construction of higher wind tunnels, which would have been much more expensive. The ABM project eventually ended without providing a working system, but Bull was convinced that the missile systems he developed would have had potential and in this way, he began to look for other ways of using technology. He clearly needed the trust and funding of his project. Funding for this project came from the Defense Production Department in the form of a $ 500,000 grant and a $ 200,000 loan from the McGill Board of Governors. The United States has been testing new ICBM systems and has requested repeated testing of new reentry vehicles. Bull suggested that the program could be run through its method with much lower spending if the test vehicles would be lifted from a large cannon, unlike the classic rocket method. This would also allow the test program to be very accelerated since repeated pulling was easy to arrange compared to the repeated use of the missiles. The key concept was the use of an oversized gun that throws a sub-dimensional vehicle mounted in a shoe, allowing it to be pulled (thrown, ejected) with a very high acceleration, reaching very high speeds. The entire assembly of the test cannon was embedded in a mixture of sand and epoxy, proving more than capable of withstanding the launching rigors. The project was based on a flight line at Seawell Airport in Barbados at 13.077221 °N 59.475641 °W, of which the shells were pulled east to the Atlantic Ocean using a 16 inch (410 mm) long, (20.5 m); the cannula was then expanded (doubled) to the length of (41 m). In 1966, the third and final 16-inch cannon was installed at a new test site in Yuma, Arizona. On November 18, 1966, the Yuma pistol pulled a (180 kg) Martlet 2 projectile at a speed of 2100 m/s, sending it briefly into space and setting an altitude of 180 km (110 miles).

Note: © 2017 Relly Victoria Petrescu, Raffaella Aversa, Bilal Akash, Filippo Berto, Antonio Apicella and Florian Ion Tiberiu Petrescu. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Suggested Citation

Petrescu, Relly Victoria and Aversa, Raffaella and Akash, B. and Berto, Filippo and Apicella, Antonio and Petrescu, Florian Ion, Project HARP (December 23, 2017). Journal of Aircraft and Spacecraft Technology, Volume 1, Issue 4, Pages 249-257, 2017; DOI:10.3844/jastsp.2017.249.257 . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3092679

Relly Victoria Petrescu

Polytechnic University of Bucharest - ARoTMM-IFToMM ( email )

Romania

Raffaella Aversa

Advanced Material Lab - Department of Architecture and Industrial Design ( email )

81031 Aversa (CE)
Italy

B. Akash

American University of Ras Al Khaimah ( email )

American University of Ras Al Khaimah
School of Graduate Studies and Research
Ras Al Khaimah, RAK 10021
United Arab Emirates

HOME PAGE: http://www.aurak.ac.ae

Filippo Berto

Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) - Department of Engineering Design and Materials ( email )

Trondheim
Norway

Antonio Apicella

Advanced Material Lab - Department of Architecture and Industrial Design ( email )

81031 Aversa (CE)
Italy

Florian Ion Petrescu (Contact Author)

Polytechnic University of Bucharest - ARoTMM-IFToMM ( email )

Romania

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