In the tradition of the Bowery Award for Amateur Rocketry
Armadillo Aerospace, a Texas LLC, does hereby, and until notice to the contrary, endow the High Performance Propulsion Award with $1000 going to the next amateurs documenting a static test of a rocket engine meeting the following criteria:
At least 2600 m/s effective exhaust velocity, calculated as totalNS / ( massInitial - massFinal )
At least an propulsion system (engine, tanks, valves, eetc) mass ratio of six, calculated as massInitial / massFinal
At least a three second burn time and 1000 NS total impulse, although both figures would likely be higher.
"Documenting" shall entail producing a web page describing the materials, construction, and operation of the engine. It doesn't need to be a how-to, but it should be informative enough to provide guidance to other developers.
The intention of this award is to define a concrete initial goal for moving amateur propulsion beyond the nitrous oxide and composite fuels commonly in use, to a level that may eventually enable orbital goals.
Static engine testing is dangerous, and high performance engine testing even more so. To the best of my knowledge, none of the many talented and experienced amateur practitioners have yet met these criteria, so this is definitely not a task for beginners.
The award is small enough that I hope there isn't going to need to be much rule lawyering.
Questions and discussion about the award, including claims of success, should be conducted openly on the aRocket discussion list.
4/5/01: Christian Antkow has matched the original $1000 award, so the total award is now $2000