The HTX test programme is a manufacturing and performance ground level demonstration of a pre-cooler type heat exchanger in a high enthalpy (temperature) environment, similar to that expected to be seen by the SABRE engine during its air-breathing flight regime – up to ~1000°C air inlet temperature.
The pre-cooler is designed to absorb over 5 megawatts of heat energy from the incoming hot air passing through it so that the outlet air temperature is just above ambient. Proving the capability and performance of this type of heat exchanger in these extreme environmental conditions opens up the capability of operating at the high supersonic cruise speeds envisaged for the SABRE engine in its air-breathing mode.
The complete test assembly and equipment required to undertake this demonstration is being designed, built and assembled by Reaction Engines and its partners at its headquarters in Oxfordshire, UK. Generating the environmental conditions relevant to high speed operation in a ground test facility is possible through the controlled thermal conditions delivered by the TF2 facility in Colorado, managed by Reaction Engines Inc.