Hybrid Rocket in the Planning Stages

Project Manager, Tamara Titus, sketched a fundamental design while talking over the project with SOAR's mentor.

Project Manager, Tamara Titus, sketched a fundamental design while talking over the project with SOAR’s mentor.

There are two competitions that USF SOAR will be participating in at NASA’s FSGC Hybrid Rocket Competition:

  1. Launch a rocket to maximum altitude
  2. Launch a rocket to as close as 2,000 feet

For rocket closest to 2,000 feet, the previous rocket used in the competition will be used and improved as it placed well the last competition it was used in.

For the maximum altitude, a new rocket will be built. This rocket will be light weight, with a bigger diameter, of 2.14” a motor mount for more sturdy fins and a light weight altimeter bay. The rocket will be longer to compensate for the heavy motor and contribute to the center of pressure and center of gravity distance.

A list of the materials needed to start has been made. As soon as those parts have been ordered and shipped, build days will be announced.

SOAR Leadership Meeting

Andrew (standing, left) and Logan (standing, right) lead a meeting of SOAR's current leaders and managers

Andrew (standing, left) and Logan (standing, right) lead a meeting of SOAR’s current leaders and managers

On September 21st, SOAR President, Logan Sveum, and SOAR Vice President, Andrew Huff, led a meeting of SOAR’s leaders and managers to ensure understanding and integration across all departments and projects. Thirteen people in management positions attended the meeting.

The primary focus of the discussion was the status of the NASA Student Launch (NSL) project. The proposed milestone schedule for the year was reviewed and agreed upon. Project Manager for NSL, Kateryna Turchenko, confirmed feasibility of the timeline with Mechanical Engineering Technical Lead for NSL, Jaime Gomez; and Engineering Manager for NSL, Danielle Petterson. SOAR Chief of Engineering, Tanner Diberardino; Head of Mechanical Engineering, Nick Abate; and Head of Electrical Engineering, Simon Wilson, offered feedback on the plans and discussed details for the development of the recovery systems.

The team also discussed the plans for the FSGC Hybrid Rocket Competition. SOAR Chief of Rocketry, Jamie Waters, announced that chemical engineering student, Tamara Titus, will be the new Project Manager for the Hybrid Competition.

1st Mechanical Engineering Design Meeting

Jaime (left) and Nick (right) lead a mechanical engineering design meeting

Jaime (left) and Nick (right) lead a mechanical engineering design meeting

On September 20th, the mechanical engineering team for NSL met in USF’s Design for X Labs to discuss the fundamental design for our rocket recovery system. Mechanical Engineering Technical Lead for NSL, Jaime Gomez, began the meeting by explaining our proposed design. He and the Head of Mechanical Engineering for SOAR, Nick Abate answered questions and discussed ideas with the team.

This meeting came after several other brainstorming and design meetings addressing the problem of how to land a rocket upright. The mechanical systems are being designed first. Once the mechanical plans are solidified, the electrical engineering team and the computer science and engineering teams will begin work on developing supporting systems. The mechanical engineering team has gone through dozens of fundamental mechanisms, and countless iterations of each idea.

SOAR Submits Proposal for NASA Student Launch 2016 – 2017

SOAR members and managers meet to discuss the designs that will be submitted in 2016 -2017 NSL Proposal

SOAR members and managers meet to discuss the designs that will be submitted in 2016 – 2017 NSL proposal

On September 29th, SOAR submitted the proposal for 2016 – 2017 NASA Student Launch Initiative (NSL). After several discussion among the SOAR executive board and SOAR’s mentors, and several design meetings, SOAR has decided to pursue the “Target detection and upright landing” option for the NSL competition.

The requirements for that option of the competition, taken from the NASA Student Launch Handbook, are:

Target detection and upright landing

  • Teams shall design an onboard camera system capable of identifying and differentiating between 3 randomly placed targets.
    • Each target shall be represented by a different colored ground tarp located on the field.
    • Target samples shall be provided to teams upon acceptance and prior to PDR.
    • All targets shall be approximately 40’X40’ in size.
    • The three targets will be adjacent to each other, and that group shall be within 300 ft. of the launch pads.
  • After identifying and differentiating between the three targets, the launch vehicle section housing the cameras shall land upright, and provide proof of a successful controlled landing.
  • Data from the camera system shall be analyzed in real time by a custom designed on-board software package that shall identify and differentiate between the three targets.

 

NASA will review all submissions and select which groups will continue. If chosen to continue, SOAR will have about six months to finish all design and production of the rocket and recovery mechanisms before going to Huntsville, Alabama for the NSL Competition.

SOAR, NSL Proposal 2016 – 2017