2019 August 6 This summer the Rocketry Division competed in IREC 2019 in the 3rd annual Spaceport America Cup! The team traveled out to Spaceport America, NM to launch AMR-19 to 10,000 ft with our COTS solid motor. AMR-19's design included modular fins and a new electronics system. Due to failure in the fins construction the fins sheared during launch, completely delaminating the carbon fiber from the honeycomb inside. AMR-19 was recovered successfully, however, with the only damage coming to the replaceable fins. The Rocketry Division plans on re-using AMR-19's body tube for future launches and competitions.
2018 April 8 The Rocketry Division has been progressing along the schedule for constructing AMR-18 throughout the semester. Changes have been made to the overall design to make the vehicle both easier to construct and safer to operate. Due to Solidworks graciously providing the organization with copies of their professional software, the entire vehicle has been modeled digitally, with the ability to change components and simulate how the components will assemble for launch. Since the previous update, the following components have been fabricated:
Nose cone was printed using PLA filament using our in-house 3D printer. To address previous concerns with structural failure at launch speeds, both the number and size of the internal supports have been increased dramatically, and the outside coated in multiple layers of a thermo-set epoxy to alleviate heating concerns at launch.
Coupler was fabricated from additional 10 oz. e-glass fiberglass, and reduced to fit inside both of the larger body tubes. This houses a set of three aluminum rails, which have been machined to attach to our electronic sleds, as well as the majority of our payload mass. These removable mounts will serve to allow easier removal of the necessary altimeters and telemetry boards that are needed for flight, and will line up with an exterior hatch for easy access.
The flight electronics this year include redundant StratoLogger CF's for main and reserve deployment charge firing and on-board data collection in addition to a BigRedBee 900Hz telemetry system. These are mirrored in the glider, as both require device deployment and live data transmission during flight.
To alleviate concerns regarding tracking and general safety of the glider payload, a second version of AMG is being constructed. The new version of the glider includes more rigid carbon fiber spars, 3D printed internal supports, and sewn Tacron wings, spring loaded for loading into the rocket body. Tracking smoke charges have also been added to the tail end of the body, to be activated at deployment and at a point closer to the ground. Below is a screenshot of the V2 CAD.
The team is targeting an April 14th date for a low power test launch of the entire vehicle in association with the Tripoli Houston rocketry group. This will allow for a proof of concept of the vehicle design and payload, as well as a verification of current simulation methods.
2018 Febuary 14 Since the beginning of the fall 2017 semester, the rocketry division has been very busy with the competition rocket for IREC this summer. The vehicle is being entered in the same 10,000 ft category as last year, and boasts multiple improvements over last year's entry, AMR-17. Models of the vehicle have been made in numerous CAD programs, including Solidworks, for design and analytical reasons. The majority of components for this vehicle are fabricated with C.O.T.S. parts and materials with the intent to make the project and payload more robust and easier to work with. The following design and manufacturing improvements were incorporated into this year's entry:
Body tubes were fabricated from a heavier fiberglass weave compared to AMR-17, resulting in a thicker, less compressible composite body tube.
Fins were created using a cardboard honeycomb material sandwiched between three layers of uni-directional carbon fiber to reduce fin flutter.
Machined aluminum coupler, for both payload and electronic storage and improved structural stability in flight.
Live telemetry for both the launch vehicle and glider payload, enabling tracking from the ground and recovery.
2017 December 20 The Aero Mavericks Rocketry division is shown in the Spaceport America cup 2017 video! Check it out below.
2017 August 26 This summer the Rocketry Division competed at IREC at New Mexico in the first inaugural Spaceport America Cup. We competed in the 10,000 ft solid motor class with collegiate teams from across the world. IREC not only required for us to build a rocket, but we also were encouraged to design a scientific payload to meet the 10 lb payload requirement. We challenged ourselves by designing and building an autonomous glider that would take barometric data once it launched from the rocket at apogee. The competition had two sections of judging: a poster and design section where judges got their first look at the rockets as well as the launch section where teams launched their rockets at Spaceport America. Unfortunately due a black powder failure, our rocket's recovery systems did not deploy. The rocket was declared ballistic and it shattered on impact to the ground. Despite the destruction of our rocket, IREC was an excellent learning experience for the Rocket Division. We plan on competing in IREC once again this year.
2017 February 04 We’ve made significant progress on the IREC rocket this past semester, finalized the designs for the rocket, and have begun laying up the fiberglass tubes for the air frame. We intend to 3D print the nosecone this week and will move on to producing the inner tube and centering rings to house the motor.
For our payload, we’ve decided to go with a glider and custom designed flight control system. The glider will deploy at apogee and glide down to the ground, while an on-board “black box” flight data recorder will log data. The glider’s design is nearing completion and we plan on further testing and prototyping its design and control system.
2016 September 06 With AIRFest over, the Rocketry Division is beginning preparations for the Intercollegiate Rocket Engineering Competition (IREC) 2017! IREC is one of the largest rocketry competitions in the country, with over 50 teams and 500 individuals participating. The division hopes to make its first year participating in the competition a successful one!
2016 August 05 With significant progress being made on the new lab design and the addition of completely new furniture and workbenches, the Rocketry Division is finally ready to start this year's preparations for AIRFest 22! Stop by the new lab in Woolf Hall 113 if you are interested!