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Development and Construction of an Experimental Sounding Rocket

Cameron Brand, Kiren Caldwell, Benjamin Kirschmeier, Ryan Mossbarger, Dr. Murray Snyder Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering Department, The George Washington university, Washington, DC 20001 Introduction
Sounding rockets deliver a payload to a desired altitude Payloads include microgravity and atmospheric experiments Motivation for construction is to participate in the Experimental Sounding Rocket Associations Intercollegiate Competition Objective is to construct a rocket capable of carrying a 10 lb payload to 10,000 ft

Balsa wood blocks were turned down to form the Von Karman nosecone 5 in diameter extruded aluminum served as the body tube for the rocket. Total body tube length is 58 in. The fins were 3D printed out of ABS plastic A custom motor housing was machined from a 0.25 in thick, 4 in diameter aluminum piping.

Initial test with low power motor was performed to verify the stability of the rocket and its recoverability

Future Work
An Active Vertical Stabilization (AVS) System will be implemented to increase the apogee CFD simulations are being performed to fine tune the feedback controller Wind tunnel and water channel tests will be used to validate CFD and investigate downwash effects
Equations of Motion:

Figure 7: Rocket taking off with low power motor Figure 4: Nose Cone Figure 1: OpenRocket 3D diagram Figure 5: Fins

A second test with the full size motor to validate the expected apogee and performance.
Figure 10: Definition of Rocket axes

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Nosecone follows a Haack Series-Von Karman profile to minimize drag for desired length and diameter Fins are cropped delta with a NACA 0010 cross section Length and diameter were chosen based off of the onboard components Avionics Parachute Motor Payload A solid propellant motor with a total impulse of 5015 Ns was chosen

Figure 6: Custom Motor Housing

Simulations were performed in OpenRocket Provided stability margins, apogee, velocity, and acceleration for the rocket in flight
Figure 8: High power motor altimeter flight data

Figure 11: Pro/Engineer model of assembled control system

Figure 12: FLUENT simulation of canard Figure 9: Rocket launch with high power motor

Actual apogee was too low Modifications need to be made to reduce drag and weight OpenRocket simulations had an error 0.3% with regards to apogee prediction Reduce parachute deployment altitude to ease recoverability

A Low Altitude Reconnaissance Drone will be deployed at apogee Onboard GPS and parachute control will guide the system to a desired location A downward facing camera will take high resolution pictures to analyze key features on the ground Images will be fed back to the ground station

Figure 6: OpenRocket Simulation Figure 2: Rocket at first test flight Figure 3:OpenRocket 2D diagram