Sunday, November 11, 2007

Managers and Advisors Meeting

November 11, 2007 at 9:05 am

Advisor: James

Managers: Curtis, Tom, Winnie


· Our account has been frozen, Joel needs to submit the names and student numbers soon.

· Need sponsors!!

Test Site

Signing off building documents not as easy as thought. Curtis has been in contact with an engineering firm that would help us re-design the test site for $2000. There are three things that need to be considered:

  1. The concrete/rebar footing. The engineer said 12" under the lock block wall, and 4 in between.
  2. The wall strength; We need to make sure it can withstand an explosion, therefore we need to work out the calculations for the pressure and verify it with Dr Rogak.
  3. The strength of the connection between the roof and walls

We also need a door for sound suppression and a series of vents to vent the gases.

Since the design of the building has changed, we need to contact Eddie Ho from UBC Building Services about the changes


· Not sure if the parts that we ordered during the summer have arrived yet.

· We should make an inventory of the parts that we have.


· James will finish the injector plate drawing.

· Winnie will assemble all the SolidWorks drawings and make them ready for machining, however she needs to add tolerances to the parts, which is difficult. Parts will expand thermally at different rates, so we need to make sure that they still fit. Need to consult Dr Pete Ostafichuck, the Mech 2 coordinator.

· Curtis will look into machining companies.


· Dr Meech wants to try for the Lunar X-Prize, so we will collaborate with T-Bird Robotics.

Meeting adjourned at 10:28am

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Updates October 13, 2007

Curtis, Kirsty and I met up and we moved most of the UBCRP stuffs from Rusty Hut to the Thunderbird space in ICICS.

Updates from Avionics:
- Regular weekly meetings will be held every Friday at 5PM in the CHBE space.
- A google group is set up at Meeting minutes, updates and files will be posted there. It's not a public group so either signup at the site or contact Aaron.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Team Meeting September 8 2007

Meeting Minutes:

Welcome back to all returning members, Welcome all new members!

Launch Systems:
- The truss has been relocated and is in a safe place
- The hydraulic system we were going to use is probably not useable, going to go ahead and order a new hydraulic system. This will be smaller, more efficient, and stronger than the old one (not to mention more reliable)

- Over the summer more research was done regarding sensors and data storage.
- Data storage will most likely consist of flash memory, Aaron has hooked up a flash card to his computer and can read and write to it.
- Next step is to determine exactly what needs to get done to provide a more realistic time line.
- Before we can program the microcontroller we need to know how many sensors we are going to use, as well as their values. Since it will take a long time to program, this should be done as quickly as possible.

- Nose cone design is done and is currently being reviewed by a third party.
- Body of rocket is also being calculated
- Rocket diameter is now officially 12" and not 30cm, but on all drawings will be reported in millimetres (mm)

- Over the summer ordered valves, sensors, LOX and KER tanks, and other parts for engine testing
- Obtained permit to build test site at the Gas Facility on UBC Campus
- Wrote a "Fire and Emergency Plan", required for the testing facility
- Once we have a P. Eng sign off on our building design the test facility can be built.
- Still need to find a machine shop to machine the engine components.
- Hoping to test the engine around December/January

- No members present :(

Roundtable Discussion:
- Should focus on getting some commerce students to help out with Rocket Project as they should be able to really help with marketing
- A model rocket workshop early this term would be SWEET
- PAF from last year has been spent, follow up to ensure that it was received properly.
- We no longer have any team space, so we need to find some new space on campus. Approach ECE, MECH, FIZZ for space.
- High Powered Rocketry Certification will be going ahead for those interested. Cost of ~$600 to gain certification, may be able to get it subsidized in part by PAF or MECH department.
- Recruiting for the team happened on Imagine Day. We will also be present at the Student Design Team Information Session (Tuesday Sept 18, 6-8pm) and will have a movie night afterwards. Location TBA. Further recruiting at Club Days; will discuss this more next meeting.
- Next meeting scheduled for Sept. 15th

Saturday, August 11, 2007

2007 Team Photos

Team photos taken on Aug 11, 2007. Enjoy!

(Click on images for full sized files)

Monday, July 30, 2007

Old School UBCRP

With only a month of summer remaining before the UBC rocket project blasts off into the 2007 fall semester - and since news is pretty slow right now - I thought I'd post some old school pictures of the UBCRP team. These photos were taken at the Central Vancouver Public Library in May 2005 during engineering awareness event.

UBC rocket project
UBC rocket project
UBC rocket project
UBC rocket project

Friday, July 27, 2007

Dangers, but also Opportunities

I'd just like to express our team's best wishes to the families of those killed and hurt in the accident at Scaled Composites' test facility earlier this week. Scaled has been a huge inspiration to us and to many others around the world. It would be no exaggeration to say that a lot of our team members idolize the people at Scaled, including those who were caught in the blast.

While there are not many details available at this time, it is known that the accident occured during a test of the propulsion system. This was a sobering event for us, as it reinforced the fact that what we are doing can be dangerous and requires the utmost care.

We are currently in the building permit phase of our propulsion test site development. A lot of effort is being put into eliminating the risks that can be eliminated, in into mitigating the risks that cannot be eliminated. Oversight on this process is being provided by university professors, lab health & safety officials, building officials, and fire prevention officials.

There will always be risk, and we will always have to be careful.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Team Meeting July 21 2007

Updates from the team meeting today:


Kirsty brought us awesome pens that look like 1930's-style rockets! They have a fuel tank filled with gel (no slosh baffles), and an led in the engine area. Courtesy of her Dad and AT&T.

Curtis - Launch Systems
-He is going to pick up the hydraulic parts for the launch rail from Princess Auto
-The 46' Expo truss is getting moved onto a trailer for us, stored in yard until we need it
-Still working out how to connect truss to whatever trailer/platform we use as the base
-Need to have truss properly inspected, one buckled member needs to be replaced, need someone "qualified" to advise on how to properly inspect

Joel (on behalf of Trian) - Aerostructures
-got new team account set up in MECH department, moved funds over from old IGEN account, ready to cut purchase orders through MECH department

Cedric - Industry Advisor
-introducing James to resources at local aerospace company for potential combustion chamber machining (we are hoping to get them to sponsor us), estimating FMC programming and planning work hours
-getting machining done in the near term will be difficult as they are very busy

Marco - test stand building permit
-unfortunately no luck getting anyone to sign off on design

Kirsty, Sebastian, Aaron - Avionics
-need to track down missing components from Jon/Leigh (DAQ and microprocessor) - they are probably at someone's house
-Kirsty got a key for the CHBE workshop and we have moved everything over there
-ready to order Omega sensors, Ozark GPS transmitter/receiver, and 3 DOF accelerometers

James - Propulsion
-RFQs for tanks, plumbing, most valves done, ready to order
-worked on updated sponsor info, milestones, budget, etc
-discussion of milestones
-Alumni update: 3 ISU masters students, 3 working in aerospace manufacturing, one (soon possibly two) working for NASA

Winnie - Propulsion
-working on Fire Safety Plan for test facility, almost done, need contacts for emergencies
-have been busy with Fizz robot project

Joel - Project Coordinator
-sponsorship package updated, will bring a copy to next meeting
-next meeting would fall on saturday of the BC Day long weekend, so reschedule to Aug 11

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Ramping up for Summer

Now that the term is over and exams are behind us, the UBC Rocket Project is planning to jump back into action harder than before! Most of our design phase is complete and prototypes are currently being developed for several key components of the rocket. With a little luck (and money) this summer should see a lot of action!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Recovery Update

We’ve been working on determining parachute design requirements over the past several weeks. We want to buy an already made parachute. We considered personnel parachutes, but these don’t slow our rocket down enough. The rocket would land at 7 m/s. This is too high and would result in serious damage. A cluster of 3 personnel parachute is a possible solution, but this would introduce unneeded complexity. So, we were looking for large cargo parachutes. We found several 64 foot diameter parachutes for a reasonable price. They would slow our rocket down to a safe landing speed of 3.6 m/s. The only problem is that they come without the lines. Also, we found an appropriate drogue chute. The next step would be to see how these can be integrated into our design. If everything turns out OK, the parachute and the drogue chute will be bought.

Air brake final drawings have been reviewed and the bill of materials for the air brakes has been finally created. Above is a pic of our air brake design.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Light Posting till the 28th

It's exam season at UBC, which explains the curious lack of posts over the last little while. However, a bit of good news did come through on Thursday, when I was informed that the development review committee would approve a development permit for an on-campus rocket engine test site.

We still need to get a building permit, which will take some time as we have to find a P.Eng. to provide assurance for the "building" (i.e. blockhouse) design. This will be difficult as most qualified professors don't have insurance to cover this, and because all the civil engineering P.Engs in Vancouver are up to their eyeballs in work with the huge development boom that's going on. Finding someone willing to give our structure a lookover on a pro bono basis is going to be tough.

Should any interested, qualified individuals read this, why not send us a message and let us know? We would be immensely grateful for the support, and would be happy to list you or your company as a sponsor for the donation of your time.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Forging Links with Other Student Rocketry Teams

A few weeks ago, I attended the National Association of Engineering Student Councils National Conference at Purdue University. In conversation one day, the subject of rocketry was brought up and we had a nice little chat. While their team goals aren't quite the same as ours, the University of California, San Diego Hybrid Rocket Project and the Arizona State University's Daedalus Astronautics team face many similar issues. We hope to continue communications into the future in efforts to further all of our projects.

UCSD Hybrid Rocket Project
Daedalus Astronautics

Monday, April 2, 2007

Engine Modeling Progress

The SolidWorks model of the combustion chamber is complete, except for some bolt holes to be added on the lower flange.

Later this week, I plan to complete the models of the saddle parts and the jacket. Over the weekend or next week, the injector plates will be modeled. After that, it'll be out to the machine shop and on to flow testing!

Isn't it pretty?

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Dynamic Stability and Launch Rails

A quick update on our wind tunnel testing and the consequences for the launch rail/launch windows:

So far we have been planning passive guidance for the rocket (read: launch rail and fins). This is largely because time and personnel constraints - once we have the initial rocket built, we plan to add a gimbal for thrust vector control at some point in the future.

The general concept is that at low velocities, the rocket is not very stable in a crosswind. By providing a rail to guide the rocket during the first few seconds of acceleration, we help keep it flying straight until it has enough velocity to remain stable on its own.

As posted earlier, our team has been lucky enough to have a large truss donated to us from Solid Rock Steel for use as our launch rail. The truss is about 14m long and capable of supporting far more than the rocket will weigh.

Stability is dependent on the relative positions of the Cg and the Cp, which we have estimated using Unigraphics for mass estimates and Rocksim for static Cp. However, we have also been trying to determine the relationship between stability and effective angle of attack, called dynamic stability. To do this, we have been testing a scale model in UBC's wind tunnel.

The (incomplete) data right now looks like there's a marginal stability angle of about 12 degrees, although we need to do more tests next week.

Once we have the marginal stability angle in hand, using the known thrust-to-weight ratio and the known launch rail length, we will know what our crosswind limits are for launch. This will allow us to develop "launch windows" and a set of conditions under which we can fly.

One difficulty with passive guidance is that Aurora-1 has a low thrust to weight ratio compared to solid propellant rockets (the T/W ratio depends on how much rocket propellant gets pumped in - therefore lower altitude flights actually have a higher T/W ratio). This means that it either needs a long launch rail, low crosswinds, or both. For instance, if the angle was actually 12 degrees, it looks like we would be limited to crosswinds under about 17km/hr for our first planned launch to 30,000ft.

Edit: Whoops, I made an error. The angle we're looking at is more like 27 degrees, not 12. This would allow the rocket, partially fueled for 30,000 ft flight, to launch in something more like 28km/hr crosswinds. Fully fueled for 100km it would only be able to launch in 18km winds. This assumes use of the entire launch rail length, however, so in reality we will have to knock down those critical wind levels by a bit to compensate for the fact that the rocket will be able to rotate near the end of the rail.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

For Those Just Arriving...

...Welcome to our blog. Since RLV News has posted a link to this blog and our main site is down temporarily, I thought I'd provide a quick explanation of our project.

The University of British Columbia (UBC) Rocket Project is:
-composed of about 2 dozen undergraduate engineering students in Vancouver, Canada
-developing a rocket that is designed to ultimately reach 100km altitude and be reusable
-planning for first flight to >30,000 ft in October, with incrementally faster and higher flights to follow

The vehicle, Aurora 1, will feature:
-kerosene/lox bi-prop with 1500lbs thrust and augmented spark igniter
-primarily aluminum structure, modular to accomodate different flight configurations
-drag brake/parachute recovery
-microprocessor-based avionics system to control propulsion and recovery systems
-semi-mobile launch platform

To date, we have:
-completed structural design - currently procuring materials
-completed engine design - currently solid modelling
-completed recovery system design - currently sourcing materials
-completed several high power rocket flights using commercially procured solid motors
-completed a wind tunnel model - currently setting it up in the wind tunnel
-nearly completed launch platform design - waiting for wind tunnel results
-raised around $15,000 in grants from the university and over $4,000 of in-kind donations from sponsors

If you have questions or suggestions, please post them in the comments section. Be sure to come back often!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Engine Test Site Update

A quick update on our progress with the engine test stand.

Basically, we are trying to build a 15' x 15' concrete blockhouse on campus in order to test the engine. Sponsors have already agreed to donate most of the materials for the blockhouse, so now it's just a matter of getting the appropriate permissions.

The general steps are:

1) Make a proposal (includes things like purpose, drawings, environmental impact, proposed location, possible alternatives, etc). For the test site, this is roughly 20 pages.

2) Have the proposal reviewed by the Campus & Community (C&C) Planning Review Board for viability. They raise a bunch of concerns that have to be addressed, then if you can convince them that you're taking care of these concerns, they will pass you on to the next step. Concepts like sustainability, noise, aesthetics, and spill containment come to mind. Generally they're there to make sure you've thought of everything.

3) Have the proposal reviewed by the Development people and get a Development Permit.

4) Apply for and get a building permit. This is done with the Permits & Inspections Department of C&C Planning.

To date:

First meeting with the Review Board. Am working on addressing their concerns, next meeting March 29, when I hope to get their approval to move on to step 3.

I am currently working with Rick from Fire Prevention Services and Eddie from C&C Planning (he's the chief building official) to make sure that we satisfy the requirements for getting our building permit. This includes a Fire Safety Plan, as well as ensuring that the building meets the appropriate codes. The overall design will have to be reviewed and approved by a P.Eng with experience in these matters; I am hoping to find an appropriate P.Eng amongst our campus professors.

My goal is to have the C&C Planning Review Board approve the concept on March 29, then move through steps 3 & 4 during April. This includes getting a Development permit, getting proper drawings made, gettinga P.Eng to review them and approve, creating a fire safety plan and having it reviewed by Fire Prevention Services, then get a building permit. My hope is that all this can be done by the end of April, with construction starting in May. All this will mean that we will be about 3 months behind what I had predicted - but I had no idea that a block house would take 3 months to get approved!

Should we fail to get the block house approved, we will be looking at other sites off campus. Powertech Labs has facilities for blowing up compressed natural gas cylinders - the structures they use are also, in essence, concrete bunkers. These facilities are pretty far from campus, but might be a suitable backup option if we can't build our own.

Launch Systems Update

The 3/10th (previously ~1/4th) scale model is complete and mounted in the large boundary layer wind tunnel. Final model checking, sensor setup, and wind tunnel calibration will be done on Thursday. We expect to use test data to determine the rocket's aerodynamic stability margin, used primarily to size the fins and size the launch rail. If the test reveals that our rocket is unstable beyond a certain point we will start planning for the construction of a thrust control system.
Pictures of the scale model wind tunnel tests will (hopefully) be posted Friday.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Aero-Structural Update

The aero-structural team has been keeping quite busy recently as the whole design comes together. We are near the end of our design phase, transitioning into procurement and manufacturing. Here are a few of the main projects we are working on.

Cross-Braced Frames
The main structural components of the rocket are these 1' or 2' long frame sections. Modularity in the design makes it easier to manufacture, store, and transport. With the limited storage space we have available, this is an important concern. Currently we have all the material we need for the ring parts and cross braces (refer to the picture below). The picture does not show the array of holes for fastening or the fillet welds. We hit a snag with the c-channel parts when it became apparent that our supplier did not carry that stock. Currently, lighter c-channels are being analyzed using methods described in "Analysis and Design of Flight Vehicle Structures" by E. F. Bruhn. We did not even know of this book before and it has proved to be quite useful. Future revisions of the rocket could be more efficient, load bearing wise. Back to the present, we will get new c-channel in and get these frames machined and welded.

Nose Cone
The nose cone design is currently being looked after by Tom. Back in the day we had decided upon an ogive shaped nose cone, based on what we knew. Tom has been looking at different shapes and how they impact our performance.

One of the main unknowns that we had not addressed before was heating of the nose. We have always wanted a composite nose cone and we do not want it "melting" in flight. Temperature distribution over the nose cone is different depending on which shape we use and over the last week, temperatures have been estimated. Next week we plan to settle on a shape. The tip of the nose cone has always been an area of concern due to the fact that it will experience the highest temperature. There is also the problem of laying-up the nose cone by hand. None of us are carbon fibre experts so the quality of the composite at the tip may be sketchy at best. To rectify this problem, we plan on having a metal tip that threads into the rest of the nose cone. This should help with the temperature issue and should make manufacturing easier.

What has yet to be completed is a design for the internal structure of the nose cone. I imagine a simple frame that will help keep the shape of the cone and will make mounting to the rocket easier. Some of the recovery system will be located in the nose cone and mounting points are required for that as well. Insulation is important in the nose cone especially if we have a parachute packed neatly inside it. I like the spec's I see at the Aerogel website.

We have had a general shape and size for a while. We like the clipped delta configuration, slightly swept back, with a short span. We also have a nice stack of books, articles, etc. to look through regarding fins in supersonic flow, etc. Arash is working on completing the aerodynamic and structural design. For the fins we will also have an internal structure with a skin over top. Tom's heating analysis will determine whether we can use composite skin for the fins or not.

Other projects the aero-structural team is involved with include the fuel system and the rocket skin. The fuel system components have been spec'd and a BOM has been completed. Swagelok® is being contacted for most of our plumbing needs. Fuel system testing can be integrated with engine testing. The skin has been temporarily left on the back burner as the other major aspects are being completed. Several solutions have been proposed for attaching the skin to the entire rocket frame. This is next on the to-do list.

Friday, March 9, 2007

Ignition Update

Last week, Leigh helped me run some tests on the spark plugs that we got from NGK. The spark plugs that we tested are: R0045J-9, B7S, BM6F and BPR6EGP. It turns out that the B7S and BM6F work best. The next step would be to see how well they light up kerosene and liquid oxygen.

I recently finished drawing the augmented spark chamber with SolidWorks, and I hope to get it machined soon.

This is the augmented spark chamber that will be mounted on top of the main combustion chamber. The spark plug will be threaded into the spark chamber at the top, and small amount of fuel will be supplied from the side.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Launch System Update

The Launch Team is currently constructing a ~1/4th scale model of the rocket in order to test certain aerodynamic factors. We acquired materials last weekend and plan to start construction Thursday, with the goal of being finished next Saturday. The model has the same surface materials and shapes as Aurora 1, and will be used to find the aerodynamic stability margin by using the wind tunnel.

The Launch Platform design and construction is on hold so that people on the launch team can work on finishing the rocket. I believe this is necessary due to the launch system's dependence on rocket characteristics and performance.

I bought a small utility trailer and intend to use it to bring components from the Fraser Valley to UBC. This will be used to get the hydraulic system from Grecon, and possibly other components.

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Recovery System Update

Our previous recovery systems manager, Guan-Lu, let Vitali take over this role. So, first the new work plan was composed to include tasks that need to be done by the end of spring and the deadlines for each of the tasks.

All the previous work done by the recovery systems team was organized and documented. Also the air brake design was finished. In particular, lug analysis was carried out for the joints on the air brake supports. What is left is to prepare the bill of materials for the air brakes and find an appropriate electro-magnetic actuator for the air brake release mechanism.

This Friday, Vitali and Angela had a meeting to discuss parachute design. We've formulated objectives to be accomplished by next week. We are going to keep researching parachute design and performance analysis. We will rely heavily on the book that Guan-Lu purchased for our team "Parachute Recovery Systems" by T. W. Knacke. This is an excellent book by the way, that provides us with very useful information. Also, the parachute design criteria list was composed. This list is to be used to add relevant information about the parachute design. Lastly, we found it necessary to try to find information on how cargo parachutes are deployed (this is not an easy task as the information of this kind is very scarce).

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Meetings, Sparkplugs

A quick post as I am studying for a composites midterm.

Yesterday at our weekly team meeting, Winnie presented the sparkplugs that just came in. They are NGK models of various types (4 in all) ranging from cheap to high performance. We were planning on trying out all 4 with the igniter we've designed to see how they work, but we now realize they have different threads. Not sure how Winnie will decide to deal with that yet.

I've continued to work on the test site application - the form is filled out, and I've been talking every couple of days with the campus planning office. They pushed back our review meeting till March 8, which is next week, so not too bad. Provided they approve our application I think we can have the site erected by the end of March, which should coincide nicely with the procurement of other items needed for testing.

Finally, here's a photo of our meeting. We book the Dean's meeting room - it's got a nicer table and chairs than the other meeting rooms, although we have to bring our own projector.

Left-to-right: Winnie, Joel, Anna, Kirsty, Jon, Marco, Sebastian, Trian, Tom

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Goings On

Some updates on propulsion and the team in general:

  1. First, a number of other team members have been electronically invited to post on this blog. Nothing yet, it seems, but I'll keep prodding them to add their comments.
  2. We are in discussions with UBC Campus & Community Planning about setting up a blockhouse on campus for engine testing. I have submitted our proposal and have the application form nearly filled out (waiting on two pieces of info from the UBC C&CP office). Along with this is a $350 application fee, but since we're getting the materials for the blockhouse donated (see below) it's not a bad deal overall.
  3. We have a new supporter: United Lock Blocks will be providing us with their heavy-duty 5' x 2.5' x 2.5' concrete blocks for the engine test enclosure. Check out their website for all your concrete block needs - they have a variety of interesting concrete products. These blocks will mean that we can easily reduce most of the noise from the engine (the blockhouse will also be covered) and that "mistakes" will be less likely to result in flesh wounds or amputation. I'm also thinking that it would be a nifty place to take cover in the event of a nuclear war.
  4. The launch team has a new project - wind tunnel tests. We have been trying to figure out how the rocket will behave in various cross-winds during the first few seconds of flight, so the launch team members (Mech. eng. students) will be building a scale model of Aurora-1 and running tests on it in one of UBC's two wind tunnels. Right now we're just making sure that our test procedure makes sense and that the wind tunnel simulation will be dynamically similar to the real rocket at launch.
  5. We will likely become registered with the Canadian Controlled Goods Directorate. This is something I personally hate to do due to previous personal problems with ITAR (some rules made by our southern friends and neighbors), but it will be necessary for us to obtain a GPS unit capable of handling speeds over 515 m/s and altitudes over a certain limit. Once we're registered we can then go to a GPS manufacturer who can remove the locks on the GPS device. However, I'm guessing that being registered with the CCGD probably means difficulties for international student team members (UBC is lucky to have many international students, many in engineering). More on this as it develops.
  6. Modeling of the combustion chamber in UniGraphics NX 3 has been slower than anticipated this week. This is because of my 3 assignments and 2 midterms, and having to spend time on all of the above. Unigraphics takes a while to learn, but is widely used in industry so I regard this as useful training.
  7. Aluminum stock came in for our structural boxframes. The boxframes form the "backbone" of the rocket and will contain most of the avionics, helium tank, parachutes, cameras, valves, et cetera. Skin will be attached to the outside of the boxframes (it's not stringer construction - when it was designed we hadn't taken the aircraft structures course yet) and the boxframes will be bolted to the integral tanks. The boxframes will be easy to attach "innards" to, easy to work with, much, much stronger than they need to be, and able to withstand high impact loads, so they are a very robust design. However, I privately suspect that a monocoque composite structure might eventually replace the boxframes if we ever need to lose serious weight. Perhaps this comment will entice Trian, the aerostructures manager, into posting a rebuttal.
  8. At our weekly team meeting on Wednesday (yes, Valentine's Day) I brought chocolates.
  9. Greg D from the Canadian Association of Rocketry and the BC Rocketry Club has invited some of our members to the premiere of "The Astronaut Farmer" tonight and provided passes. I've been looking forward to seeing this movie - and this is definitely the best way to go! As a matter of fact, it's time to leave campus...

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Propulsion Updates

The rocket currently under development by the UBCRP is called "Aurora-1", as named after a heated debate amongst team members. The "Aurora" part is pretty self-explanatory, and the number suffix will indicate the iterative version of the rocket (it is designed to be modifiable - more on that later).

The propulsion system, dubbed "Helios" (mainly because rockets have a special affinity for the names of ancient gods) is a 1500 lbf kerosene/lox engine. It has been under development for some time, a large part of which has been basic research and lots of reading in order to familiarize ourselves with engine terminology, history, and design methods.

We currently have the Excel model of the engine complete and I have been working on mastering Unigraphics NX 3.0 in order to make solid models. UGS has a bit of a learning curve but seems like it has a lot of capabilities. I recently learned that RocketPlane Kistler has decided to use UGS as well, which provided a little extra motivation for the continued use of this software.

In addition to working on UGS modeling, I have been working on getting UBC's approval for building a static test bunker on campus. After a discussion with the OHS manager, I am now on to Campus and Community Planning to obtain a land-use approval. It's proving difficult to get in touch with them - the "Special Projects Manager" position is vacant (anyone need a job?) and my phone calls to other members of their office have not been answered. I'll just have to keep trying the cold calls.

More update later.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Blog is Up

Welcome to the new UBC Rocket Project team blog. In the weeks to come, this space will be used to post updates on vehicle design and development, testing, fundraising, general team issues, and anything else relevant to the project.

Generally, posts will be sorted with categories based on our team design departments, which include:

  • Aerostructures
  • Avionics
  • Launch Systems
  • Propulsion
  • Recovery

Additional posts will probably include "general" and "fundraising" as well.

Check back often to see how we're doing. Comments and questions are encouraged.