Creation of the second "Student rocket" and the CanSat satellite

11.07.2018

The work on the second student rocket is in full swing! 

The team plans to present two vehicles in October: a launch vehicle for a microsatellite CanSat with a flight altitude of 2.5 km, and a launch vehicle with an experimental payload capable of reaching 6-7 km. The event will intersect with the 100th anniversary of Oles Honchar Dnipro National University.

Recall that the goal of the students and mentors within the project is to develop student rockets of various classes, even geophysical suborbital ones.

The project is expected to be last for 3 years and has clearly regulated stages, including development, creation, ground tests and test launches of the following products:







1st type: small launch vehicle with caliber up to 85 mm:

    • launch vehicle for 2 CanSat satellites – apogee 2000-2500 m, in-line engine, rechargeable, – CanSat application;
    • launch vehicle of a prospective meteorological payload of mass up to 400 g – apogee 6000-7000 m, engine "bearing body", – "Meteo 7000" application;
    • research rockets for full-scale testing of the aerodynamic control system at all stages of flight in the range of subsonic and supersonic speeds with a built-in or bearing body –  apogee from 2500 to 7000 m – "Aerodynamic Laboratory" application;
    • two-stage launch vehicle of a prospective meteorological payload with a mass of up to 400 g – an apogee of 20,000 m, an engine "bearing body" on both stages, a high-pitched nozzle in the second stage, – "Meteo 20000" application.


2nd type: small launch vehicle with caliber up to 120 mm:

    • launch vehicle for full-scale testing of the aerodynamic control system at all stages of flight in the range of subsonic and supersonic speeds – apogee 9000-10000 m, engine "bearing body", –  "Supersonic aerodynamic laboratory" application;
    • two-stage launch vehicle of a prospective meteorological payload with a mass of up to 800 g – apogee 45 000 m, engine "bearing body" on both stages, a high-pitched nozzle in the second stage – "Meteo 45000" application;
    • two-stage launch vehicle of a prospective geophysical payload with a mass of up to 800 g – apogee 110-120 km, an engine "bearing body" on both stages, a high-pitched nozzle on the second stage, – "Geophysics 120" application.


All team members immediately transfer the project solutions into implementation process and enthusiastically report that there have been no errors in design decisions yet. 

In May students under the guidance of Vadim Solntsev and other experts have successfully overcome such stages:

  • The concept of creating modular platforms in calibers 80 and 116 mm has been developed.
  • A program for the modernization of the ground segment has been designed.
  • Procurement of priority equipment for the modernization of the ground segment was made.
  • Three receivers of telemetry of the channel "board-to-ground" have been assembled.
  • Working drawings of the SI 1600 engine have been created and transferred to production (YUZHMASH).
  • The engine of SI 5000 is developed, the sketch documentation for its manufacturing is created.
  • A tool for pressing the SI 5000 engine fuel pellets is developed.
  • Two SI-5000 test motors are wound.
  • Production of fuel pellets for the SI 5000 engine started.
  • Parts of the first test engine SI 5000 designed.

Besides, the team tested the telemetry channel “board-to-ground” on new equipment with a budgeted power of 168 dB, in laboratory conditions using attenuators 130 dB emulating the communication range of 150 km. Equipment works properly.


In June, project members developed drawings for the components of the K80 platform modules, started work on the manufacture of parts to verify the strength characteristics, completed the ground segment upgrade program, fabricated the P66 camera bodies, assembled them and installed into Оbservational and Measuring System 1, 2. Also, alignment was performed, directional antennas were received, coupled and tested together with telemetry receivers. In addition, the team produced two engines of SI 5000 and conducted two burning tests, one of which was unsuccessful. In the course of this experiment, data were processed and assumed cause of the fault was localized, the engine design and the fuel pellet pressing tool were changed. The conducted tests of SI 5000 engine showed the overstrain of the structure caused by the pursuit of high mass perfection. To increase the reliability, participants decided to change the design with the preservation of the total momentum, but with a 10% reduction in mass perfection.


As part of the project, other students of Noosphere Engineering School, guided by Mikhail Fesenko and Igor Gomilko, are working on the creation of three CanSat satellites that will be delivered by rockets. CanSat is an operating model of a microsatellite weighing up to 330 grams, where all the main elements, including on-board computer, receiver-transmitter, scientific load and power system must be accommodated in a 0,33 liter can. The satellite is launched by a rocket and during a smooth descent from a height of 1-2 km by a parachute transmits useful information.

The satellites will have the following functionality:

  • Weight up to 400 g
  • Volume not more than 0.33 l
  • Ability to record video to internal memory
  • Ability to determine the position of the satellite with GPS
  • Transmission of telemetry data to a ground station
  • Ability to save operation at overloads up to 10 g
  • Battery life not less than 45 minutes

Among the nearest plans of the "Student rocket" team are hydrotesting of the SI 5000 engine body, production and test burns of the engine with modified design, strength tests for interface parts of the K80 platform modules.

Let’s follow the process of creating and launching the second student rocket and the microsatellite together!