Hello everyone! Welcome to the first weekly update of our journey to build a liquid fueled rocket to the edge of space! I have decided to quickly summarize what our team has been working on each week in these posts.

Random

Mass Budget

We finally completed the mass budget early one morning. The launch vehicle dimensions that would get us to above 100km were optimized using open rocket and a python script that calculated the vehicles geometric relationships. We tested a range of body lengths and propellant masses to determine the optimal geometry of the vehicle. Our results pointed us towards a body length of 6.9 m, a propellant mass of 380 kg and a thrust of around 2500 lbf. These numbers might slightly change as we move through the design phase.

Below is a simple mock up of the vehicles geometry (The tanks are Nitrogen, RP-1 and High Test Peroxide from left to right)

Lab Update

We are also working on getting the lab up and running! A few of us spent a night constructing work benches from plywood and we now have space to work/hangout.

Planning

Our Chief Engineer has spent a lot of time setting up a gantt chart for scheduling out all of our engineering tasks. A gantt chart allows us to break down the project into its tiniest tasks which we can then assign a time frame and dependency. We can see important data like how long our project will take to fully complete, which tasks are going to take the longest and what tasks are the most important. In the end, you get a really confusing chart similar to the one below

On a final note, we are looking for high quality rocketry related memes.  The best ones we will display on our twitter account (per uhhh un-biased review)

Subteam Updates

Propulsion

This week the propulsion team designed a preliminary P&ID (Plumbing and Instrumentation Diagram), started to source out safety equipment and began to explore fluid dynamic analysis software. They will be working with a professional in the upcoming weeks to solidify the P&ID design. This preliminary design of the test stand pluming system is shown below:

Avionics

The Avionics team ordered development kits for the MCU (Microprocessor) and have successfully loaded working demonstration code. They are working on the diagrams for most of the test stand electrical systems and have nearly completed the power system component design. Planned work includes finishing the control board and communication system preliminary design. Once this has been completed the team can finalize a full diagram of the electrical system and begin to source components. Below is a picture of the MCU, A TI Hercules Launchpad:


Structures

This week the structures team composed the list of supplies needed for the trailer, started work on a CAD model of the trailer and began designing and modeling the trailer structural modifications. They have also started work on the engine mount and blast shield which they hope to complete soon. This week they plan on furthering the design work for the engine mount supporting structure, running simulations on the trailer and getting ready to order parts. A basic CAD drawing of the final trailers structure is shown below:

We now have a trailer! This is the main structure for our test stand. All of the equipment will be mounted on top after the Structures team modifies the trailer to be able to withstand an engine firing.

Business

Business has been working on  updating the pitch deck, finding contacts and finalizing promotional material for potential sponsors. They have also been preparing stylistic templates for us to use such as a series of Latex documents for white papers. The Business team set up our online donation link so if you are a Nigerian Prince looking to move some money we are here for you, ITAR restrictions may apply.