Responsible for making loud noises, big flames, and of course lifting thrust, the propulsion team is currently developing a pressure fed LOX/Ethanol liquid propellant rocket engine with a target thrust of 3000N. We apply thermal and fluid dynamics knowledge to design the combustion chamber and nozzle and use machines to manufacture components from various metals. This engine will be SFU Rocketry's first in house developed engine and will set the foundation for the team's liquid propulsion program for the coming years.
What can you gain?
Want to get hired at SpaceX, Rocket Lab or any other space related business? Although we offer no guarantees, joining propulsion teaches you how to do research and development. From being able to comb through research papers to doing calculations to verify a design, propulsion can be the gateway to learning loads from chemistry to engineering to physics!
Responsible for designing, testing, and building our test stand for our liquid rocket engine hot fire. The team focuses on load testing, material selection, mechanical design and optimization to enable easy mounting for the various parts from the other sub-teams. Utilizing Solidworks as well as various other CAD softwares the Test Stand team is critical to the overall safety and smooth operation of all future rocket engine hot fires.
What can you gain?
By joining the Test Stand group, you have the ability to gain and apply skills that are not taught in University courses. Technical skills such as SolidWorks, modelling and simulation are heavily emphasized while non-technical skills such as working in a team, and communication are just as useful in bringing our test stand to life. If you want to get your hands dirty you can even have a part in the construction of your design since we will be doing most of the test stand construction in house.
The primary task of the controls team is developing all of the test stand electronics to ensure that our team is able to control and record all of our engine test fire data. Using a Raspberry Pi and off the shelf electronics, our team is hard at work ensuring that when the hot fire day comes, we can have full confidance in the safety and security of our operation. The secondary task, equally important, is to ensure that we have adequate power at our test facility for the operation of all of our equipment. Overall whether it's working on the software to do data logging or working with electronic hardware to design a power distribution system, the controls team offers gratifying work that has the potential to be expanded into areas such as thrust vector control systems, ground stations and much more.
What can you gain?
Controls has a broad responsibility of all of the systems to ensure the rocket test fires in a safe and controlled manner. Depending on what individuals want to work with, they can pick up skills for both software as well as some hardware and circuit design. Working alongside experienced students, being a part of the controls group allows students of all levels to be a part of a mission critical system. Due to the vital safety aspects of this project, members will also be able to experience and learn the skills required for industry standard testing.
In order to get fire and flame from our rocket engine, a fluid system is required in order to safely transport both oxidizer and fuel to our engine. SFU rocketry aims to create a pressure fed system in order to simplify delivering the necessary pressures and propellant mixture for combustion. Dealing with cryogenics, piping, valves as well as other miscellaneous components, working with our fluid system is challenging work however it is a necessary system that will be used for engine development projects for years to come.
What can you gain?
Designing the fluid system requires a large portion of time spent on research. After research is completed, the team uses Matlab to conduct analysis in order to verify the functionality of all components from a system wide perspective. Finally, when covid restrictions permit, our team will work on constructing the fluid system as well as carrying out all of the necessary testing in order to verify the system functionality. As a member of this team you have the opportunity to be exposed to all of these factors: research, model verification as well as the physical construction and testing.
It is only recently that we have switched to working on a rocket engine, in the last few years we really have been working on a rocket! Our team designed and began construction on a rocket designed to reach 10k feet using off the shelf materials. Due to covid, we have not yet managed to launch our solid booster rocket however we look to change that. In the coming 2 years as we finish our initial liquid rocket engine project we aim to turn back to our rocket in order to experience our first launch. Our rocket project serves as a great basis for the upcoming years as we aim to eventually put a liquid rocket engine into space
Having been a part of SFU Rocketry already I wanted to see it grow and wanted to continue the work that was already being done while also changing with the times and coming up with new projects. I hope to be able to continue to offer aerospace experiences (something not taught at all at SFU) to students from various departments allowing individuals to gain skills that are not always as easy to learn from school classes.