Press "Enter" to skip to content

Sounding rockets

Besides developing a CubeSat, we set ouselves the goal to develop, build and operate our own sounding rockets.

The focus thereby is to deepen the theoretical knowledge, that is being lectured at TU Darmstadt, and to expand it by practical application. The complex system “rocket” is not only perfectly suitable to convey contents to our members, but also to learn working in a interdisciplinary team. With this project we aim to break the current altitude record for student-built rockets of 32 km. To achieve this goal, we are currently working on two systems: Athena 0 and Athena 1.

Athena0 is the iteration “zero” of out rocket development aspirations. Propelled by a waterstream, which expands from a glass-fiber reinforced tank pressurized up to 20 bar, Athena 0 mainly acts as a testbed. Being a cheap and flexible platform, it allows us to test and qualify subsystems such as telemetry/avionics, recovery using a parachute, flight path stabilisation and building pressure tanks. The apogee is calculated to be around 200 m.

Additionally, we are currently working on Athena 1, which is going to be our first rocket propelled by a self-developed liquid-propellant rocket engine. The used propellants are nitrous oxide as oxidizer and ethanol as fuel. They fit into our concept being safe to handle and store, yet still having satisfactory performance. The engine is designed to have 2 kn of thrust with a combustion chamber pressure os 21 bar. To achieve this, the pressurized tanks must withstand ca. 40 bar, as well as an oxidizer temperature of -70°C.

Athena2 is planned to be the actual record breaker in the future. By “clustering” several engines to propell the main stage, it shall ascend to previously (by students) unreached altitudes.

Currently, we are working in the following sections:

We are always looking for motivated students of all disciplines and semesters. If you have any questions about the Rocket Team, please contact Section Leader Roman.