CARL is a high-power rocket with a target altitude of more than 3 kilometres and a thrust of up to 2400 N. Made out of carbon-fibre, this project is going to push our limits. Including redundant electronics and recovery systems, we are going to design real space hardware. The design is going to be ideated and simulated with FEM and CFD software. Additionally, flight simulations will be used to optimise our trajectory. Initially conceived for Spaceport America Cup 2020 (now cancelled due to COVID-19), CARL will be launched later this year in Europe with full-functionality.
The ISRU MoonFibre EXperiment (IMFEX) is developed by a student team from Space Team Aachen e.V. as part of the 13th cycle of the German-Swedish REXUS/BEXUS student programme. IMFEX fits in the bigger MoonFibre picture by being the first experiment to prove that spinning of basalt fibres in the space environment is possible, as this has never been done before. It will be launcher on-board of REXUS 30 sounding rocket from Esrange Space Center in northern Sweden. During the parabolic flight, the experiment will experience up to 3 minutes of microgravity. During this time, the spinning of 1.4 km of MoonFibre will be attempted. This experiment will ultimately examine the influence of gravity on the fibre spinning process as well as on their mechanical properties. Results of this experiment are crucial input for the development of future fibre-spinning facilities on the Moon.
After CARL’s successful launch at the EuRoC 2020, Space Team Aachen’s focus now shifts towards a bigger and bolder project. While our previous rockets used commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) solid-propellant engines, the next project shall fly a rocket with a hybrid engine designed and developed entirely by Space Team Aachen.
The Space Team Aachen Hybrid Rocket, or "STAHR", is set to reach an apogee of 10km to compete in the 30,000 feet category in both European and American competitions. Hybrid engines use propellants stored separately and in different states of matter, which increases the overall safety of the propulsion system while also providing high-performance. For our design, a combination of liquid nitrous oxide and a solid paraffin fuel has been selected.
This rocket is designed to max out the altitude with commercially available rocket engines without a license. Four D-class engines are mounted to the rocket to produce a peak thrust of 80N and take the rocket 650 meters. The nose cone was optimised to fit advanced avionics and to seal the body tube for the ejection charge properly. The purpose is to gain experience with mid-power rockets, advanced avionics and electrical ignition systems. Due to an engine misproduction the first launch is delayed and will be conducted in early December.
This rocket is a two staged rocket. It is powered by C-class engines to launch to an altitude of about 600 meters. The design of this rocket provided experience in developing a staged rocket. Problems such as stage separation and stability have been tested and proved to be functional. We have equipped this rocket with barometric altitude sensors and a gyroscope to track the separation process. A staged rocket is able to launch to much higher altitudes with smaller engines.