P08106: Flying Rocket Body & Rocket Stage Integration
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Interview 1

METEOR 1st Interview Notes
Date: 4-4-07
Interviewers: Patrick Haus, Tony Nimeh, Lee Rynearson
Interviewees: Jeffrey Kozak (JK), Dorin Patru (DP)

Should we switch project numbers through Dr. Hensel or through Dr. Patru?

Current situation: Numbers are arbitrary. Dr. Hensel says it's not a problem to switch.

Next year the steel and flying rocket will be combined for each stage (DP)

Teams need to look at separation of stages (JK)

Need for 104-105-106-107 PRPs (DP)

Maggie Anderson is willing to take on work anywhere (possibly PRP prep)

Bring as many students as possible to the testing to drum up interest.

How much influence do team leaders have in team formation?

Team leaders form the teams and submit lists for approval by Dr. Kozak (DP) You want to form teams of people who can get along. (DP)

Next test in two weeks, team leaders should have active roles (JK)

Would like to split up SD into Fall/Spring for extra time in winter for analysis or build or parts ordering etc. (DP)

What is Dr. Kozak's role?

Kozak is reference for all ME, Patru is reference for all EE. (DP) Each student project has a guide, Kozak will be guide for the ME projects. (DP) Patru controls the money. (JK)

What is the status of the funding?

Harris has donated money specifically to the EE department. The money is under control of the EE dept. head.

Do we have enough money for next year? (JK)

Ken said as of mid-March we only used 12k this year, but I think it's closer to 20. I think with the 50k we might make it to launch this summer. Next year we will get 25k. (DP) But teams are not restricted by budget only, just as one of several constraints (DP)

What is the current concept for the METEOR project?

There is a class of satellites called picosatellites or CubeSats (1kg). Go to the CubeSat website. We want to, in Fall, start satellite design, in Spring we are done, we launch in summer. Next year's students come in and operate the one in orbit and build a new one in an endless senior design project.
Currently, launches cost 100k, many payloads at a time, years to plan the Russian rocket launch which failed. Recommend "Rocket Propulsion Elements" by Sutton. Using hybrid propellant, specific impulse is ~220s. For 1kg payload, rocket should be 200kg, with four stages. Current stage is about the size requirement of the third stage, with the other stages increasingly bigger. These are valid when the stages have a 1:10 structure:fuel ratio. Amateur rocketry is the opposite, 10:1.
Our safety coefficients are 1.2-1.5.
Airborne launch simplifies ground operations and requirements. At 100,000 ft, there is ~0 drag, but also 0 lift. You can optimize the nozzle for that altitude. Orbital Sciences does similar launches commercially with adapted military technology. Their scale is still much larger than our purposes. If we get to launch the rocket from the platform this summer, to go above 100km, that will be a great milestone. (All DP)

What differentiates the stages?

The sizes, really. The sizes also dictate the material choices for rocket body (metal's properties change with temperature) (DP)

Is each stage going to be a hybrid?

While it's not uncommon to see solid fuels in these applications, because this is a university project, we want to be as safe as possible. The great thing about NOx and HTPB is that if something goes wrong, you just shut off the Nitrous Oxide and the whole thing stops. To obtain more power, we have the option to change the cross-sectional shape to increase the burn surface area. (JK) The increased Isp for Liquid Oxygen would require only 2 stages, and simplify the design, so we are losing a bit in the performance, but gaining a lot of safety by using hybrid fuels. (DP)

What should the teams do to prepare for next year?

Projects that are marked as continuation projects can draw a lot of their needs / requirements from existing PRPs (DP) The PRPs' purpose is to spell out the appropriate amount of work for the team. (DP)

Who determines the goal for each project?

We all will determine that. The goal for the rocket stages is to have, at the end of SD II, a functional stage. (DP)

What is the real upgrade between this year and next year's rocket stage?

The only upgrade is with the third stage. The second and first stages are new, and will be bigger. (DP) The third stage's goal should ultimately be satellite deployment, with optimization as a possible secondary goal. (JK)

Same Question for the test stand?

The upgraded test stand will ideally be able to test the second and first stages. The test stand serves the stages. The stages will have designs at the end of Fall quarter, just in time for the test stand team to begin designing. (DP)





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