Saturday, February 13, 2010

UNSW Student Project Report

Two forms of analysis were carried out in order to ensure that the Pathfinder 1B Rocket airframe would withstand the specified loading. The first was hand calculations and the second was by building a model in Patran. Once the hand calculations ensured that the airframe laminate was capable of withstanding the loading criteria, a second opinion was sought from Patran.
To start off, a geometrical model of the rocket was created and 71 different coordinate systems added in order to align the fibres in the appropriate direction. Patran then enveloped the model in an adequate mesh using a total of 4220 nodes to completely encase the structure. Thirdly, the forces acting on the rocket (such as drag, weight, thrust and internal pressure force) were multiplied by a factor of 2 (to ensure an appropriate factor of safety was reached) and added to the model. The properties of carbon fibre/epoxy and fibreglass/epoxy materials (such as transverse and longitudinal modulus) were added into Patran and a three layer composite laminate was designed. A simulation was run and results for deformation and maximum stress emerged.

The simulation successfully calculated that the rocket would not deform extensively or fracture under the given loading. The design of the 1.8mm-thick three ply laminate would be able to withstand the calculated flight path of the rocket.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Pathfinder 1B

Pathfinder 01-B Launch Vehicle
Several key technical improvements have been identified in the first generation rocket design, and so a revision has been designed with the purpose of increasing the reusability of the rocket airframe. The Improved design has been designated Pathfinder 1B and makes more extensive use of composite materials, and greater modularity allowing for in-field replacement of critical components such as the fins.

The Pathfinder rocket provides a unique and completely safe platform for student and academic researchers, seeking a true “hands on experience” of space mission style operations. Being 100% free of any explosive propellants, toxic chemicals, electric matches & other pyrotechnic devices commonly used in rockets. Payload user teams are allowed unprecedented access to the rocket all the way up final propellant loading, and commencement of launch operations. Which are managed by ASLI team members, further insuring risk free participation for student & academic researchers.

Illustration of baseline trajectory using the ASLI H100N hybrid rocket motor.