ASTRo is a High-Power Rocket (HPR), developed in parallel with the Starscraper vehicle. While not powered by a hybrid engine like BURPG’s other designs, it was designed to use similar stabilization and control systems to gain experience in implementing these systems.
The control surface actuation follows two different formulations depending on the regime of the flight. The first regime is subsonic, where the formulation uses a constant multiplier on the dynamic pressure from CFD tests. The second regime uses compressible flow relations to find the pressure on the control surfaces. These formulations are calculated by the Kronos Lite flight computer, a simplified version the avionics system used on Starscraper.
The servos are mounted on a 3D-printed fin can, transferring the load to the airframe. To ensure that it is safe to fly, material properties test samples were printed in the same printer.
The rocket uses a dual deployment recovery system, firing a smaller drogue parachute at apogee, slowing its descent to a controlled rate. At 1100 feet AGL, the Raven3 Recovery Control Board fires the charges that release the main parachute, which deploys to slow the rocket for a safe landing. For tracking, the nose cone has a 70cm GPS and the main body has an RF beacon tied to the shock chord of the main parachute.
Astro was flown during the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 academic years and was retired after gathering critical learnings to focus efforts on starscraper.
Height: 90” (2.3 m)
Launch Mass: 50 lb (22.68 kg)
Diameter: 6 in (15.25 cm)
Motor: Cesaroni L1050
Burn Time: 3.6 sec
Average Thrust: 235.15 lbf (1.046 kN)