ATLAS (Advanced Trailer Launch And Support) serves as an integrated transportation, test, launch, and ground support system for the Starscraper launch vehicle. Originally a car trailer, ATLAS has since been outfitted with entirely new tires, axles, brakes, as well as all the structural elements necessary for rocket operations.
The main feature of the trailer is the 7.32m (24 ft) long carbon steel I-beam onto which Starscraper is loaded. Using a 8.89cm (3.5in) diameter hydraulic piston, the beam can be raised from the stowed traveling position to an upright, 90 degree launch/test position.
Additional features include:
- 4 tank stands capable of holding up to 10 tanks of nitrous and 12 tanks of nitrogen.
- 3 pneumatic pistons that pull the nitrous and nitrogen quick disconnects before launch.
- 4 aluminum braces mounted along the length of the I-beam that provide additional stability in the first second of flight.
- A winch for loading the rocket onto the trailer.
- A ground valve box which allows for remote fueling of the rocket.
- 4 jacks which lift the entire trailer to allow for stable operation. Each jack is rated at 4000 pounds to ensure a maximum degree of safety.
Many changes are planned for the coming 2017-2018 academic year including:
- Vertical stabilizers to support the I-beam and launch rail during launch.
- Deeper and relocated blast trench to accommodate a larger launch vehicle.
- New ground mounting brackets, with more bonding points to concrete stabilizing pad in order to maximize safety and stability.
- Various ease of use upgrades such as lights, and equipment accommodations to make testing easier.
- Upgraded remote plumbing systems and routing in preparation for new engine configurations.