Low Altitude Demonstrator

#Pathtospace


 
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Low Altitude Demonstrator, nicknamed "LAD", is an essential step to BURPG's #PathToSpace. At just over 14 feet tall, the purpose of LAD is to test critical space-shot subsystems that will make their way on the Starscraper flagship vehicle. These subsystems include active, cold-gas roll control; recovery mechanisms; profesional avionics architecture; and a custom real-time operating system. Designed, manufactured, and assembled in one school semester, LAD proved as not only a feat in undergraduate engineering but also as a preparation exercise for tight deadlines that are common in industry.

 
 
 

A CUSTOM COMPOSITE NOSECONE

A handshake between our mechanical engineers and flight dynamics teams, a custom nosecone was designed to be able to withstand aerodynamic drags and forces on the vehicle. Made out of carbon fiber, the nosecone only weighs 4.89 lbf despite being 45 in in length.
 
 

Our Space-shot Reaction Control System

One of the primary purposes for flying LAD is to qualify our Reaction Control System (RCS). This system utilizes four GN2 thrusters that are able to control and correct the natural tendency for the rocket to roll. It is capable of forcing and holding the vehicle to any given angle throughout the vehicle’s ascent.
 
 

High precision fin stabilization

In order to keep the rocket stable during flight, the flight dynamics team designed four fins that shift the center of pressure to a safe location and can withstand fin flutter forces. A high precision fin can design allows for a lightweight way to achieve a ±0.05° of fin cant.
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 Our custom   #CarbonFiber   Nosecone for   #LAD   is in house! 4.89 lbm 45” length 11.5” OD  - Designed by Andy Whitman

Our custom #CarbonFiber Nosecone for #LAD is in house!
4.89 lbm
45” length
11.5” OD

- Designed by Andy Whitman

 

A Reliable Recovery system

One of the most important aspects of any vehicle is ensuring a safe and reliable recovery. Due to the altitude that LAD was flying, a new recovery system had to be designed. Once apogee is reached, the flight computer will ignite two E-Matches which ignite black powder. With that, two CO2 canisters will rupture, pressurizing a manifold and separating the nosecone from the forward airframe. From there, a drogue parachute and military-grade main parachute safely descend the rocket for recovery.
 
 Our 4 RCS thrusters with scarfed nozzles for  # LAD   have been designed and machined. Testing begins today.  # PathToSpace   -Designed by Aily Walker

Our 4 RCS thrusters with scarfed nozzles for #LAD have been designed and machined. Testing begins today. #PathToSpace -Designed by Aily Walker

 

A lightweight method For thrust transfer

The thrust ring, the primary component of this thrust structure, is responsible for transferring the 3200 lbf of thrust from the motor into the airframe of the vehicle. This ring transfers the load, defines the position of the motor inside the assembly, and allows for easy attachment and detachment of the motor.
 
 Fin Can for  # LAD   is in house. This will interface with Fins, Motor Retention Ring, and Lower Airframe.  - Designed by Austin Briggs and Justin Fiaschetti   # PathToSpace

Fin Can for #LAD is in house. This will interface with Fins, Motor Retention Ring, and Lower Airframe.

- Designed by Austin Briggs and Justin Fiaschetti

#PathToSpace