It’s been few weeks from the big event Skyward organized in the 2015: the European Aerospace Students Meeting (EASM 2015) for Experimental Rocketry.
After the amazing enthusiasm of the event to whom 6 international student rocketry teams participated (UKSEDS, WARR Rocketry Team, Tu Wien Space Team, ESO, Japan Rocketry Team, Warsaw Rocketry Group) with Skyward itself in addition, SGAC and SASA as support, that was dedicated to experimental rocketry made by student teams, we can firmly say that the european (and worlwide) scenario in this field is incredibly fervent and the convention has been a great chance of enrichment and discussion for all of the attendees.
The technological solutions and the research paths are somehow variegated but it’s still possible to underline common aspects:
- sounding rockets reusability
- solid or hybrid propulsion
- composites for structures
- fast prototyping
The setting up of a european competition could push more and more the research in this field, in general not so much investigated at the university, in an age that is going to see, in the next 20-30 years, incredible international missions out in the Solar System and a great increase of applications for the exploitment of the low Earth Orbit and the related technologies for the space access.
In the second day of the convention the participants have been able to attend interesting presentations from the industry sector, the innovative (italian!!) startups that are now commencing to face up the space industry and from the research world that enriched and enhanced the educational and instructive experience of EASM 2015.
1st European Experimental Rocketry Competition (Unofficial Name)
For what concerns the international competition, in the 22nd October the teams met at Campus In-Domus Monneret and they began to highlight the main features that the competition should have:
- An altitude limitation on the apogee (that will also influence the choice of the launch site) set up to 2017 m.
- The evaluation system will be enrolled with a score and a winner for each subsystem (propulsion, recovery, payload, etc…) and an overall winner that will be chosen for the best R&D, the best integration of all subsystems and the fullfilment of the mission objectives.
The evaluation of the work done on the subsystems will be given by a committee of experts recruited from companies in the sector that will score the project on the base of to-be-determined parameters like novelty, complexity, capability…
For example a homebuilt propulsion system is likely to be worth more than a commercial one.
- There will be a maximum number of launch attempts:
- 2 attempts from the launchpad, this means that in the case of a misfire a team would have another attempt for the ignition
- just one attempt once the rocket leaves the launch pad.
- Each team should provide its launch pad (or it should borrow it from the other teams)
In these weeks and in the next all the teams will notify about two members that will sit in the organising committee of the competition that is expected to publish the final revison of the rules within February 2016.
The first edition of the competion is expected to take place in the 2017 since most of the teams already have running projects at the moment. 2017 is also an exciting space themed year (Sputnik 1 60th anniversary, Google Lunar landings and 100 years since the birth of Arthur C Clarke) with possibilities for outreach and advertising of the event.
To be solved…
In the next months the organising committee will also face some important questions about the correct enrollment of the competition, with the hope to reach some help from national and international agencies, with specific attention to:
- identify a suitable launch site
- logistics of the purchase and transport of solid rocket motors.
EASM 2015 has been clearly an important event, one of the biggest aerospace-themed events ever organized by students in Italy.
The convention has been organized in all its parts completely by Skyward Experimental Rocketry, with about 80% of the funds spent coming from private sponsors and donors of the association (and the left 20% coming from the Politecnico di Milano money saved for cultural activities), offered for free to all the enthusiasts.
400 bookings on Eventbrite for the two days, peaks of more than 150 attendees, 22 different speakers from all over the world with a perfect logistics in spite of the work in progress for the next academic year inauguration.
A real team work that involved the association at first, than with the Politecnico staff and the department of Aerospace sciences and technologies for a final result that make us very proud.
What we realized, we believe, is a proof of how investing on the enthusiasm of young students like us would bring great success. We would like to fly high, quo neque aquilae audent, and with the hope of a collaboration more and more tight with all the stakeholders of the field (department, SpLab, italian and international rocketry associations, institutions that promote young space professionals and students etc…) we’re here testifying this amazing experience of EASM 2015.
Now it’s time to fly skyward with Rocksanne \(2 \alpha\)