Pyxis

Pointing in the right direction

Overview

Pyxis is the second of the new generation of rockets developed to compete in the European Rocketry Challenge in Portugal. With its innovative and ambitious design, it leaps to the previous rocket Lynx, thanks to its main features:

  • Scientific Payload (1U CubeSat)
  • Guided Parafoil for Payload Recovery
  • Glass and Carbon Fibre Fuselage
  • Advanced RF System

Pyxis will prove that last year success wasn’t mere luck by competing once again in the  ‘Solid COTS 3000m’ category

SCIENTIFIC PAYLOAD

The scientific payload is developed in collaboration with the “Cigna-Baruffi-Garelli” High School in Mondovi (CN – Italy), whose students will use and program innovative IoT modules to gather data during our flight, that will be implemented in the electronics, developed by the Electronics Department, that is responsible for controlling the descent of the nosecone.
Moreover, part of the 1U Cubesat will be used to validate some design concepts for our future rockets.

SCIENTIFIC PAYLOAD

The scientific payload is developed in collaboration with the “Cigna-Baruffi-Garelli” High School in Mondovi (CN – Italy), whose students will use and program innovative IoT modules to gather data during our flight, that will be implemented in the electronics, developed by the Electronics Department, that is responsible for controlling the descent of the nosecone.
Moreover, part of the 1U Cubesat will be used to validate some design concepts for our future rockets.

GUIDED PARAFOIL

Once the defined apogee is reached, the nosecone, containing the payload bay, is completely ejected and the drogue is deployed. Its recovery is carried out by a parafoil whose descent is controlled autonomously by a set of actuators, leading the nosecone to land in a pre-defined location.

GUIDED PARAFOIL

Once the defined apogee is reached, the nosecone, containing the payload bay, is ejected. Its recovery is carried out by a parafoil whose descent is controlled autonomously by a set of actuators, leading the nosecone to land in a pre-defined area.

GLASS AND CARBON FIBER FUSELAGE

With the aim of reducing the weight of the rocket we decided to implement glass and carbon fibers fuselages. This allows us to buy a smaller (and cheaper) motor for Pyxis, and facilitate the development of our own hybrid engine.

GLASS AND CARBON FIBER FUSELAGE

Intending to reduce the weight of the rocket, we decided to implement glass and carbon fibres fuselages. This allows us to buy a smaller and cheaper motor for Pyxis, and facilitate the development of our hybrid engine.

Structural dynamics and aeroelastic models

To better understand what is going on with the rocket in every flight phase, in this past year, we developed our structural dynamics and flutter models to improve the sizing of the structure of Pyxis and our future rockets.
AeroElasticFins is completed as a structural solver, can construct the dynamic model of a generic fin. The structural solver uses linear, quadratic cubic shape functions to construct the mass and stiffness matrix and can compute the eigenvalues and the corresponding eigenmodes of two thousand fins in less than five minutes

Structural dynamics and aeroelastic models

AeroElasticFins is completed as a structural solver, can construct the dynamic model of a generic fin. The fin can have whatever trapezoidal shape, with infinite type of material. The fin’s lay-up can be made by a combination of orthotropic and isotropic material. The structural solver uses linear, quadratic of cubic shape functions to construct the mass and stiffness matrix and can compute the eigenvalues and the corresponding eigenmodes of two thousand fins in less five minutes. Now we have developed an easy 2D model to compute flutter velocity, but we are trying to couple AeroElasticFins’s structural solver with a local Piston theory for the supersonic range, that is more in our interest. In order to validate our current and future model we have performed an aeroelastic analysis by using NASTRAN and compare the result with previous research paper.

Telemetry RF System

The main telemetry comes with double transceivers at a different frequency that was designed to have high-speed data and redundancy. The octagon antenna array is the key for long-range communication, with multiple GPS antennas to get a faster fix, n°4 UHF antennas for a long and reliable link, and 6 GHz antennas arrays for the high-speed data link. Everything is “wrapped around” with the result of an omnidirectional pattern with low ripples.

Telemetry RF System

The telemetry RF System comes brand new for Pyxis.

The main telemetry comes with double transceivers at different frequency that were designed to have high speed data and redundancy. The octagon antenna array is the key for long range communication, with multiple GPS antennas to get a faster fix, n°4 UHF antennas for long and reliable link, and 6 GHz antennas arrays for high speed data link. Everything is “wrapped around” with the result of an omnidirectional pattern with low ripples.

The payload telemetry was designed to be compact and bulky. With 868 MHz band, the transceiver can be programmed to stream data according to the needs, and send position during the descent with an integrated antenna in the parafoil. The GPS payload antenna is hidden during the ascend, but will face upwards after the nosecone separation, to maintain the best line of sight with the satellites.

specs

Length
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Diameter
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Dry mass
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Motor manufacturer

Cesaroni Pro98

Motor model

M1520-P

Max thrust
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Total impulse
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Max speed
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Target apogee
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