The NASA Student Launch Program is a year-long engineering design program that allows college teams to work right alongside NASA engineers to build and launch a model rocket to a height of one mile. Each year students design, build, and test the model rocket capable of reaching 1 mile, while also carrying a scientific payload. This program also features a series of reports that must be submitted to NASA that go through the engineering design process for the team.
Below is an interview with a student at York College of Pennsylvania, Kyle Abrahims about the project and how HPI played a role in it.
What are the specifics for the rocket for 2017?
On the rocket for 2017, we will have an automated rover payload that will be carried during flight. This rover will need to know when it is launched and when it has reached its’ target (the ground after flight). Once it reaches the ground, it will sense this change and move automatically via electronics a certain distance away from the rocket. Once it has moved 10 feet, it will open up a set of solar panels from which energy will then be collected.
When designing the rocket for this year we wanted to build something different and unique. Normally a model rocket would have fins (for flight stability or to maintain a straight flight), but these fins are normally epoxied (strong adhesive) to the rocket tubing. This creates a problem if a fin breaks, because now the entire back tubing must be replaced in addition to the fin that is broken. The fin-can that we designed in CAD is designed to take the place of these fins. They function the same, but now if a fin were to break, we can easily replace it in a matter of seconds, rather than in a matter of days (epoxy takes a while to dry)
How many people are working on this project? (how many people are on the team, what is your role)
There is a total of 10 students working on this project. All attend York College of Pennsylvania for Mechanical Engineering and are hoping to work in the racing and aerospace industries after graduation. My role is the team captain (basically I oversee everything and make sure that everything is getting done correctly and on-time). But I am involved in every aspect of the project and I love it.
How did you hear about Hoosier Pattern? What made you want to work with them? What was the obvious advantage?
I race a sprint car in Central Pennsylvania as well, so I attended the Performance Racing Industry Show in Indianapolis and met the team at the show. The team was super friendly and they said that themselves and their boss were willing to help out college students, which for us is amazing and very much appreciated as we do not have a very large budget compared to some of the other universities competing. (Other schools include: MIT, Vanderbilt, Penn State, NC State, Florida University, Cornell, exc.)
The obvious advantage was the customer service and the help that I received from the start! It was super helpful and helped our team get going immensely!
Was there a problem/issue that HPI helped solve or make your project possible? How long were you looking for a solution?
We were looking for a fin-can solution for about a month and could not find any company willing to help us out with our design parameters. The print is rather large which also played a role, but HPI helped make our project possible by allowing us to transform my idea and Solidworks’ design into a tangible product which was amazing and I am forever thankful for the help that I received!
A huge thank you to Kyle and the rest of the team at York for reaching out to HPI and allowing HPI to be apart of this project. Good Luck to you and your team on the rest of the school year!