After successfully launching and fully recovering the Akronauts’ 2015 IREC competition model, Erebus, the team had the energy and momentum to be highly competitive at the 2016 IREC. At competition, the Akronauts launched Daedalus, a single stage, solid fuel rocket. Tasked with reaching within a precise altitude of 10,000 ft, Daedalus also carried a 10 lb payload to apogee. The payload was ejected from the rocket for data collection and recovered separately.
Daedalus’ payload consisted of instruments including two high definition cameras, an altimeter, and accelerometer. Altitudes were recorded during the descent of the payload, while taking a time-lapse photo to ultimately generate a topographical map of the desert terrain that the vehicle was launched in.
The Structure team was responsible for designing and fabricating the internal bulkheads, fuselage, and all of the material testing. The fuselage was 1/8” thick fiberglass tubing, and the bulkheads were lightweight plastics with 6061 aluminum at the crucial load bearing sections of the rocket.
After a successful recovery at the 2015 IREC with a self-made parachute, the recovery team once again assumed the responsibilities of manufacturing the parachutes for the rocket. The RipStop Nylon material was cut into a gore geometry, sewn by heavy duty upholstery thread, and tested for both deployment and stress capabilities. Using this same method, the Recovery team also created a cluster of three parachutes for the payload.