A couple weeks ago, our team received the sad news that we would not be participating in the USLI competition with NASA this year. However, the team has decided to proceed in building a rocket to the standards of the competition. It should still be a fantastic experience.
On Thursday, October 11, the team performed a series of static engine tests for two different size motors (L and K) to obtain data on the thrust of the engines. The team successfully collected this data using a LabVIEW program written by the group. Photos of the test and thrust curves will be available on the website shortly.
Lafayette College has entered to compete in NASA’s University Student Launch Initiative during the 2012 to 2013 school year. The team consists of seven students; six of the students are seniors studying Mechanical Engineering, and one of the students is an Electrical and Computer Engineering senior.
The team will work with a mentor, Jim Hansen of the Philadelphia Area Rocketry Association. The team also has a designated faculty adviser, Dr. Merz of Lafayette’s Mechanical Engineering department, as well as an engineering technician, Kevin Farrell, to help with all of the team’s machining needs.
All documentation will be recorded in the “Competition Documents” section of the site. The team has already written and submitted the proposal for the competition, which can be viewed in full as a PDF. Photos and videos will be posted as the team proceeds through the various design stages of the project.
Since the proposal was submitted, the team has been active in expanding its knowledge about rocketry. Several team members of the team attended a Philadelphia Area Rocketry Association rocket launch (picture of the launch field and adjacent corn field shown in this blog) and met with the team’s mentor, Jim Hansen, who also served as the mentor to the previous Lafayette College USLI team two years prior. The team is grateful for the support that Jim and the Lafayette faculty are providing throughout this project.