NASA-USLI

NASA-USLI

Student(s):

Pablo Villacorta

Jessica Rozycki

Manuel Posso

Ignacio Soriano - Team Leader

For the most up-to-date information, visit the students project website.  

Purpose, Description & Overview

The purpose of this project is to be exposed to the engineering design process as well as the manufacturing process of a working prototype and final product. This project simulates a real life engineering environment. The the mission statement is provided by NASA as if it were offering a contract for such system in the form of a request for proposal. Student teams then submit their respective Statement of Work for evaluation by NASA. The selected teams may proceed to compete.

The overall USLI objective is to launch a rocket with a scientific or engineering payload to an altitude of exactly 5,280 feet AGL (above ground level). Once this height is obtained a scientific/engineering payload must be deployed. Both the rocket (launch vehicle) and payload must be recoverable and reusable. NASA will take into account the design of the rocket (stability, control capacity), the achievement of the proposed apogee height, the safe deployment of the internal payload, the recovery process and the rocket’s capacity of being re-used in a short time period.

Our team’s plan is to carry two payloads. The first payload was proposed by NASA and is referred to as the scientific payload. Minimum separation altitude is 2,500 feet AGL It will gather data for studying the atmosphere during descent and after landing. Measurements will include pressure, temperature, relative humidity, solar irradiance and ultraviolet radiation. Measurements will be made at least every 5 seconds during descent and every 60 seconds after landing. Surface data collection operations will terminate 10 minutes after landing. Additionally, the scientific payload will take at least 2 pictures during descent and 3 after landing. It will remain in an orientation during descent and after landing such that the pictures taken portray the sky toward the top of the frame and the ground toward the bottom of the frame. The data from the payload will be stored onboard and transmitted wirelessly to the ground station at the time of completion of all surface operations.

The second payload will be a UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle). The UAV will itself carry a payload of its own that is designed to carry out surveillance operations. By allowing the rocket to deploy the UAV at a certain altitude, it is possible to increase the UAV’s endurance. Moreover, careful design and component selection is aimed at further improving the UAV’ endurance, as well as its overall performance. Because the UAV’s mission is surveillance, it is critical that it be able to provide constant support to ground-based personnel for as long as possible.