Research in Engineering and Aviation

Project-based introduction to aerospace engineering course: A model rocket

May/June 2010

Author(s): Jayaram, S., Boyer, L., George, J., Ravindra, K., Mitchell, K.

Journal: Acta Astronautica, 66, (9–10): 1525-1533. DOI: 10.1016/j.actaastro.2009.10.038


In this paper, a model rocket project suitable for sophomore aerospace engineering students is described. This project encompasses elements of drag estimation, thrust determination and analysis using digital data acquisition, statistical analysis of data, computer aided drafting, programming, team work and written communication skills. The student built rockets are launched in the university baseball field with the objective of carrying a specific amount of payload so that the rocket achieves a specific altitude before the parachute is deployed. During the course of the project, the students are introduced to real-world engineering practice through written report submission of their designs. Over the years, the project has proven to enhance the learning objectives, yet cost effective and has provided good outcome measures.

Request Publication from Author