Aerospace Team Graz flying high at the European Rocketry Challenge 2021
This year, the competition, as Europe's only rocketry contest, convinced 19 teams from 13 different nations to participate. Among them the interdisciplinary student team Aerospace Team Graz!
Sponsored by the Portuguese Space Agency, the event aims to encourage students to design, build and launch their own rocket. Across a broad spectrum, the competition aims to encourage students to study science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and to develop technological capabilities.
Aerospace Team Graz - "The sky is no longer the limit!"
The Austrian Aerospace Team Graz is a non-profit association of about 60 students from different universities in Graz. When founded in 2019, the interdisciplinary student team set the goal to develop and build their own rocket and launch it at EuRoC 2021 in Ponte de Sor (Portugal).
This goal was achieved in just 4 months from concept to competition-ready rocket. Care was taken to develop as much as possible in-house. The result was AVES, a 2.7m solid rocket. Starting with the self-developed propulsion system, the self-poured propellant, the self-designed hull of the rocket and the specially designed and programmed flight computer with its own operating system, the team covered all the tasks of a rocket.
It was important that the rocket also contained a payload weighing 1 kg for the competition. For this purpose, there was a cooperation with the HTL Pinkafeld and the HTL Neufelden, of which one student group each developed a small flight computer for the project. These then had the function of measuring data such as air pressure, acceleration, temperature and altitude during the flight.
European Rocketry Challenge
The European Rocketry Challenge is a European competition that took place for the second time in Ponte de Sor in Portugal. The goal is to reach a certain target altitude with a rocket developed by a team of students. A great deal of focus was placed on the technical implementation and its documentation in the form of a report. The Aerospace Team Graz participated in the category 3km and went home with an award already at their first competition - the Technical Award for the best technical report.
The flight of Aves, the first competition rocket of the Aerospace Team Graz could be called a maiden flight, as this rocket never experienced a test flight before. After many HotFire tests of the self-developed solid propulsion system, Aves was launched for the first time on the Launch Rail in Ponte de Sor, Portugal. In doing so, this Austrian rocket could be considered the fastest at EuRoC this year. The rocket was very stable during the flight and had a maximum acceleration of 45g, leaving the Launch Rail with a velocity of 90 m/s. Unfortunately, the recovery system was not triggered, which meant that most of AVES did not survive a very hard impact. However, a new concept is already being in progress. The Aerospace Team Graz is already looking forward to next year, where they will participate again at the European Rocketry Challenge!