SRL’s overarching goal is to develop members into fantastic engineers capable of defining clear engineering goals, breaking problems down into workable sizes, then applying first principles to figure out how to solve those problems.
Obsidian is our 4-inch scale technology demonstration vehicle. Technologies we are validating include:
- O-class composite solid rocket motor.
- Thermal heating model.
- Avionics and downlink.
- Composite manufacturing improvements.
- Propellant characterization improvements.
The CU Boulder Sounding Rocket Laboratory’s Composite Motor Development team brings together our expertise in solid rocket propulsion and composite manufacturing to create custom solid rocket motors at an unprecedented scale for a student team. We’ve accumulated a wealth of knowledge over the past three years of the program, and have static fired upwards of two dozen composite motors, ranging in diameter from 1 inch to 8 inches.
From custom phenolics to the first and largest student-built fully composite solid rocket motors, composites are the backbone of SRL’s technologies. Tremendous R&D effort has gone into scaling manufacturing while refining part quality for our flagship project Spaceshot. We are working to implement a 2-week Spaceshot production cycle via flexible tooling and tight process control.
SRL is pursuing new advancements in cutting-edge student-developed propulsion technology through two liquid engine development programs:
The CU Sounding Rocket Lab Avionics Team is responsible for the design, test, and integration of a flight computer for Guidance, Navigation, and Control as well as Data Acquisition and Processing of a Sounding Rocket.
Spaceshot is a single-stage rocket designed to reach the Karman line on the largest composite motor constructed. As an organization, we have been working towards the goal of Spaceshot for over four years. We’re using other active projects to prove the technologies needed to make this a reality.
SRL team members are encouraged to become certified in high-power rocketry through the Tripoli Rocketry Association (TRA), one of the two leading rocketry organizations in the United States. TRA offers Levels 1, 2, and 3 certifications.