Fond du Lac rocket launch at a past competition
UW Madison "Cow" rocket lifting off
2023-2024 Space Grant (in-the-)Midwest High-Power
Rocketry Competition - the "In-Flight Characterization
A general announcement and a competition handbook will be posted below. More details will be provided at an informational / kick-off videocon at 7 p.m. Central Time on 9/18/23 (to be repeated at 7 p.m. Central Time on 1/11/2024).
The Minnesota Space Grant Consortium (MnSGC) announces its intention to run the Space Grant (in-the-)Midwest High-Power Rocketry Competition. The fly-off will be held in Minnesota, but this competition is open to college/university student teams from across the nation during the 2023-2024 academic year. This competition is an opportunity for students to design and construct high-power rockets to be launched in May 2024 from a Tripoli high-power rocket club launch site just north of Minneapolis.
2023-2024 “In-Flight Characterization Challenge” (summary description):
College/university student teams will design and construct a single motor, single stage, high-power rocket that will fly twice during the competition. The challenges are:
(A) minimize roll during the middle 50% of the coast with no moving parts (roll will be documented using a look-down camera, backed up with gyro sensor(s)), and
(B) carry a “non-commercial” (i.e. not sold for rocketry) data-logging sensor suite to monitor vehicle performance so as to make an in-flight estimate of peak altitude [and time to reach peak altitude] (AKA apogee) within 3 seconds of motor burnout (i.e. before the rocket reaches apogee). Sensors should be selected to deduce the actual air friction on the vehicle (to replace the estimated air friction value used by simulation software) and the actual total impulse of the motor (which might vary from the total impulse reported by the motor manufacturer by up to 10%).
All rockets will fly first on a Cesaroni 273-H-225-14A “White Thunder” motor, followed by a second flight which can be on any Cesaroni or AeroTech I-class motor. Both flights must reach at least 1000 ft AGL (above ground level), but not exceed 3000 ft AGL. Internal modifications (parachute, ballast, etc.) are allowed between flights, but not external modifications. Bonus points will be given to (1) teams whose member(s) increase their certification level using individually-built rockets (in parallel with the (team-built) competition rocket), (2) teams that can make a full 3D prediction of apogee location [and time to reach apogee] (including relative lateral position with respect to the launch site and/or absolute position (gps) – this will require additional sensors), not just estimating altitude of [and time to] apogee) within 3 seconds of motor burnout, and (3) teams that can transmit their estimate(s), and other performance data, to a ground station using a “non-commercial” radio telemetry system before the rocket reaches apogee. Note: All fabrication work on the rocket(s), except for possibly machining of fiberglass, carbon fiber, and/or metal parts, must be performed by students.
· Kick-off/informational telecon: Monday, Sept. 18, 2023 (repeated Thursday, Jan. 11, 2024) from 7 to 8 p.m. CST (contact James Flaten, email@example.com, for call-in information)
Garner your state’s Space
Grant sponsorship and submit a (Non-binding)
“Notice of Intent to Compete” by Oct. 1, 2023
· $400 Registration Fee is due by Dec. 31, 2023, of which up to $100 will be applied toward purchase of competition motors
· In-person Competition dates: Presentations & Safety Checks on Saturday, 5/18/24* (mid-afternoon & evening) then flights on Sunday, 5/19/24* (all day, plus an evening banquet)
· Alternate (Weather-delay) flight date: Monday, 5/20/24* (as long as needed)
* If Minnesota has a
particularly wet spring and the launch site clearly
will not be useable by mid-May, the competition dates
might need to shift. This will be announced in as far
in advance as is practical. See details in handbook.
DOCUMENT ARCHIVE FOR THE 2023-2024 "IN-FLIGHT CHARACTERIZATION CHALLENGE"
- Announcement of Competition (circulated August 31, 2023):
- Handbook for Competition:
- Slides and link to recording from Informational / Kick-off Videocon
- Non-binding "Notice of Intent to Compete" Form (due Oct. 1, 2023 - send form by e-mail to James Flaten, MN Space Grant, firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Link to Zoom recording of Informational Videocon on 9_18_2023
- Link to Zoom recording of (repeat of) Informational Videocon on 1_11_2024
- Reports by a past year's winning team (UMD) - optional reading
- Instructions for paying the $400 registration fee - due Jan. 31, 2024 (coming soon)
- "Declaration of Competition Attendance" Template (due Feb. 10, 2024) - submit by e-mail to James Flaten email@example.com
- Information about hotels and camping options, plus stores (like hardware stores) and other "local attractions" (coming soon)
Last Modified: 2023-09-20 at 10:07:21 -- this is in International Standard Date and Time Notation