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2018-2019 Space Grant Midwest High-Power Rocket Competition - the "Efficient Supersonic" Rocket Challenge

The Minnesota Space Grant Consortium (MnSGC) announces its intention to run a Space Grant Midwest High-Power Rocket Competition during the 2018-2019 academic year. This competition will be held in the midwest, but is open to college/university student teams from across the nation.  This competition is an opportunity for students to design and construct custom high-power rockets to be launched in May of 2019 from a Tripoli MN launch site near North Branch, MN, about a one hour drive north of Minneapolis/St. Paul.

In this competition college-student teams will design and construct an “efficient supersonic” single stage, dual-deploy-required, high-power rocket that will fly twice in the competition. Rockets will fly first on a Cesaroni 491-I-218-14A “White Thunder” (1-grain, 54 mm diameter) motor – unlikely to go supersonic, but for head-to-head comparison of maximum altitude, speed, and acceleration. The second flight can be on any Cesaroni or AeroTech I-class or J-class motor and will be rated based on going supersonic but doing so as “efficiently” as possible – that is, using the lowest possible impulse motor and only going slightly faster than the speed of sound. See details below regarding a “figure of merit” to help define “efficient” in this context. The rocket must also carry a non-commercial data-logging sensor suite to characterize flight performance including (at least) axial acceleration, velocity, altitude, rotation about rocket axis (AKA “roll”), and ambient pressure in the av-bay. Extra points will be awarded to rockets with a camera system that can see launch, landing, plus the deployment/inflation of both parachutes and also to rockets that carry a radio telemetry system capable of sending flight performance data to the ground during the flight, to be relayed to the judges before the rocket lands. Note that all fabrication work on the rocket (except for possible machining of plastic and/or metal parts) must be performed by students.

Logistical questions may be directed to James Flaten, MN Space Grant, U of MN,
Technical questions may be directed to Gary Stroick, Tripoli MN,