The exec’s role in ANU Rocketry is to work alongside the leadership team to ensure that our strategic vision is always in focus, and that we maintain taking strides towards our near- and long-term goals. We work to co-ordinate the team leads and work with them to support them and their teams. We also liaise with our academic and industry partners to foster healthy relationships and future opportunities for the team and our team members. The exec’s ultimate goal is to ensure the team has the best chance it can in order to achieve success, not only in competitive pursuits, but also in the teams own long-term goals of achieving spaceflight and more.
The business team manage ANU Rocketry’s marketing, budgeting, external partnerships and outreach. In effect, the team ensures that the wider team only has to focus on the technical components of building our competition rockets. This year the business team has doubled in size and our goal is to rebuild our business foundations. This will include acquiring the team’s first round of external funding, developing new partnerships and revamping our marketing and outreach approach. We are quite excited about ANU Rocketry’s career prospects.
Aerostructures and recovery focuses on the design, manufacture, and testing of the airframe and recovery system. Designs begin on paper, quickly iterating designs at a high level. Computers are used to draw up designs in detail, ensuring everything fits together before moving on to manufacture. We work with metals, plastics, and composite materials to construct reliable, strong, and lightweight airframes. We thoroughly test our recovery system to ensure a soft touchdown, allowing us to reuse our rockets again and again.
The avionics team is responsible for the all the rocket electronics, essentially the brains of a rocket. This includes measuring things like altitude and velocity, as well as controlling the deployment of the recovery parachutes. The team is also in control of GPS tracking of the rocket, both during the launch and after so that the rocket can be found quickly once it has landed. The team is currently looking into designing and manufacturing their own custom electronics, to improve the data that is able to be collected from the avionics system.
The simulations team validates the design of the rockets by a process of developing models, comparing models to empirical data from test flights and using the residuals obtained to iterate upon the fidelity of said model, in order to ensure safe and successful flight. Flight trajectory models are formed both with existing software, such as OpenRocket and ASTOS, as well as in-house MATLAB scripts. Avionics data from test flights is used to source parameters for these scripts, such as the drag coefficient. Analysis of the structural integrity and dynamic stability of the rockets is performed with finite element analysis and computational fluid dynamics respectively, for which we use software packages such as ANSYS and openFOAM.
The Payload team is responsible for both the integration of partner’s payloads into our rockets and the research, design, and manufacturing of custom payloads. If you have a payload or research project you want to fly, reach out to us! This year the payload team is focused on meeting the AURC Payload Challenge requirements with robust custom systems that can be reused for future missions. This includes the development of custom telemetry systems and inertial measurement unit PCBs for our avionics team, and the development of camera systems for onboard imagery.
The safety team is responsible for ensuring ANU Rocketry operates within a safe environment. The team consists of representatives from each of the sub teams, lead by the Safety Team Lead. The team leads the creation of risk assessments and safe work practices for various activities, and also organises the completion of relevant training for team members. The safety team are also responsible for ensuring safe practices are followed when the team is operating in the workshop or at a launch site.