Launching model rockets

Campaign teams

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ESA / Education / Fly A Rocket!

When applying to participate in the programme students will select their choice of campaign teams:

GPS and Simulations 

This group will make the GPS sensor for the rocket.

Participants will also have lectures and exercises about how GPS sensors work, which will help them understand the technique and limitations of using GNSS sensors. They will also do course testing of the GPS sensor.


The group will also do simulations of the rocket launch, getting important macro scale parameters such as altitude, speed, and acceleration, and present these results at the pre-launch meeting. These results may deviate somewhat with the actual measured parameters (as all launches are different). The participants will analyse the differences during the post launch analysis and search for possible explanations.

The participants will also have a chance to prepare a hybrid motor demonstration that they will show to all the participants.

Telemetry and Data Readout

Spaceship aurora mission
Spaceship aurora mission

This team will set up and operate the NAROM telemetry station; including tracking the rocket and downloading it’s important data! 

The participants need to learn not only to how set up that station, but also how each component works. This will help if they need to do any troubleshooting later on. When the telemetry part is done, they will move on to set up NAROMs three decoders, which are PC software based. Visual Test System (VTS) and Dewesoft, which is the newest and most modern.

After that, the students will prepare a MATLAB script that read the data from the decoders and split them into variables. In addition, the script do some basic data processing. They will leave the required programs to some of the other student subgroups that will program the parts that are specific to their sensors. 


Building model rockets
Building model rockets

The payload group is in charge of making two of the analogue rocket sensors.

In addition, they are the responsible for preparing the payload, integrating it in the rocket, making all the wires (which are all custom on the rocket to limit noise) and to make sure that all the sensors on the rocket has been tested and qualified for launch.

The group will also be responsible for testing the payload with the telemetry group when it is fully integrated. 

Sensor Experiments

Integrating the payload into the rocket
Integrating the payload into the rocket

This group will make all the sensors (except two) that will go on the rocket.

In addition, they will prepare and launch two weather balloon PTU sondes.

This team will be divided into sub-groups of 1-2 students per rocket sensor and up to 4 students for the PTU sondes, 2 students per sonde. They start with learning how to solder by trying first on ‘perf’ boards. After they are done soldering, they need to test the sensor.

The participants will learn how the sensors work, and the physics behind it.

Finally, they need to investigate how to find the altitude and parameters such as the scale height, which says something about the state of the atmosphere.

By the end of the campaign participants will become real experts on their specific sensors. In addition, they will get an overview of the other sensors and the data collected through the presentations they will have for each other on the last campaign day.