Alabama Rocket Engineering Systems (ARES)
The Alabama Rocket Engineering Systems (ARES) Initiative is a student-led program with the long-term goal of taking the University of Alabama to the forefront of collegiate rocketry by putting a university CubeSat into low earth orbit via a university launch vehicle. The ARES Initiative is built on interdisciplinary cooperation, which closely parallels an industry environment. Each year, the ARES Initiative sponsors two design teams that are focused on developing specific technologies that will contribute to this long-term goal.
During this school year, Project LunarWorks has been developing the first student-built liquid bi-propellant rocket engine here at The University of Alabama. Utilizing liquid oxygen and RP-1, the engine will produce 5000 N thrust and will be tested on a test stand at a site in the Mojave Desert in California. The team will travel to test this engine in mid to late April. The development and testing of this engine will set the groundwork for future liquid engine development here on campus.
Project Altair will follow in the footsteps of last year’s team by again developing a flight vehicle capable of delivering a 10 lb payload to 30,000 feet at the Spaceport America Cup in late June. At this competition, we will fly a student researched and designed solid rocket motor that will deliver about 4500 N of thrust over the course of its 8 second burn. To further develop the program, the team will also focus on constructing a custom composite overwrapped pressure vessel motor casing utilizing Dr. Samit Roy’s filament winding lab on campus.
Our goal for Project LunarWorks is $6,000 to pay for travel and testing. Project Altair’s goal is $7,000 to cover travel for the whole team.