My name in Daan Kolthof, I am a member of the electronics team within the dreamteam Delft Aerospace Rocket Engineering (DARE). Currently, I am studying the master Computer Science at the EWI faculty at the TU Delft. The reason I am also a member of the DARE is that, by being a DARE member, I can experience what it is like to work on actual, real-world projects during the course of my study. By being a member of DARE I also work alongside students from completely different fields of study. This broad range of backgrounds of the members of DARE enables us to not only improve our knowledge of our own fields of expertise, but to also learn from each other. By working in a dreamteam, where members have such diverse backgrounds, we also learn about project management and working in multidisciplinary environments in general.
As mentioned, I am member of the electronics team within DARE. Our team focuses on the design, production and implementation of rocket electronics and on the development of ground control systems and software. The electronics team of DARE is usually working on DARE’s flagship projects, which included our record-breaking rocket, Stratos II. Furthermore, we assist other sub teams of DARE with their need for electronics design and development. This means we work on quite a broad range of projects.
Right now, I am working on project Stratos III, which is our largest and most advanced rocket to date. Our aim is to use this rocket to break the European altitude record for amateur rocketry teams. As mentioned earlier, I work on the electronics of this rocket. These electronics consist of several printed circuit boards (PCBs), antennas and cameras. Because the very specific requirements on these electronics, we design every PCB by ourselves. After a PCB is designed, software for all of its components has to be written. This is done within our team as well, according to the requirements that have been set beforehand. As of right now, several of the PCBs that will be used for Stratos III have been designed, and we are in the process of developing all the required software for these boards.
We are planning to launch the Stratos III rocket in July 2018. By then we should have finished all of the design, production and testing of the rocket and we will hopefully break the European altitude record!
Written by Daan Kolthof.