Experience in the Stratos III Team

Hi everyone! My name is Dilan Gecmen and I am a second year master student Applied Mathematics. Besides my studies, I am the Operations Manager at Project Stratos III. Next to being the Operations Manager, I am also a simulations engineer. I will tell you a bit about the history of Stratos to give you a small overview of the project.

The second edition of the Dutch International Science Film Festival was held in Nijmegen and DARE was invited to give a talk and an interview with Rob van Hattum from VPRO! I gave a presentation about our projects.

The ultimate goal of Stratos is to reach space (100 km). In order to achieve it, first, small steps had to be taken. The journey began in 2007, when the Stratos I project commenced with the goal of breaking the European altitude record for amateur rocketry. The rocket was launched from Kiruna in Sweden. It reached an altitude of 12.3 km and broke the European altitude record for student rocketry!

This event got DARE the status of a TU Delft Dreamteam. DARE got a workshop, known as Laika Lab, in the Dreamhall and a lab, known as the Korolev Lab, at the faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science.

In October 2015, Stratos II+ was launched from the Spanish NAtional Insitute of Aerospace Technologies (INTA) and reached an altitude of 21.5km. With Stratos II+ DARE broke its own European altitude record set by Stratos I.

Recently, the European altitude record of Stratos II+ was broken by Hybrid Engine Development from Stuttgart, Germany. They set the record to 32.3km. This event led DARE to combine the knowledge obtained from Stratos I and II+ to develop the Stratos III rocket. The rocket is designed to go even further and possibly bring the European student altitude record back to Delft!

The set goal and time-frame of the Stratos III project are very ambitious. The Stratos III team wants to show that it is possible for students to build real life rockets. Doing so, they want to make the public enthusiastic about spaceflight, science and engineering.

As I already said, I’m the Operations Manager and a simulations engineer within the Stratos III team. I really like this combination as I’m learning a lot about the best ways to manage a team. Besides managing, I’m also able to apply my knowledge as a mathematician. It is a perfect combination of having the best of both worlds: the technical and non-technical side!