DARE at the AIAA event in Delft

A snapshot of the AIAA event at the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering in Delft.

A snapshot of the AIAA event at the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering in Delft.

Last Monday (the 14th of May) representatives of DARE visited a social event organised by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) at the faculty of Aerospace Engineering in Delft.

The event was organised by the AIAA in the Netherlands by an organisation member who was traveling through the Netherlands. There are around 150 members of the AIAA in the country and it was for them a rare chance to visit an event so close by home. A number of DARE members are also part of the organisation after they presented a paper on the Joint Propulsion Conference last year in California on the hybrid rocket engine design for Stratos II (read about that story here).

The event took place near the Simona flight simulator of the faculty. This great machine harbors a cockpit suited for two ‘pilots’ who can fly an aircraft in a simulation and will move in three dimensions so to give the persons on board the feeling they are flying a real craft.

Conclusion Active Control Minor 2013-2014

On Friday 10th of January, the DARE Minor 2013/14 proudly presented DARE’s first actively stabilized rocket.

This year’s project, “design, construction and testing of a Stability Augmentation System (SAS) for a sounding rocket” culminated with the successful development of the V7S rocket, a modified version of the original CanSat Launcher V7 which now mounts a canard-based SAS. This system actively controls the orientation of the rocket, bringing more efficient flight paths with higher apogee than those of their passively stabilized counterparts.

One of the major breakthroughs achieved by this year’s Minor group is the development of a robust non-linear controller algorithm, which is based on the novel State-Dependent Riccati Equations (SDRE) and is able to accurately guide the rocket according to its desired orientation.

Another important achievement is the development of a precise and powerful simulation tool. Simulations have shown that the controller would raise the apogee of the V7S by 9.2% and would reduce its ground track by 24.7%, as compared to the original CanSat Launcher V7.

The progress made by the Minor group starts a new era of advanced controlled rockets for DARE, which will go higher and further than ever before.

DARE minor students together with Prof. Chris Verhoeven showing the V7 with active control system.

DARE minor students together with Prof. Chris Verhoeven (right) showing the V7 with SAS system.

13th Board of DARE

At the General Members Assembly on September 26th the board of 2012 / 2013 has been discharged. The new board for 2013 / 2014 has been installed.
This 13th DARE board consists of (see photo):


DARE Board

President (center): Myron Koster, MSc student Strategic Product Design
Secretary (second from left): Johannes Ehlen, BSc student Aerospace Engineering
Treasurer (second from right): Andreas Kleinschneider, MSc student Space Exploration
Commissioner of Internal Affairs (left): Pavel Volkov, BSc student Aerospace Engineering
Commissioner of External Affairs (right): Martin Olde, BSc Applied Physics


The focus points of the board’s policy this year are:
1) Knowledge transfer and administration to allow for further growth of DARE.
2) Promoting involvement of members to keep them connected to DARE and to better organise administrative tasks in a growing society.
3) Organisation cohesion within DARE to keep cooperation between different teams at a high level.


The 13th Board of DARE.

The 13th Board of DARE.

Nominated for NLF prize


Today we received the exciting news that DARE has been nominated for the Nederlands Lucht- en Ruimtevaat Fonds (NLF) prize for our work on Stratos II. The NLF prize is awarded to three of the best ideas in the space and aerospace area from the Dutch WO, HBO and MBO students. After the nominations, a prize of € 10.000 will be awarded to the best idea in each of educational categories.

DARE is nominated for it’s work in designing, building and launching a rocket called Stratos II to over 50 kilometers altitude. Because DARE is connected to the TU Delft, DARE is eligible for competing for the price in the WO student category. Part of the campaign to launch Stratos II is designing a rocket engine producing 10.000 Newtons of thrust. Stratos II will break the European altitude record and carry various scientific experiments in it’s nose capsule. After launch the capsule will be recovered.

The award ceremony will be held on the 9th of November. More information can be found at the NLF website.

Interest drink

Tuesday evening we held the annual DARE interest drink again. We had a massive number of students who are interested in joining DARE attend the drink. In the end about 100 students ranging from first year Bsc students to Msc students turned up. Motivations range from students looking for a project to write their Msc thesis on to first year students who want to obtain hands on manufacturing experience. We started off with a presentation of DARE itself and all its various projects. After these presentations we moved to the workshop to have drinks and to check out some real flight hardware. Judging by the amount of people turning up, SRP will be busy this year.

DARE interest drink presentation at the EWI faculty.

DARE interest drink presentation at the EWI faculty.

Did you miss the interest drink and are you still interested in joining DARE or one of it’s projects or teams? Contact us!

CanSat Launch Day 2013 NLD39 summary

CanSat Launcher V7 taking to the skies at ASK 't Harde.

Today the launch campaign NLD39, the CanSat launch day of 2013, took place at ASK ‘t Harde in the Veluwe, Netherlands. A total of 4 CanSat rockets, each carrying 5 CanSats on-board were planned for launch. Along with these were the Stratos II Concept Launcher and a rocket from the NAVRO. Next to that the NERO also had two rockets and a static motor test planned.

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Study Tour 2013: Bears and SpaceX

This is the third and final update on the 2013 DARE study tour where nine DARE members visit the United States to present at the Joint Propulsion Conference (JPC) and visit various companies. During our last week we not only got to see marvels of technology, but also of nature.

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Study Tour 2013: Conference


This is the second update on the DARE study tour. Nine DARE members traveled to the west coast of the United States to present a paper at the Joint Propulsion Conference (JPC) and to visit various aerospace companies.

Friday the 12th Sea Launch in Long Beach was visited. We got a full tour of both the command vessel and the floating launch platform. While at the moment of visit no launch vehicle was in processing, it was still very impressive to walk about the truly massive launch equipment of Sea Launch. It’s not an every day experience to be able to stand at the actual launch site of a rocket – we were allowed to get all the way up to the actual flame bucket where the Zenit rocket held during launched.

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Study Tour 2013: USCRPL and Mojave

DARE study tour participants at XCOR

Tuesday the ninth of July, nine DARE members flew into Los Angeles to participate in the 2013 Study Tour. The goal of this years study tour is to present a paper at the Joint Propulsion Conference in San Jose on the efforts by the Stratos Propulsion team. In addition various space and rocketry related companies and organizations will be visited in the greater Los Angles and San Francisco area.

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First Aurora rocket motor test series completed

Dawn full scale TNO test still

Over the past month, the DAWN team performed three full scale hot fire tests of their 10,000 N thrust / 200,000 Ns impulse DXH-200 “Aurora” motor. The Aurora motor is a hybrid rocket motor being developed for powering the Stratos II rocket to over 50 kilometer altitude beginning 2014.

During each of these performed motor tests, the burn time was progressively increased from 5 seconds, to 10 seconds and to 15 seconds. If engine performance was consistent during each of these burns a full 20 seconds burn was to be attempted. The 5 and 10 second burn tests were completed without incidents, successfully validating the basic engine design. Unfortunately, during the 15 seconds burn a crack was formed in the wall of the combustion chamber after about 5 seconds. Inspection of the test footage suggested that the failure might have been caused by inconsistencies of the fuel grain, allowing hot gases to get into contact with the combustion chamber wall. CT scans of another grain confirmed the presence of inconsistencies in parts of the grain, suggesting a revision of the casting process is required.

Overall the DAWN team is very satisfied with the results of the tests. Critical aspects like the igniter, engine performance and test setup were all validated. Using the obtained data and a revised grain casting procedure, the team is confident that performing a full 20 second test fire will be attainable in the next series of tests. More details including footage can be found on the Project Stratos website.