First year electronics – Small Rocket Project

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Hi, my name is Jillis Noordhoek, and recently I joined the Small Rocket Project (SRP). This is a project organised by Delft Aerospace Rocket Engineering (DARE), mainly for first-year bachelors.

Currently, I am in my first year of Electrical Engineering. The study is challenging, but there’s a good balance between projects and theory in my opinion, which is why I chose the study. And of course, because it lies in my area of interest. I’m also interested in space, flying, video games and since recently programming. That is why I chose to do the SRP: to get more hands-on experience with the things that I study, but also the things I don’t learn at Electrical Engineering. We’re even allowed to use the tools and machinery in the DreamHall.

So what is the SRP? As the name implies, the goal is to build a small rocket. But that by itself is not really scientific, so we have a mission: The rocket has to carry an unboiled egg up to 1000 meters in height and safely return it to the ground. In teams of four, each team has to make their own plan on how to design, build, test and launch this rocket. Additionally, our team has decided to incorporate various sensors and a camera into the rocket, so the flight can be filmed from inside the rocket and the footage could be supported with the data afterwards. This way we add a bit of uniqueness to the rocket, as it hasn’t been done before in the SRP.

Even though I am an Electrical Engineer I still joined the SRP. For me, it felt like it would be the most fun way to learn more about electronics and other fields as well. Also, I can share my knowledge with the rest of the Aerospace Engineers so that they too can learn things outside of their field. It’s also good for me to get to know more people with the same interests as me.

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Team O.W.C.A, my SRP group, working on the conceptual design

What I like about this project is that our hands won’t be held (much) along the way. It might be very difficult, but when it finally launches up into the sky in a few months, it will be the most rewarding thing to see. This also gives us a lot of experience and even opportunities to maybe one day join a dreamteam like DARE.

If I get the opportunity to be part of DARE in the future I would like to work on the active stabilisation systems of the rocket and the communication systems between the rocket and ground, because if DARE manages to make their rockets go even higher than they already do, we would need to make sure we can reliably receive and transmit information to and from the rocket. However, I’d be happy to solve any electronics problem on a rocket if that means more and better launches.