DARE Minor 2017-18

Applying for the minor

To apply for the DARE Minor 2017-18, please send your CV and motivation letter to minor17@dare.tudelft.nl.


Tank pressure, injector manifold pressure and combustion chamber pressure for the DHX4-Phoenix

DHX-4 Phoenix hybrid engine test



Delft Aerospace Rocket Engineering (DARE) is a Delft University of Technology associated student rocketry organization. Within DARE students design, build, launch rockets and perform research on various rocketry related topics. DARE provides student members with the opportunity to apply the knowledge obtained during their study, giving members hands-on experience with space projects.

After the record breaking launch of Stratos II+ on October of 2015 the ambitions to go even further are growing faster than ever within DARE. However as higher altitudes are being reached it becomes more and more important to guarantee that the rocket is following a straight flight path. This is not only to maximize the apogee altitude, but also to minimize the ground track in order to keep the landing area as small as possible. This leads to the need of creating a control system capable of guiding the rocket safely and reliably during the first few crucial seconds of flight, where even small disturbances are able to significantly influence the flight path of the rocket.

Minor Aim and Content

The aim of the 2017-2018 DARE Minor is to design, manufacture and test a thrust vector control (TVC) system. The current plan is to develop this technology using an already tried and tested propulsion system, most likely some version of the DHX-4 Phoenix hybrid rocket engine. This will be to minimize the actual time spent getting the engine to operate properly, granting more time to developing the actual TVC system. The entire process, starting with conceptual design and ending with final testing will be performed by the participants of the minor.


The courses that must be followed during the minor depend on the background of the student. There are two student groups, one for LR/3ME/BK students, and one for non LR/3ME/BK students as seen below (click on the image for higher resolution).



General learning goals

After completing this minor, students are able to:

  • Design, develop, improve, test and produce/build parts of a new experimental rocket
  • Describe how rockets are developed and built
  • Describe and use an engine test bench for rocket engine testing
  • Prepare and execute necessary measurements
  • Work in (multi)disciplinary teams
  • Make a development plan and a production plan
  • Write a report with activities, results and recommendations
  • Eventually write a scientific paper

Specific Learning goals

  • Literature study into thrust vector control systems
  • Development of the hardware of a TVC system
  • Development of the system identification process needed to model the TVC system
  • Development of required control and control tuning algorithms
  • Design and operation of required ground systems (test bench, DAQ)

Possible extensions:

  • Design of a flight version of the developed system
  • Development of throttling system
  • Development of flight computer software