Small Rocket Project

The Small Rocket Project is DARE’s project, aimed for first-year bachelor students to learn the fundamentals of rocket engineering. The aim is to launch an uncooked egg to 1 kilometre. The best rocket that does this the best wins the prize; you’ll be awarded points on for instance innovation and other criteria. You will be awarded the much-prized SRP trophy if you win! We generally provide two lectures on the basics of building rockets. This includes topics such as calculating stability, performance, simulations and introduction to other topics. There’s also a lecture on workshop safety given by the university for working in the D:Dreamhall.

We provide machining courses for you on how to use lathes and CNC machines. Combined with knowledge of CATIA, we’ll help you get proper parts. Normally, we also a bunch of laser cut parts, and can help you if you want to experiment with composites. Looking into the future, we’re also building a 3D Printer to assist us in manufacturing. To deploy you parachute (and perhaps do other cool things), you’ll need electronics. We’ll provide you with a printed circuit board (PCB) for this purpose, which will interface the batteries, microprocessor and your choice of parachute deployment mechanism. As a bonus, we can provide you with a Breakout Board, an additional circuit board upon which you can place additional sensors, for pressure sensors or accelerometers instance for more advanced apogee detection! The SRP project provides many useful skills that will come in handy for contributing to our larger projects and teams. It will teach you how DARE as an organisation functions and how to organise tasks with others.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does the project work?

You’ll work in groups of 4-5 independently. There will be 3 weekends where you are expected to be at our Korolevlab here in Delft. The weekends are from 10:00-17:00 and 11:00-17:00 (Saturday / Sunday). Of course, it is highly encouraged to also work with your group throughout the week.

How much time will the SRP Project take up?

The SRP project will take on average 4-8 hours a week, depending on how well you want to design it. There’s also a launch day at T’Harde artillery site around May, and lathing courses during the evenings. The planned working days are in the weekends. You can miss one of these three weekends, but you will need to discuss with your team how you can make up for this.

How much does the SRP Project cost?

The SRP Project is fully financed by DARE, including lunch on during the weekends at our lab! That means that participation is free of charge. The only thing we expect from you as that you respect the material and rooms. That being said, we hope you join full of commitment and will ask to write a few paragraphs on why you want to join on your application form.

Can I design my own engine?

DARE takes safety extremely seriously and is the reason why we have been able to build up the reputation that we have as an organisation. The SRP Project is quite flexible in all regards except for the engine, which our qualified Safety Board will produce. There will be a production on session for making the engine casing though that you will be part off, and pending arrangements with the Safety Board, you may be able to get permission to join one of the fuel casting sessions. We normally build a batch for testing in the Autumn that are tested on campus that you may also come and watch.

Naturally, once you join our propulsion teams in the later years, you’ll be able to design your own engines.

Who can join the SRP Project?

The SRP project is open to all university and HBO students in Delft. It’s specifically geared towards first-year bachelor students, or second-year students building a more complicated rocket, perhaps to try some new technology. But even as a Master student in Mathematics or Business you are more than welcome to apply.

What language is the SRP in?

Documentation and Lectures are in English, but we’ll assign your group a Dutch-speaking mentor if you prefer.

When does the SRP Start?

The SRP project runs as a half-year project, starting around January and ending in the launch day around May. There’s a kickoff drink (borrel) in December where we will introduce you to the projects and show you some of the stuff that we work on.