The People of DARE – Chief Electronics Stratos IV (Part 1)

In this blog we would like to focus on the people within our society, getting their hands dirty on actual rocket science. Today we introduce Simon Verkleij!

Hi, my name is Simon Verkleij and I am the Chief Electronics of Stratos IV. To make the electronics systems in the rocket and on the ground, we have a big team of 2 full time and 7 part time electrical engineers! In this blog, I will introduce myself and give an overview of what we are currently working on.

Before the summer, I finished my bachelor in Electrical Engineering at TU Delft in which I mostly learned about the theory of electronics. It was during my spaceflight minor that I discovered the importance of electronics in rockets. The electronics systems take care of the separation of the nosecone, the parachute deployment, the control of the engine and also the measurement and transmission of data. This, together with my fascination for the space, motivated me to take a gap year and work full-time on Stratos IV.

My adventure at DARE started at the beginning of the summer when I got invited to join the launch campaign of Stratos III. I went to the south of Spain for two weeks to prepare the launch. My task was to operate the far away telemetry station together with Jillis and Daniel. We used this telemetry station to receive telemetry and live video from the rocket. For this, we had two antennas. An 850 MHz Yagi antenna to receive the telemetry and a 2.4 GHz helical antenna mounted on a dish to receive the video livestream, as you can see on the photo.

Operating the dish antenna at the telemetry station to receive live video from Stratos III.

Being part of the launch crew was a great experience. I learned a lot about all systems needed for such a launch, which was a good preparation for this year.

by Simon Verkleij

In the second part of this blogpost we will focus on the work Simon is currently working on. Stay tuned!