The Small Rocket Project (SRP) is DARE’s project that aims to teach first-year bachelor students the fundamentals of rocket engineering. The aim is to launch an uncooked egg to 1 kilometre and recover it safely. The 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 provide you with lectures on the basics of rocket design. This includes topics such as calculating stability, performance, simulations and introduction to other topics.
We’ll also teach you about manufacturing your parts, and we have access to facilities where you can work with metal, 3D printers or even composite materials. To deploy your 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. SRP provides many useful skills that will come in handy for contributing to our larger projects and teams. It will teach you how DARE functions as an organisation and how to organise tasks with others.
While the primary goal of the rocket is to recover the egg, you are free to set your own secondary objectives for your rocket. Maybe you want to perform measurements during the flight to prove you actually reached a kilometre, or incorporate apogee detection for your parachute deployment, or even carry a camera and broadcast live telemetry to the ground? The sky is the limit!
Okay, I’ve signed up now, when do I hear back?
After the sign-up form closes, we will get hard at work rating your applications. The best ones will be invited for an interview. The interviews will be conducted in December.
We will select candidates based on these interviews, and you will hear back from us in the first week of February.
I am not an Aerospace student, is there place for me in a project like this?
Yes! Very few people are knowledgeable about rockets when they join the society. On top of that, rocketry is such a broad field that no one person can be expected all the required skills and theory. During the weekend sessions we have lectures detailing all you need to know to build your rocket, so the only thing that you need is eagerness to learn. The goal of the project is for you to learn after all. You need a diverse team with a wide skill set to build a rocket, and thus we believe that everybody can contribute.
How does the project work?
You’ll work in groups of 6 under the guidance of 2 experienced mentors. There will be 3 weekends in February and March where you are expected to be at our location in the Science Centre 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.
This means that you need to be present in Delft throughout this period!
How much time will SRP take up?
The SRP project will take three full weekends in February/March. After that on average 4-8 hours a week, depending on how well you want to design it. There’s also a launch day at the ASK ‘t Harde artillery site in May. 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 SRP cost?
SRP is fully financed by DARE, including lunch 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. SRP is quite flexible in all regards except for the engine, which our qualified Safety Board will produce most of.
Naturally, if you join our propulsion teams in the later years, you’ll be able to fully design your own engines.
Who can join SRP?
SRP 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 SRP in?
DARE is a very international society with members from close to 50 different countries, so all lectures and presentations are given in English. We also expect our members to speak English to each other, even if they are Dutch.
When does SRP start?
SRP runs as a half-year project, starting around January and ending in the launch day around May. There will be a recruitment drink on the 30th of November where we will introduce you to the projects and show you some of the stuff that we work on.