“Infinity and Beyond” was a group dedicated to exploring and experimenting with alternative rocket designs. The aim is research new ideas for rocket systems that are just now entering the aerospace engineering world, in order to establish a greater possibility of diversity in future rocket configurations.
Through research, rocket components are modified to make them more efficient and reliable, taking a scientific approach to the problems at hand, using mathematical calculations, simulation models, and data collection from experiments to arrive at the final designs. Infinity&Beyond hopes that the work will ultimately be a useful contribution to engineering science, and will inspire people to think outside the box.
The team evolved from a group of first-year aerospace students participating in the Small Rocket Project of 2013. With enthusiasm, persistence and much trial and error, a rocket attempting autorotation recovery was produced and flown. The recovery system failed due to electronics problems. However, the dedication to making it work was not lost. Thus it was decided to form Infinity and Beyond.
The project was the development of an autorotation recovery system. This means replacing the traditional parachute with helicopter blades, that start rotating with the airspeed as the rocket starts to fall downward, thus producing a lift force to slow it down.
The aim of this work was especially on demonstrating our autorotation recovery system successfully on a launch day as well as to provide the theory and process in developing such rocket with the aim to contribute to the scientific world and open the doors to further research into autorotation recovery.
Calculations have been made and drop tests have been conducted, and a working prototype has been build and launched on the 20th of may, 2016. More on the launch can be read in this article. The team itself stopped after this launch, but is eager to continue thinking outside the box with new, exciting ideas like the usage of the Magnus effect for recovering rockets. This will be done, however, in another team set-up later in the year academic year of 2016-2017.