The home to a booster signed by Homer Hickam and seven level three large-scale rockets, the Rocket Laboratory supports two highly popular student organizations, as well as research projects in Astronautics for students and faculty.
Two separate student organizations are housed in this space on the first floor of Lehman: the Embry-Riddle Future Space Explorers & Developers Society (ERFSEDS) and the Rocket Laboratory. Each of the student organizations focus on different fields of rocketry; ERFSEDS focuses on high-powered rocketry competitions, and the Rocket Laboratory focus of the development of experimental rocket propulsion subsystems. These two groups are collaborating in this space to develop an autonomously guided parachute system that will be capable of using a parasail to fly a rocket to a specified landing location. While in flight, this payload will also deliver real-time telemetry, consisting of GPS location, altitude, heading, and airspeed.
ERFSEDS focuses on design, construction, testing and flight of full-vehicle integration. The club competes in the Intercollegiate Rocket Engineering Competition (IREC) annually, with several top placements in the competition. Here, students learn how high-power rockets are made and are prepared for real-world engineering design challenges through the use of Design Reviews. The organization prides itself on research of solid rocket motors, 3D-printed fuel grains, and high-performance rockets. Students currently are working on modeling and simulating a World-Record-Breaking rocket which should reach close to 90,000 feet, as well as preparing a UAV-deploying rocket for the next IREC competition, mixing solid propellant rocket motors, and researching new manufacturing methods for composite materials.
The Rocket Laboratory is a student club that offers its members the chance to gain vast amounts of experience on different rocket propulsion systems, landing systems, and simulations. The Divisions offered by the Rocket Laboratory include a Liquid Rocket Engines Division, Hybrid Rocket Engine, and Simulations.
The Hybrid Division is responsible for the development of Vulcan a non-flight, modular hybrid test engine. Its sole purpose is to test hybrid engine designs my means of its interchangeable parts to determine how to produce the higher thrust at better efficiency. The data collected from this test engine is used to further develop Hydrus, the small-scale hybrid rocket engine that is being used in hybrid rocket competitions.
The Simulation Division is focused on teaching members how to use computational fluid dynamics (CFD) programs. Members will use CFD to model and simulate the various behaviors of rocket engines under different initial conditions and environments.
Rocket Laboratory is currently developing two liquid engine-based projects in its Liquids Division. The first, Draco, is the name of a pulsejet engine, which is a simple combustion engine with no moving parts. This pulsejet will eventually serve as an efficient and powerful booster stage rocket engine. The second project, Aquila, is near completion of a testable liquid rocket engine, EV-1. Like Vulcan, EV-1 is for testing purposes only. Following the completion of EV-1, EV-2 will be a full-scale liquid rocket engine capable of delivering over 1,500 pounds of thrust. The plan is to have this integrated into a rocket system upon completion of the engine design.