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.
The home to a booster signed by Homer Hickam and seven level-three large-scale rockets, the Rocket Laboratory supports student and faculty research, as well as two highly popular student organizations focused on high-powered rocketry competitions and the development of experimental rocket propulsion subsystems.
Located on the first floor of the Lehman Engineering and Technology Center, the Embry-Riddle Future Space Explorers & Developers Society (ERFSEDS) and the Experimental Rocket Propulsion Lab club (ERPL) utilize the lab to support their overall mission of flying some of the most advanced projects developed at Embry-Riddle.
ERPL is focused primarily on design, construction, and testing of rocket engines, but students engage in projects in all aspects of rocketry such as flight dynamics and control, instrumentation, composite structures, computational fluid dynamics (CFD), heat transfer, and more. These various areas of development allow ERPL to have 9 active research projects, including Project Polaris, 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.
The lab is equipped with a variety of hand tools, electrical equipment, 5 axis CNC machine and 3D printer. This equipment supports learning outside the classroom and student projects including:
- Aquila: Liquid Rocket Engine and support system, with a testable engine to determine different fuel mixture efficiency and a second one capable of producing 1,500 pounds of thrust.
- Vulcan: Modular Hybrid Test Engine, used to determine the overall efficiency of an engine and the thrust increase of different engine components.
- Hydrus and Kryso: Hybrid engine with composite body being used for a composite rocket competition.
- Test Stands: Test stands for the hybrid test engine and for high-power rocket motors.
- Electronics Systems: Impedance matching network and power supply, an Artemis II telemetry station, a Yagi antenna, and flight computers, supported by in-lab soldering stations.
Current and Recent Projects
- Liquids Division: Two research liquid engines, one producing 500 pounds (Project Aquila) of thrust and the second producing 1500 pounds of thrust (Project Concordia). Both will be test-fired at the Prescott campus to validate heat transfer analysis and CFD models. These are the first joint-campus projects of this scale.
- Hybrids Division: Two research hybrid motors (Project Vulcan and Project Harpy) and two rocket stability projects. Both hybrid engines will be used to validate proprietary combustion analysis programs. Project Harpy will be the single largest hybrid motor ever tested by Embry-Riddle with construction beginning in early 2020.
- NASA Hybrid Competition: Full carbon composite student-built rocket used to showcase hybrid rocketry and research.
- Project Spectre: An actively stabilized rocket with the goal of competing in the experimental 30,000 ft. class at White Sands missile range.
- Project Aether: A research project providing the foundation for propulsive rocket stability, demonstrated to SpaceX representatives in2020.
- Data and Controls: These projects provide data acquisition for test fires and safe remote control of our engines.
Learn more about ERPL, its history, research, members and blog at https://erpl.space/about/