The Propulsion Department is in charge of the design and development of the propulsive systems of the vehicle as well as their testing and verification. Our main areas of expertise are: Fluid mechanics, thermodynamics, heat transfer, structural design and manufacturing, solid propellant formulation and verification methods.

About the team

The propulsion team is in charge of the iterative development and design of the propulsive system which englobes the preliminary design of the motor and other subsystems, as well as analyzing the flow in the rocket motor using both analitical and numerical methods. They also simulate the flow inside the combustion chamber and along the nozzle, analyzing both time invariant and transient phenomena. Another one of their functions is to run checkstress analyses of the vehicle, taking into account the geometry of the vehicle and the technological level available as well as formulation and characterization of APCP solid propellants and the design and manufacture of the propellants and ignitor. Among other functions, they develop in-house software to optimize our designs and improve our workflow which includes an internal ballistics simulator and a thermochemical combustion simulator for propellants and explosives.
Having the responsibility of designing the most crucial part of the rocket is really motivating. We are all in awe when we stop and admire the huge contrast between the fine complexity of a rocket motor and it’s tremendous power. We devote ourselves to create the most powerful yet safe engine we can make.

                   Ongoing Projects

During the 2019-2020 season we developed “Nimbus”, a 75 mm OD solid propellant rocket motor for our rocket Astrea. With an APCP propellant it could generate an average thrust of 1300 N and a total impulse of 5000 Ns. 
Due to the strike of the Covid-19 pandemic we had to cancel the project before starting the manufacturing phase.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic our vehicle, Astrea, had to be redesigned to hold a commercial solid propellant rocket. We called this new variant Astrea-C. We had to select the correct model to fit the needs of the mission and integrate the motor into the rest of the vehicle.
We have been developing a pyrotechnic igniter for ignition at low pressures/high altitude. This pyrotechnic igniter consists on a basket filled with BKNO3 pellets. We had to develop the models to calculate the mass of pellets needed, procedures and tools for the manufacturing of the pellets, a test stand to be able to calculate the pressure generated and the parts of the igniter.
MotorSIM is a tool that simulates the combustion of a solid propellant rocket engine by integrating two algorithms: one dedicated to propellant grain evolution and the other dedicated to ballistics and engine performance indicators. The idea is to build a versatile and useful tool for the different phases of rocket design. Currently, the first version, which uses a lo-fi model, is receiving the finishing touches. Future versions with more advanced models are planned.
  •                                  SOFTWARE
  •                                                                                                SIMULATION


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