Vanderbilt Aerospace Design Lab: Subscale Launch, November 2015
Vanderbilt's subscale model has a body diameter of 5.5", an overall length of 79" and an overall weight of 24.3 lbf. (20.1 lbf. w/o motor). The selected motor for the subscale launch vehicle is a Cesaroni K1440, which again is chosen for its short burn time of 1.7 sec as well as a similar propulsive profile to ensure similar G-levels at takeoff and similar flight velocities between the subscale and full scale models. This model had a predicted and targeted altitude of 4900 ft. AGL. The recovery system for the subscale rocket is a dual deployment system, comprised of one drogue parachute (2ft elliptical) deployed at apogee and the main (10 ft. elliptical) deployed at 700ft AGL.
From tail to tip, the rocket begins with a robust tail section, which is bolted to a 12” payload experimentation section. Above the payload are the drogue parachute, the avionics, the main parachute, and the nosecone. All sections are entirely carbon fiber composite with 1/16” thickness, with the exception of the polystyrene nose cone, which is extended with 10 inches of blue tube 2.0 to house the main parachute. Carbon fiber has been selected for its high strength to weight ratio, stiffness to weight ratio, flexibility in design and geometry, and workability.