Get to Know Our Teams – RMIT HIVE

For this edition of ‘AURC – Get to Know Our Teams’, we got talking to winners of the 30,000ft category in the inaugural AURC, the team from RMIT.

RMIT HIVE was formed in mid-2018, as RMIT’s entry into the inaugural AURC, competing in the 30,0000ft category, with their rocket ‘Ad Astra’. This was their first competition as a team, with many members having never even built a rocket before.

Like all of our university teams, RMIT HIVE is student based and student-led. This multidisciplinary team, involves the work of over 40 members, from 5 different sub teams; structural, payload, flight systems, ground systems, and mission control. As the team continues to grow, they hope to include more students from other STEM and Arts disciplines.

When they’re not competing, RMIT HIVE works to promote the Australian Space industry, and to inspire the future generations of STEM leaders through rocketry. Throughout the year, they run outreach programs in collaboration with the RMIT Space Technology Association, with many of the RMIT HIVE team members volunteering their free time to make these events possible. In 2019, they ran two Mission to Mars workshops in collaboration with Spark Engineering and Engineers Australia, in which they showed children how to build an air rocket by employing engineering design principles.

The team also heavily focuses on scientific development and providing research opportunities for its members. They currently have a student completing their Applied Science Honours capstone project, which is to design and build a CubeSat to test the effects of ferrofluid in microgravity. Mentored by RMIT supervisor Dr. Gail Illes, the two developed the science experiment payload that was launched with Ad Astra at last seasons AURC, from which they gathered invaluable data.

RMIT HIVE also provides its members with the opportunities to strengthen their industry relationships with personal development training, and accredited workshops, as well as participating in industry networking events.


Now over to the members of RMIT HIVE, to answer some of our burning questions for them…

How long have you been working on this current rocket?

“While design work for Ad Astra II began in July of 2019, the rocket inherits many features from the previous competition rocket that HIVE constructed for AURC. Ad Astra II incorporates all of the accumulated skill and knowledge that HIVE has gained since its inception in mid-2018. So far, the design features many optimisations and fine-tunes from previous designs, while retaining similar aerodynamic surfaces, structural design, and flight electronics. Currently, HIVE’s focus is in R&D and improvements to the GPS, tracking, and logging systems to be used on Ad Astra II. Additionally, HIVE is continuously up-skilling and training team members to perform industry level activities – in particular, composite manufacturing. Construction of the rocket will begin with the manufacturing of first components in early 2020”

Tell us a bit about the inspiration behind the name of your rocket?

“HIVE’s entry into AURC 2020 features our new rocket; Ad Astra II, which carries the namesake of HIVE’s previous AURC entry. Keeping the same name for the rocket was chosen as it represents our progress, development, and acknowledgements our origin.

Ad astra per aspera is a latin phrase that translates to “through hardships to the stars” which we feel exemplifies the pursuit of rocketry. HIVE has had its setbacks, its failures, however the enormity and awe of pursuing space is encouragement enough to push through hardship. Aspiration and drive is required to achieve great things and we wanted our rocket name to reflect our ambition.”

What will be the team’s biggest obstacle to overcome this competition season?

“The main challenge is meeting all the system’s functional requirements. Especially the size of the payload section which is larger this year. This change will increase the diameter and thus the overall size of the rocket. We will largely follow the same structure as last competition’s ad Astra, but we will not be able to reuse as much now that size has changed. There will need to be some design edits and optimizations performed to meet the new payload requirements.”

Is there anyone you would like to thank for their contribution to the team?

“We would like to thank RMIT University’s School of Engineering and School of Science for their continuous support in the team’s journey to shoot for the stars.

We would further like to thank our supervisor Dr Gail Iles for her passion for our teams learning and her dedication to furthering space science opportunities in Australia.

Our achievements would not have been possible without partners and industry supervisors from Boeing, BAE systems, Ausplex, and JOY fm.”

Follow RMIT HIVE on their journey to AURC 2019/2020!

Originally posted January 23, 2020

Get to Know Our Teams – USYD Rocketry

For our first issue of AURC – Get to Know Our Teams, we have been given a little insight into the folks from the University of Sydney’s USYD Rocketry Team!

USYD Rocketry is no stranger to this competition, having competed in the inaugural AURC in 2018/2019 as well as placing 2nd in the 10,000ft category. Since the teams foundation in 2016, they have also gone on to compete at the coveted Spaceport America Cup in 2019, placing 1st in the 10,000 ft category, making them the first Australian team to win at the intercollegiate competition.

Outside of rocketry competitions, the USYD Rocketry Team also works on research projects, with both thesis students, and passionate team members to develop innovative ideas for their competitive rockets. They aim to provide as many opportunities as they can for students of different engineering streams within the university, to participate in these projects.

This year, USYD Rocketry has entered two rockets in the AURC, ‘Firetail’ and ‘Bronzewing’ in the 30 000 ft and 10 000 ft category respectively.

We got to ask USYD Rocketry a few questions about the rockets they are currently working on for the AURC, without giving too much away of course.

How long have you been working on your current rockets, and what can you say about their progress so far?

“Both projects within the team, being the 10,000 and 30,000 ft. COTS rockets, started working at the start of semester 2 of 2019. The team endeavours to inspire and train new and existing rocketry members in the construction and launch phase through the avenue of kit rockets. The Preliminary designs of the rockets to be launched in the next competition season started in September of 2019 with members devoting their time and effort into meeting deadlines.”

Tell us a little bit about the inspiration behind the naming of your rockets, Firetail and Bronzewing.

“All of our rockets are named after native Australian birds. The beautiful Firetail (“Wibung” in the Gadigal language) was the inspiration for our 30,000 ft. competition rocket. Whereas our other rocket Bronzewing (“Guwadagang” in the Gadigal language), is our new 10,000 ft. competition name. We choose to acknowledge the names of these birds in their native languages to honour the traditional custodians of the land, the Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander people of Australia, and because of our strong connection to the local Indigenous community.”

Through the eyes of the team members, what important lessons and experiences have been gained from their involvement with the USYD Rocketry Team?

“USYD Rocketry Team has shown me the struggles of achieving a goal, and the true power a group of students with the same goal in mind. When you put a group of students with a common goal in the same place, there are endless possibilities and can achieve many. I have seen the struggle and success of USYD Rocketry Team, with my new role in the team, I want to continue drive this success we have had in 2019 into 2020 and beyond.” – Travis Chong

“USYD Rocketry Team was founded in 2016, and its journey since then is one that I’m very proud to have been a part of. Our achievements have not come without hard work, and it has been a privilege to embark on amazing projects with some unquestionably talented engineers.

The challenges faced by the Team have provided numerous learning opportunities and watching myself and others grow as a result has been very gratifying. I’m immensely proud of what our team has achieved so far and am excited to see what the next few years have in store for us!” – Clara Morris

Is there anybody you would like to thank for their contribution to the USYD Rocketry Team?

“We wish to thank all of those who have supported USYD Rocketry Team along the journey to success. Thank you to the University of Sydney School of AMME, the Chancellors Committee, the Royal Aeronautical Society, Greg from Sydney Composites, the NSW Department of Industry, Paint My Bike, Myriota and Meeloft. Their support in our team has been invaluable and without their support USYD Rocketry Team could not have reached such success. A special shout out to Greg from Sydney Composites who went above and beyond to help and guide us. Also, a very big thank you our mentor, Stewart Campbell, who has always been ready to share advice from his extensive knowledge base and to take time to evaluate our design and manufacturing choices. And finally, thank you to the students who have devoted countless hours to project Silvereye as well as supporters who have watched and cheered the USYD Rocketry Team from the sidelines. It is from their unwavering passion and dedication that such a project was accomplished.”

Follow USYD Rocketry on their journey to AURC 2019/2020!

Originally posted December 20, 2019

Registration Opens for AURC 2020

The Australian Universities Rocket Competition 2020 has now officially opened team registrations. The competition will again consist of two man categories; requiring student teams to design, build and launch a sounding rocket (and recover it successfully) to either 10,000ft or 30,000ft, carrying a 2kg+ scientific payload of cube-sat format. This year comes with new exciting changes and opportunities, including a challenge set up by the Royal Australian Air Force, additional payload challenges and the opportunity for international teams to compete in Australia in the week of September the 28th 2020. Full rules, requirements and timeline documentation will be released in due course, with the very first deliverable being the selection of motor.

Originally posted July 29, 2019

Inaugural AURC Concludes

The inaugural Australian Universities Rocket Competition (AURC) has concluded after 4 days of competition presenting, scrutineering, launching and recovering rockets. The Australian Youth Aerospace Association would like to thank the Thunda Down Under organisers for hosting the AURC at their rocket festival this year in outback Queensland.

…and the awards go to…

Overall Competition Winner: UQ Space
30,000 ft Winner: RMIT HIVE
30,000 ft Runner-up: Monash HPR
10,000 ft Winner: UQ Space
10,000 ft Runner-up: USYD Rocketry Team

Stay tuned to our LinkedInFacebook and website to see all of the media content from the event!

Congratulations to all teams that participated in the 2018/19 AURC season and we hope to see you all again in the very near future…

Originally posted April 30, 2019

Team of the Week: UNSW

This week on Team of the Week is AIAA UNSW Rocketry! For the upcoming competition, the team has been hard at work manufacturing their rocket ‘Ainsworth_203’, getting it flight ready for Thunda! The team has also been busy running weekly workshops for new members and engaging in industry through their Project Fairs! Have a look at their exciting progress below, with an exclusive sneak peek at their technical payload!

Progress Overview

We’re a bunch of UNSW students who love to fly rockets, ‘send it’, hang out and laugh together. In terms of the AURC- we’ve been putting in hard yards with fabrication experts DMG Engineering to get our rocket ‘Ainsworth_203’ built and tested for Thunda! Of course, being hard at work on our upcoming technical report, we’ll keep it short and sweet!

Alongside the competition build, we’ve been upskilling our new members weekly, running workshops and building small low-power kits which were then launched at the recent NSWRA Launch Weekend! “This made my day…(literally)”. Members are keen to graduate down the pipeline, join the association and attempt their MPR Certs!

On the business end, UNSW held the first of many Projects Fairs where the team was able to engage with industry and join the engineering network at large. Part of this network is BLUEsat UNSW- the student group responsible for developing our technical payload, which is carrying a scientific bacteria experiment conducted by Biosphere UNSW. This makes for a truly interdisciplinary effort!

From us all at AIAA UNSW Rocketry, we would like to thank our major supporters UNSW and Cubic, as well as the Ainsworth family for supporting our honorary naming scheme for this project rocket, ‘Ainsworth_203’. We would like to finally thank the competition organisers at AYAA as well as our team coordinator Luan for sharing our story here on the Team of the Week Feature! That being said, we look forward to carrying our team spirit along with us to the AURC and checking out what the others have in store!

Follow our story on social media!

Originally posted March 20, 2019

Team of the Week: UWAA

Our Team of the Week this week hails from Western Australia. University of Western Australia Aerospace (UWAA) has been hard at work over the past few months, making great strides with their prototype vehicle, launching it to an impressive altitude of 2.86km! Check out their progress below, and get to know their team lead structural engineer, Joel, as he tells you about what he’s learnt from his AURC journey thus far.

Progress Overview

The UWA Aerospace Team have made great progress in the AURC over the last few months having successfully launched and recovered our prototype to a height of 2.86km. We’ve recently spent last month finishing off the analysis and experimentation necessary to further optimise and improve our simulation accuracy and are now working on finishing off the technical report and our competition build ahead of the launch.

In addition to the team’s technical pursuits we’ve also found the time to give back to the local community through running fun and engaging outreach workshops which encourages local high school students to pursue careers in STEM-related fields.

Member Feature: Joel – Lead Aerostructures

My earliest memories of space are the nights I spent stargazing with my dad as a kid. I can still remember the glow of an old boxy satellite we spotted as it burned up on its way down to Earth. I’ve been drawn to space ever since, though I’m mostly known for making (breaking) things in my garage.

The AURC has provided a convenient outlet to both my love of the stars and the desire to build sweet machines. As the lead structural engineer, I’ve learned about composite airframes, aerodynamics, team communication, and working to tight budget limitations. While it’s been a challenge to work in a part of Australia without much aerospace funding or expertise, the brilliant team of passionate peacocks at UWAA more than makes up for it.

Originally posted March 11, 2019

Technical Report Submissions Open

Submissions for the Project Technical Report are now open! The report is due on March 18th and is worth big points and your efforts now could make all the difference in your team’s result.

Originally posted March 7, 2019

Team of the Week: UTS

For our first Team of the Week feature, the AURC committee are excited to showcase UTS Rocketry. UTS Rocketry have been working hard on their rocket, Asteria, to participate in the 30,000 ft division at the the AURC in April. Alongside working on their Level 2 Certification, the team have also been busy designing and testing a range of smaller rockets for their members to get some hands-on rocketry experience.

Progress Overview

The UTS Rocketry Team is working actively towards meeting the competition deadlines, with our main rocket Asteria (L: 229cm/D: 13.5cm/31.35kg/N-Class) largely manufactured and ready for our initial test flight in early March. Asteria is designed to carry our full technical payload to 9000km and comprised of a full Carbon Fibre exterior and a mixture of Balsa, CF rod, and 3D-printed PLA acting as the key structural components. Currently, our mechanical team is finalising the production of our nose cone, made from a carbon fibre wet lay over a vacuum formed mould. We have put effort into forming a mass manufacturing process for this (amongst other parts) as we have identified the nose cone as a part in need of frequent replacement and modularity.

Having finalised their payload PCB design, our Electrical team is organising its initial print while configuring what will be our onsite tracking and data streaming. In addition to the competition mandated package, our payload is designed to accomplish two key missions – Firstly, the recovery of flight data to corroborate our flight simulations, which includes a flight camera for full HD onboard video. Secondly, to equip our community outreach partner (PAAS) with a host of sensors to perform a tailored atmospheric experiment at apogee.

In addition to our competition rocket we are endeavouring to design and manufacture a host of UTSmade rockets. The first of which is dubbed Charmander (L: 56cm/D: 3.5cm/400g/G-Class) A smaller class rocket manufactured using an SLS 3D printer. It was designed to give the wave of newer members first hand launch experience & a chance to familiarise themselves with basic rocket features. The second is Cyclops (103cm/D:7.6cm/1.1kg/G-Class) designed to test out payload housing/flight video systems and manufactured almost entirely out of carbon fibre to give the team experience with the procedures. We are also currently developing a clustered motor design for launch later this month. The goal is to create an environment for all our members to learn as many facets of rocketry as possible and focus on broadening what ideas we can bring back to our competition design.

The team most recently travelled 6 hours to Mullaley to launch a rocket dubbed Godzilla as we continue to work towards our Cert 2 for the competition.

Originally posted March 4, 2019

PTR Tasking Statement

The first draft for the AURC Project Technical Report (PTR) tasking statement has been released to teams. This report is due on the 18th of March and is the culmination of all your work towards launching in April. The scoring of the PTR will significantly contribute towards the AURC.

You can also find it on the competitor’s page where you can stay tuned for more updates.

Originally posted February 1, 2019

Preliminary Launch Event

The AURC committee is excited to announce a Preliminary Launch Event for the upcoming Australia Day long weekend. This will provide teams with an opportunity to undertake test launches, as well as undertake any remaining certifications.

Originally posted January 4, 2019