We have had an incredible first year at the Space Society! We have grown quite nicely from just a few students and hope to grow further in the coming Autumn Term. We’ve enjoyed hosting many social, engineering and outreach events throughout the year too.
We’ve recently completed our first year participating in the UKSEDS National Rocketry Championship where we were challenged with designing, building and launching a mid-power rocket with the aim of reaching the greatest altitude possible. We’re hoping to have our first launch in the coming academic year!
Our small rocket has a carbon fibre body, with 3D-printed fins and nose cone. The rocket is powered by a solid rocket motor and contains an on-board Arduino Nano, controlled remotely from a laptop. Looking ahead we would like to develop some novel ideas for our rocket such as a trilateration guidance system and perhaps guided parachutes. These additional elements will require a range of skills allowing an even greater variety of students to get involved with the Space Society’s projects.
Here is our testing equipment we produced to perfect our nozzle design for optimum flight. Using the load cell and pressure gauges we can use the valuable data to change the shape of nozzles.
We are currently planning to participate in another UKSEDS competition, the Olympus Rover Trials, where we would be tasked to design, construct and operate a small rover to collect material samples on Mars. This competition will be our first introduction into the world of robotics!
We have also begun to hold outreach events at local schools to help teach local school pupils. Our first one involved pupils at University of Birmingham School interested in space. We introduced basic rocket concepts and even launched a small water powered rocket. We are hoping to expand on our outreach activities next year with even more visits to schools and a variety of activities.
Our society consists of a mixture of engineering and physics students from diverse backgrounds. To make the society as accessible as possible we offer resources on areas members might be interested in but have no prior experience with, such as Fusion 360. All of our members learn new skills they would not otherwise learn from their respective degree, with many skills highly advantageous for future careers.
There are 42 student groups in the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences. To learn more about their projects and activities head to www.birmingham.ac.uk/eps-societies.