In 2016/2017 SOAR will again be developing a rocket for entrance into the IREC. The competition is to be held at Spaceport America, New Mexico in June 2017. Using the knowledge we gained in our first year at competition, this year's rocket systems, body and engine will be designed and manufactured from scratch by students. A dedicated team is in the process of designing and building a hybrid motor, rather than a commercially made, solid core motor, with the goal of launching to 30 000 ft. We aim to improve on our ranking from last year using the knowledge we have gained.
The Student Organization for Aerospace Research (SOAR) was officially founded in the summer of 2015 at the University of Calgary. It consists of student scientists and engineers researching and developing projects related to aerospace technology. SOAR provides students with the opportunity and resources to gain experience in aerospace through hands on work with projects that contribute to scientific knowledge. This encourages cooperation, hard work, critical thinking and independence. By giving responsibility for these project to students, they are able to self-engage and help each other develop experience in all aspects of research and industry desired in graduating students.
Our first project was a payload designed for the High Altitude Student Platform (HASP) hosted by NASA and Louisiana State University. This instrument flew on the high altitude balloon and reached heights of around 36 km for about 20 hours. Our payload, named the Atmospheric Phenomenon Observer Gamma/VLF Emissions Experiment (APOGEE), was designed to detect gamma ray flashes and Very Low Frequencies (VLF) radio emissions from lightning strikes to find high energy electrons. This past year, we competed in the Intercollegiate Rocket Engineering Competition (IREC) in 2016 where the goal was to launch a 10 lb payload to 10000 ft. The rocket and payload was designed and assembled by University of Calgary students, and we were within 10% of our altitude goal. SOAR placed 22nd out of 80 teams, ahead of universities such as Yale, McGill, and Queens.