Faculty Mentor

Dr. Kimberly Szathmary


Project VALHALLA aims to get collegiate level rockets to reach higher altitudes by providing a launch platform that shall allow them to be launched from 100,000 ft. This shall allow researchers to pass ninety percent of Earth's dense atmosphere when launching their rockets and shall allow for research at altitude. VALHALLA’s design consists of using multiple high-altitude balloons arranged around a launch platform to reach the target altitude with the rocket. The project shall consist of the following subsystems: policy, structure and design, helium recovery system, and electronics. The policy team shall be responsible for ensuring that this platform conforms to all US regulations. The structures team shall be responsible for designing and building the design. VALHALLA will be reusable, being an economical option, with the development of a system to recycle the helium in the balloons. All coding, wiring, and communications shall be completed by the electronics team. VALHALLA has contacted the Federal Aviation Administration, is continuing research, and has started building the first prototype which shall be tested in Fall 2021. The group has been providing our team with practical business and scientific experience that shall prepare them for leadership roles in their professional careers.



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