Abstract Title

Project VALHALLA

Is this project an undergraduate, graduate, or faculty project?

Undergraduate

group

Authors' Class Standing

Ryan Kressler, Senior, Spaceflight Operations Ben Chaback, Junior, Aerospace Engineering Cristina Viana, Junior, Spaceflight Operations Shashwat Acharya, Junior, Engineering Physics Nick Butler, Junior, Spaceflight Operations Michael Pope III, Senior, Spaceflight Operations

Lead Presenter's Name

Ryan Kressler

Faculty Mentor Name

Kimberly Szathmary

Abstract

Project VALHALLA (Vertical Air Lifted High Altitude Light Launch Apparatus) is a high altitude launch platform with the objective of providing a cost efficient option for collegiate rocket organizations to perform high altitude research.

This project primarily consists of a platform that will be lifted to 100,000 feet using several clusters of high altitude balloons that will be inflated using Helium. From 100,000 feet, the rocket will be launched and the platform will then descend to the ground by retrieving the helium and absorbing it back into storage tanks while pressurizing it.

Currently, the project is on phase two which is prototyping and testing of various systems prior to implementing those systems in a Mk.0 build. This involves using simulation programs such as Ansys to test how air will flow around the structure and visualize the structural strains on the platform. This phase is expected to last through the 2019-2020 academic year and will allow the team to begin building the Mk.0 system in Fall 2020.

Did this research project receive funding support (Spark or Ignite Grants) from the Office of Undergraduate Research?

Yes, Ignite Grant

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Project VALHALLA

Project VALHALLA (Vertical Air Lifted High Altitude Light Launch Apparatus) is a high altitude launch platform with the objective of providing a cost efficient option for collegiate rocket organizations to perform high altitude research.

This project primarily consists of a platform that will be lifted to 100,000 feet using several clusters of high altitude balloons that will be inflated using Helium. From 100,000 feet, the rocket will be launched and the platform will then descend to the ground by retrieving the helium and absorbing it back into storage tanks while pressurizing it.

Currently, the project is on phase two which is prototyping and testing of various systems prior to implementing those systems in a Mk.0 build. This involves using simulation programs such as Ansys to test how air will flow around the structure and visualize the structural strains on the platform. This phase is expected to last through the 2019-2020 academic year and will allow the team to begin building the Mk.0 system in Fall 2020.