uORocketry, the University of Ottawa Rocketry Team, develops rockets! Since its inception, the team has developed and tested a hybrid rocket engine, a novel parachute concept, custom avionics systems, unique ignition mechanisms, different control schemas for both engine thrust throttling and air-braking, a payload designed to observe the effects of high acceleration on the hemolysis of blood cells, and a custom simulation suite for the purposes of performance optimization. While this list is not exhaustive, it exemplifies the ideologies of this team: to pursue interesting projects.
We have competed at the Spaceport America Cup, an international student rocketry competition, in 2018 and 2019. Once again this year, we were one of the few teams invited to give a technical presentation; we discussed our ongoing search for a clever air-braking scheme that allows for a precise final altitude during flights. This past year, the team successfully launched and recovered our competition rocket, Jackalope. The team achieved fourth place out of 47 teams in the 10000ft altitude, commercial motor category for an overall ranking of eighth place out of 122 teams competing! This puts uORocketry in the top 10 on an international stage.
The team looks to push past simply competing at the Spaceport America Cup by building on the technologies that will help get the team into the student rocketry space race - which involves launching a rocket that reaches a final altitude of greater than 100km. Beyond rockets, we’re also competing in the CAN-RGX (Canada Reduced Gravity Experiment) where we’ve collaborated with the Brown Lab at McMaster University to investigate the effect of microgravity on the antibiotic resistance of Salmonella. Furthermore, the team looks to continue fostering relations with our international industry and academic partners (such as the Department of Medicine at uOttawa, CAE Inc and SBG Systems), so that our development could complement theirs.
To summarize, uORocketry is a multidisciplinary student engineering team that builds rockets and incidentally advances several technologies through the meticulous combination of engineering practice and a rocket scientist’s audacity.
Ask any team member and they will explain that we have the hottest competition of any uOttawa Team! We compete against teams from around the world at Spaceport America Cup in the middle of the New Mexico desert.
During competition week, teams launch student designed and developed rockets to carry an 8.8lb scientific payload to 10,000 ft. Our competitive advantage is an automated air braking system which is fully controlled
by our onboard flight computer to increase our drag and slow us down as we approach altitude. In addition to the flight component, we participate in a poster session to showcase the technical challenges we overcame.
In 2019, uORocketry competed in the 10,000ft target apogee (highest point in the trajectory of the rocket) in the commercial off the shelf (COTS) motor category. Before successfully launching and recovering our rocket, we
were one out of 24 teams selected to give a technical presentation on our unique model for predictive control of our rocket's custom airbrake. This past competition we placed 4th in our category and earned 8th place overall!
We’re always looking to see what new interesting technologies we can use for our mission! Partnering with the uOttawa Rocketry team allows for companies to test how their products apply in the realm of rocketry on a small scale.
Without the valuable donation of materials, components and expertise from industry sponsors, our team wouldn’t be on the leading edge of performance.
If you are interested in our team, please feel free to reach out to us about working together!
To achieve our goals, we need your help. Your contribution will directly support our goals of being out of this world.
Your donation helps create a collaborative environment where students are able to apply their studies out of the lecture hall, meet, and compete against students from around the globe!
To donate and receive a tax receipt, you can donate directly through the university:
Join uOttawa's fastest team
Do you want to be a member of the uORocketry team? If yes, you are at the right place! The uORocketry team is actively recruiting people to work on our exciting projects. Before completing the form to join us (link at the bottom of the page), we highly encourage you to read the description of each subteam to have a better idea of what we do and what you could work on 🙂.
What’s the point of a rocket if you don’t put anything cool inside? Well, payload is dealing with that problem. Our past projects include hemolyzing blood to assist with the Marrow project, attempting to create a rocket-launched drone as well as participating in the Canada Reduced Gravity Experiment (CAN-RGX) to investigate the effect of microgravity on the antibiotic resistance of E. Coli. Basically, if you can think of something really cool to put on the rocket, we will.
As a result of the diverse projects, this team does anything and everything to suit a variety of interests. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Mechanical Design
- Electrical Design
- Software and UI
- Microbiological Experiments
- Control Systems
The goal of Flight Dynamics is to use math to predict reality. This subteam works on creating software models of rocket components and using these models to simulate the rocket’s flight. The aim of this is to help with anything from predicting landing locations to optimizing our rocket engine.
On the Flight Dynamics team you could be working on:
- Creating MATLAB models to predict the flight of our rocket
- Creating MATLAB models to predict the combustion processes in our engine
- Integrating experimental data into our models
- Using simulation data to optimize our rocket
The beginnings of rocketry are synonymous with the beginnings of rocket engines: devices that abuse Newton’s third to move things around. The propulsion subteam works to build the next generation of uORocketry’s hybrid rocket engines - which will be used to compete at SA CUP and beyond.
On the propulsion team, you could be working on:
- Design, develop, and analyse the hybrid engine
- Design and select feed/valving/tanks
- Optimize and manufacture fuel
- Design test equipment
If it’s a circuit or a line of code, it’s avionics. This subteam handles the design and implementation of our flight computer, printed circuit board design, code, and all of the telecommunications between the ground and the rocket. The team also develops testing electronics for the other subteams to facilitate their testing.
On the Avionics team, you could be working on:
- Our new antenna tracking system
- Programming the main flight computer of the rocket in C++
- Telemetry system, radios and ground station
Launching a rocket isn't our only goal. We also need to get it back in one piece. Recovery is responsible for returning our rocket safely to the ground. This subteam designs and builds parachutes, pyrotechnic fasteners, and parachute ejection systems. Recovery also designs testing rigs and performs tests of our unique inverted-reefed parachute and it’s deployment systems.
On the recovery team, you could be working on:
- Designing parachute deployment mechanisms
- Designing and sewing novel parachutes
- Designing and building test equipment
- Leading/participating in many, many tests (hands-on and super fun!)
More money = more better! Help us out with cost-tracking, budget planning, marketing, and attracting sponsors.
An engineer knows how to design and manufacture a part. That’s what we do!! Airframe is responsible for designing and manufacturing the internal rocket structure. This subteam also runs simulations and analyzes structural parts. The subteam specializes in Solidworks and Ansys, and maintains the CAD. If you are interested in mechanical design, this subteam is the one!!
On the Airframe team, you could be working on:
- Designing the internal the rocket
- Running different simulations (Structural, Topology, Thermal, etc.) using ANSYS and SOLIDWORKS to ensure the designs work!
- Designing tubes and nosecones using composite analysis
- Working with other subteams to make sure they fit inside the rocket :)
- Machining parts and fabricating the rocket
- Contacting vendors to ensure the proper manufacturing of different parts
- BEING COOL!