3…2…1… liftoff for Team Prometheus! 🚀

The last year we have been hard at work developing our Mach23 entry and what an amazing time it has been! After unfortunately being unable to launch last year due to motor delivery issues, BristolSEDS were back at Machrihanish with a fresh team with old and new faces! We are proud to say that we had students from 1st year all the year to 4th year and so were able to expose a wide range of students to rocketry. We are especially proud to say that all of our team have previously built up experience in other competitions such as UKROC and UKSEDS’s NRC.

This year we aimed to design and build a fixed wing UAV that could be deployed from our launch vehicle. The mission objective of Prometheus was to develop a system that could be used to rapidly survey faulty solar farms on Mars. Over the last year our team has been hard at work designing a system that is capable of this. Our final design consisted of a movable main wing actuated by a high torque servo that connected to the HTP. When commanded, the main wing actuated and moved itself and the HTP into a standard fixed wing configuration.

We are proud to say that this was a year of firsts for BristolSEDS and the University of Bristol:
✅️ First high power launch
✅️ First successful dual deployment
✅️ First successful recovery of a high power launch vehicle
✅️ First BristolSEDS team represented by 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th year students

Prometheus flew beautifully and was immediately stable off the rail. After a long day of last-minute preparations, we were able to make the last launch window of the first day (no small feat in itself!). We flew to an apogee of 1.7km (slightly below our target of 3km).

Plenty of lessons were learnt by the team but the main ones included:
🚀 always work to and check tolerances
🛰 Communicate design changes
🪂 Built early
💥 Test Test Test!

We would like to extend a particular thank you to Sara for all of her work in organising the competition this year. We would also like to thank the UKRA Range Safety Officers for all of their support throughout the competition, particularly Colin, Chris and Paul!

Finally we would like to thank Natalie, Steve and Josh at the University for all their support with obtaining the funding for all of BristolSEDS’s rocketry activities this year.