Asee peer logo

High Powered Rocketry: Design Build Instrument Fly And Student Outreach

Download Paper |


2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Design And Manufacturing Experiences I

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.669.1 - 9.669.8



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

Timothy Hunt

author page

Eduardo Ortega

author page

David Miller

author page

Alfred Striz

Download Paper |

NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Rocketry: System Development Experience and Student Outreach

Timothy S. Hunt, David P. Miller, Eduardo Ortega, and Alfred G. Striz

School of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering University of Oklahoma Norman, Oklahoma


Rocketry can provide students with exciting and stimulating opportunities to advance their systems engineering and design/manufacturing/programming skills. During the last 2 years, an 11 ft tall minimum-diameter aluminum rocket has been developed and instrumented in the School of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering at the University of Oklahoma, sponsored by OSIDA, the Oklahoma Space Industry Development Authority. It is propelled by a N-size solid rocket engine and is expected to climb to about 22,000 ft with a maximum speed of Mach 1.5. The instrumentation includes an accelerometer, temperature and pressure sensors to measure the location and behavior of the shock wave during the supersonic flight phase, and strain gauges for the determination of the structural behavior of the rocket. This rocket was finally launched in November of 2003.

At various times during the planning, assembly, and instrumentation phases of the project, participants included local high school students, college students from sophomores to graduates, and an OU alumnus with high-power rocketry experience. Students participated in various ways: on a voluntary basis, by signing up for a ‘Special Project’ course, or under grant support. The effort was well documented and can easily be repeated at other educational institutions.

At the same time, a student outreach activity took place, involving model rocketry. A senior from OU, again under the Special Projects course designation, was involved in a local model rocket mini course effort, covering various high schools in the Oklahoma City area. The students were exposed to the engineering and scientific aspects of model rocketry and to the design and construction of their own rockets to given specifications, culminating in a final competition. Thus, in this learning-by-teaching environment, the College student benefited as much from the effort as the high school students who were exposed to a wide variety of engineering principles.

High-Powered Rocketry

A couple of years ago, one of our alumni mentioned an interesting ongoing dispute: where on a high-powered rocket in supersonic flight does the shock wave occur and how hot does the rocket Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2004, American Society for Engineering Education

Hunt, T., & Ortega, E., & Miller, D., & Striz, A. (2004, June), High Powered Rocketry: Design Build Instrument Fly And Student Outreach Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--13242

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2004 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015