The North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics (NCSSM) Rocketry team is a collaborative effort to encourage interest in rocketry across the state. We are located at NCSSM and include students in 11th and 12th grade. NCSSM has previously competed in Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC), Battle of the Rockets (BOTR), and NASA Student Launch (SL).
This year, we are competing in TARC and NASA SL
NASA Student Launch
NCSSM Rocketry is hoping to participate in NASA Student Launch again for the 2018-19 year. The proposed project studies the effect of a transition, or “boattail,” at the end of the rocket on the base drag of the vehicle. Base drag is the drag caused by turbulence and turbulent flow of air over the aft end of the rocket. The result is an area of low pressure at the end of the rocket, which causes a type of drag called pressure drag. The aft end of the rocket will contain a detachable boattail with pressure sensors, allowing for drag calculations with and without the taper, and for calculations of drag during thrust.
This project was inspired by altitude-based competitions, namely Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC). Through non-scientific experience in TARC and a small amount of physics, we believe a taper should have a reducing effect on the drag on the launch vehicle. We also believe base drag will decrease during thrust. We hope to apply this idea to high power rocketry through this project, both to investigate the effect of the boattail (or the lack thereof) and to quantify that effect (i.e. is it worth it?). We also hope to compare the measured effects of the boattail with the predicted effects from various simulation softwares, including Open Rocket, RockSim, and RasAero, to determine the accuracy of those simulations and possible ways to account for the inaccuracies in further simulations of future projects.