Rocketry

Left to right, Dr. Md Islam, Dr. Abdel Bachri, Dr. Mahbub Ahmed and Dr. Puskar Chapagain will serve as co-organizers of the Rocket Workshop hosted by SAU during July 2020.

Southern Arkansas University will host a rocket workshop and drone-flying competition July 20-24.

The College of Science and Engineering has received a $25,000 award from NASA through the Arkansas Science Space Grant Consortium. The money will be used to develop the high-powered rocket workshop.

Lockheed Martin and Aerojet Rocketdyne provided additional funding to sponsor this event.

The workshop will provide students with an opportunity to develop engineering design skills through direct application in high-powered rocketry. Teams will be recruited from throughout Arkansas, and spend one week on the Magnolia campus during which they will fabricate different parts of the rocket using 3D printing, laser cutting, and various machining processes.

The teams will then assemble, fly their rocket with a payload equipped with video recording and a micro-controller system to capture flight data, and recover asset using an electronic deployment recovery system.

The teams will train on rocket simulators before designing their rockets and building them, and finally submit a report and make a presentation about their project. Participation is free and open to high school and undergraduate students. Teachers from participating schools are encouraged to form teams and provide them assistance during workshop. No prior experience working with high-powered rockets is required.

Aerospace experts from Arkansas defense industries will serve as build engineers, safety professionals, and consultants on rocket design and safety matters. There will be a series of lectures provided by local aerospace engineers and professionals.

The weeklong workshop will conclude with a rocket launch and drone-racing competition, where drone pilots will be flying a set course as quickly as possible using drone’s-eye view only. The event will take place at SAU’s Governor Ben T. Laney Farm, home to the university’s new FB&T Trap Shooting Facility.

“This event offers a unique opportunity for us to broaden our partnership with the industry and join forces on STEM outreach. The aerospace sector of southwest Arkansas includes industry leaders in rocket and defense systems, and the proximity of SAU enables wonderful collaboration to advance STEM through high-powered rocketry,” said Dr. Abdel Bachri, dean of the College of Science and Engineering. “The end result is a unique aerospace experience for students.”

The SAU organizing team is certified by Tripoli Rocketry Association to conduct high-powered rocket launches.

Registration will open soon. For more information contact Dr. Bachri, agbachri@saumag.edu .

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