As a rocketry subgroup within WARR we focus on the development, testing and launch of experimental sounding rockets. Our smallest rocket, the Warr Ex1b, has a length of 1.6m and our largest rocket currently under development is the WARR Ex3 with a length of almost 5.5m. Since the launch of our Nixus project in 2020, WARR has been working on all three types of engines, solid fuel engine, hybrid engine and liquid engine. From the engine to the parachute, everything is developed by us in our own work and mostly also produced by ourselves. Over all 3 projects, we currently are more than 60 students from different backgrounds, courses of studies and status in studies.
The "Studentische Experimental-Raketen" or STERN program was created through a support program of the DLR Space Agency. The goal of this program was to support student space groups both with advice and financial assistance. As part of the support for this program, WARR developed the so-called Battleship engine from 2015 onwards, which was accepted by the German Aerospace Center and tested in Lampoldshausen.
Since then, the Battleship has been continued by WARR as part of the Cryosphere project, the aim being to provide further training for students. In particular, WARR is focusing on building up expertise in the development of hybrid rockets such as the WARR Ex-3, which is powered by liquid oxygen and solid hydroxyl-terminated polybutadiene. WARR is supported by the Technical University of Munich and recently by the company AMDC.
Project Nixus is the latest and exciting new challenge taken on by the motivated team of students of WARR Rocketry. The project aims to develop a liquid fueled sounding rocket to participate in student rocket competitions, such as the Spaceport America Cup and the European Rocketry Challenge. The rocket is intended to compete in the 30k Student Research and Developed (SRAD) competition segment. Amongst several challenges, the main goal in this competition is to hit a target altitude (30,000 feet or 9144 m) as accurately as possible. The transition to liquid propulsion signifies a major step up in system complexity for the WARR rocketry team which the over 35 students involved in project Nixus are facing head on. With the rocket being designed from scratch, our focus lies on completing a functioning and qualifying system in a short amount of time. The design will then be optimized and refined over time by future generations. Likewise, the technologies and competencies developed within in the future will be applied in a larger project, such as going beyond the Karman Line (>100km altitude). The team is investigating, designing and testing many different possible solutions to achieve the goal. Manufacturing and testing are especially important steps in the development process. These serve to validate and improve the designs, but also bring WARR in close proximity of the contemporary commercial spaceflight industry, enabling students to gain industry-relevant hands-on experience long before the completion of their studies. We continue to take pride in the practical production, assembly, integration, and testing experience students can gain in our projects, and Project Nixus does not lag behind with its soon expected return of frequent rocket engine hot-fire tests at our local test site in Garching.
Project Nixus Sub-teams:
Project Nixus is made by multiple different teams, each one with a specific task to contribute to reaching our goal.
Ground Support Equipment (GSE) Team:
The GSE team is the part of the Project Nixus team that is working to design and construct all the ground systems required for the testing of the components that we develop. The present focus is the implementation of a fully functioning test rig for our engines, both the sub scale capacitive combustion chamber and the full scale regeneratively cooled combustion chamber. Due to the nature of a bi-propellant combination of a liquid propellant rocket, there are additional challenges that we must tackle, both from a structural and fluid point of view.
The Propulsion team has the task of designing, manufacturing and testing the prototypes of the propulsion system. Having completed the preliminary study and the design for the propellant injection system the team is now focused on the prototype manufacturing to be able to test and optimize the designs before the end of the year. The team is currently investigating three types of injectors, having made good use of the professional design review from the engineers from Isar Aerospace, and having exchanged ideas and concepts with the leading amateur rocketry groups in Europe.
The simulation team is engaged in the simulation of the most critical components of the fluid system both of the rocket and of the ground equipment: the injectors, the regenerative cooling channels of the full-scale combustion chamber and the most important fluid components of the test rig. As in the industry simulations are important to speed up the prototyping and predict crucial phenomena already in the design phases. With the help of it we can optimize the designs and make decision which prototype would serve our demands. Furthermore, it can reveal the weaknesses of the design. Although the simulation is a big help for design some parts of the rocket, we need the physical tests too to improve our models and see if its working in the real world.
IT and Electronics:
Sometimes one could forget that rockets are not just some tanks and an engine, it’s a lot of electronics too! Whether it’s the control room and the test stand, cables and radio or flight computers and onboard cameras, the rocketry electronics team makes sure, that everything behind the scenes works smoothly. Currently this means developing the primary flight computer and the entire flight electronics; A typical Embedded Systems task, with the main goal to reliably gather as much data as possible and land the rocket safely.
The structure team is optimizing the test rig’s structure and designing the most vital structural components for the rocket.
Systems Engineering and Project Management (SEPM):
Due to the growing dimension of the team, a strong Systems Engineering and Project Management team is required, to optimize as well as possible the timeline of the project and allow every sub team to have access to all the relevant information to achieve their goals as fast as possible.
Would you like to be part of this unique project? Do you want to be part of the launch of a rocket you helped design and do you want the new European altitude record to bear your name?
Dann schreibt eine kurze E-Mail an firstname.lastname@example.org und wir nehmen Kontakt mit Euch auf!
If you are an ambitious engineering student and interested in space technology, you will find everything a technician's heart desires here: A great team, complex space technology and deafening engines! In addition to engineers, natural scientists are of course also very welcome to take on the wide range of challenges in rocket development. We look forward to hearing from motivated interested parties from all disciplines! Whether new to TUM or already in a higher semester, there is something for all entry levels.
The upcoming test campaigns in the near future will give newcomers the opportunity to experience the development process of the Ex-3 at first hand and to take responsibility for important tasks during engine tests.
For master students, the new Nixus project could be of particular interest, as it offers the opportunity to put the knowledge gained in lectures directly into the design, layout and construction of the new rocket.