uORocketry, the University of Ottawa Rocketry Team, develops rockets! Since its inception, the team has developed and tested a hybrid rocket engine, a novel parachute concept, custom avionics systems, unique ignition mechanisms, different control schemas for both engine thrust throttling and air-braking, a payload designed to observe the effects of high acceleration on the hemolysis of blood cells, and a custom simulation suite for the purposes of performance optimization. While this list is not exhaustive, it exemplifies the ideologies of this team: to pursue interesting projects.
We have competed at the Spaceport America Cup, an international student rocketry competition, in 2018 and 2019. Once again this year, we were one of the few teams invited to give a technical presentation; we discussed our ongoing search for a clever air-braking scheme that allows for a precise final altitude during flights. This past year, the team successfully launched and recovered our competition rocket, Jackalope. The team achieved fourth place out of 47 teams in the 10000ft altitude, commercial motor category for an overall ranking of eighth place out of 122 teams competing! This puts uORocketry in the top 10 on an international stage.
The team looks to push past simply competing at the Spaceport America Cup by building on the technologies that will help get the team into the student rocketry space race - which involves launching a rocket that reaches a final altitude of greater than 100km. Beyond rockets, we’re also competing in the CAN-RGX (Canada Reduced Gravity Experiment) where we’ve collaborated with the Brown Lab at McMaster University to investigate the effect of microgravity on the antibiotic resistance of Salmonella. Furthermore, the team looks to continue fostering relations with our international industry and academic partners (such as the Department of Medicine at uOttawa, CAE Inc and SBG Systems), so that our development could complement theirs.
To summarize, uORocketry is a multidisciplinary student engineering team that builds rockets and incidentally advances several technologies through the meticulous combination of engineering practice and a rocket scientist’s audacity.