Help Stratos IV break records!
WE DID IT! - But we are not done just yet!
Thanks to your support, we raised the € 12,000 we needed to cover our insurance fee! Thanks to your help, we can now start focusing purely on our launch campaign this October, and we are one step closer to reaching our final goal.
To that end, our crowdfunding campaign will remain open for a while longer. The students working on this project are unpaid, and for the launch campaign, every participant will have to pay a participation fee in order to cover travel, camping and sustenance for the long 4 week campaign.
The money that is raised from now on from this campaign will go directly to help ease the financial burden on our students: For every 850 € raised, we would be able to fully sponsor a student for the entirety of the launch campaign. Any money we raise will go towards reducing the participation fee for every member of the team.
Thank you to everyone who donated, from the bottom of our hearts, for the your help, support, and trust. Together, we can reach new and greater heights.
DARE NEEDS YOUR HELP TO BREAK RECORDS!
Delft Aerospace Rocket Engineering (DARE) has a long history of launching rockets: From small projects for students to setting and breaking the European altitude record for amateur rocketry (12.5 and 21.5 km), we have done it all.
We now ask for your help to conquer our biggest challenge up to now: To break the student altitude world record. We aim to launch the Stratos IV rocket, fully designed and built by TU Delft students, to at least reach an altitude of 61 kilometers.
The singlemost important requirement for DARE is launching the Stratos IV rocket safely. It is also important to do so responsibly which requires us to take on a launch insurance. Furthermore, we still need to cover several operational launch campaign costs. With your donation, you will be supporting us by helping cover these expenses and allow us to close the last gap to launch our record-breaking rocket.
Join us in this effort to put DARE and the Netherlands in the history books.
Together we can launch this rocket, push boundaries, and break records!
Donators from the USA might prefer to make their donation through this website regarding tax deductibility: https://thenaf.org/dare/
* The current validated student altitude world record is set at 37.8 miles (60.8km) by the Embry-Riddle Future Space Explorers and Developers Society.
Delft Aerospace Rocket Engineering (DARE) is one of the most advanced student rocketry teams in the world. Founded in 2001 at the Delft University of Technology, DARE has been working on breaking boundaries by reaching space with a fully student-built rocket. DARE consists of many different projects and teams carrying out research and developing new technologies that can eventually be employed in our flagship project: The Stratos Rocket.
With the fourth edition of the Stratos rocket, the Stratos Project has come a long way since its first launch in 2009 from Kiruna, Sweden. Stratos I, a two-stage solid propellant rocket, broke the European student altitude record by successfully reaching an altitude of 12.5 km. After this launch, DARE started designing and testing its first hybrid engine in 2011. This hybrid engine was then used for the second edition of the Stratos rocket: The Stratos II. However due to an engine misfire, the Stratos II rocket was not able to launch and the rocket was redesigned to the Stratos II+, DARE’s first successful large hybrid launcher. In 2015 the Stratos II+ rocket was launched from the INTA facility in Huelva, Spain. Breaking the record set by the Stratos I rocket, the Stratos II+ achieved an altitude of 21.5 km.
The record set by our Stratos II+ rocket was broken by the Hybrid Engine Development from Stuttgart, Germany, achieving an altitude of 32.2 km. This is when the Stratos project decided to take on the challenge and to use the experiences gained from the Stratos I and the Stratos II projects to build a rocket that would break the boundaries once again and improve the European student altitude record. The Stratos III rocket was launched in 2018 from the INTA facility in Huelva, Spain. 20 seconds after a successful lift-off, the rocket encountered an anomaly and the rocket disintegrated, teaching DARE and the Stratos project valuable lessons.
Over the past 3 years more than 120 students of 31 different nationalities have learned from the Stratos III rocket and designed and built a bigger and better rocket. Just like the Stratos II+ did, the Stratos IV aims to rise from the ashes of its predecessor and break boundaries. However, this time the Stratos Project aims to go beyond and take back the altitude record.
The Stratos IV rocket is the largest and most powerful launcher DARE has ever produced Standing over 8 meters tall and weighing over 330 kg. The Stratos IV rocket has a roll control system, to prevent the roll-pitch coupling that led to the failure of the Stratos III rocket. Together with a larger tank and a composite combustion chamber, Stratos IV aims to have a more weight efficient, yet powerful propulsion system. This in addition to the innovative recovery module of the Stratos IV rocket, will allow us to successfully launch a rocket and then retrieve it, allowing us to verify our final altitude. Along with the help of our Sponsors, all of the components are designed, manufactured and tested by us and our different departments.
Flight Computer: The ‘brain’ of the rocket features 7 custom-designed PCBs which control parachute deployment, flight data storage, telemetry systems, and more. It includes IMUs to measure the accelerations in flight, redundant black boxes, and static pressure sensors.
Recovery Module: This module helps us ensure a safe landing of our payload. It has a multi-stage parachute system which slows down the nosecone before touch-down. It also has a new hot gas deployment device which allows for drogue parachute deployment in supersonic flight conditions. The recovery plate, which takes all the loads from parachute deployment, can hold more than 1600 kg! Lastly, our heat shield sits underneath to protect the delicate parachute wires.
Roll Control: This system utilizes the oxidizer from the tank for four cold gas thrusters to help us control the rocket during flight. Each thruster produces 10N of thrust each which keep the roll rate of the rocket within reasonable bounds.
Oxidiser Tank: This tank holds 174kg of nitrous oxide which is stored at 60 bar. It uses an 1.5mm thick aluminium liner overwrapped with carbon fibre to increase strength and stiffness. The oxidiser tank makes up most of the rocket, standing over 4.7m tall.
Engine Bay: The engine bay allows for the flow of 6kg/s of nitrous oxide from the oxidiser tank to the combustion chamber through the feed system. The engine control unit controls all the valves and motors in the engine bay. The flight termination system allows for a safe launch, terminating the flight if the vehicle flies out of a predetermined safe-to-fly zone.
Composite Combustion Chamber: This chamber uses multiple layers of composite materials to withstand the pressure and heat from the hot gases inside the combustion chamber. Sitting outside are the four fins which ensure the stability of the rocket during ascent.
3D printed Titanium Nozzle: This nozzle saves 10kg from the full graphite design that was used in Stratos III. Small pieces of graphite are used in the hottest parts of the gas flow, which can reach 2700 oC, while a titanium shell coated with zirconium-oxide is used at cooler regions.
We are intending to launch Stratos IV from El Arenosillo (CEDEA) launch site, managed by INTA in Spain. After ignition of the DHX-400 ‘Nimbus’ hybrid rocket motor and subsequent lift-off from the launch pad, the vehicle will undergo 29 seconds of powered flight before the engine is cut off. If all goes well, Stratos IV will have reached the less dense, upper layers of the atmosphere and its apogee, the greatest distance the rocket will be from Earth. Hopefully, this distance will be the new altitude world record for student-launched rockets. Once the rocket reaches its apogee, the nosecone will separate from the booster and start its return towards Earth, carrying the payload that is to be recovered. The nosecone utilizes a multi-stage recovery system consisting of a drogue chute and main chute to slow itself down before touchdown in the sea. The Stratos IV team will then locate and recover the nosecone by boat.
Launch of Stratos II+ from El Arenosillo