Daedalus Project

From a simple idea to a project that is on its way to the launch pad located in Northern Sweden.

It all started after listening to a lecture of the Pathos Project, also a student project that flew with an earlier REXUS/BEXUS mission, in Summer 2016. After this interesting lecture the idea of a project to apply all the theoretical knowledge into a practicle project was born. Discussions began about different ideas, but we were stocked at the questions “Is it possible to measure an atmosphere from space without having normal landing mechanisms like parachutes?” More and more questions came to our mind; “would it be possible to do this while descending almost stable?”  or “is this feasible without an active propellant drive?” We quickly realised that this would be the idea to work with in our project.

Different Ideas were collected that might meet our design requirements. Possible problems and nodal points were discussed. Finally, the registration to REXUS/BEXUS was made by Clemens Riegler as our Team Leader, and the Daedalus Project got on its way.

Next objective was the Selection Workshop of the DLR in Bonn where they choose the projects that will get a chance to fly with the REXUS/BEXUS programme. After initial consideration by the engineer’s challenge of an ejection mechanism and a stable construction, we could get help from a local student of engineering sciences with which one of the ejected object was solved. For the eject mechanism out of the rocket, we now also receive support from Austria, more precisely from the “Space Team” of the TU Wien. Later it becomes clear that the Space Team will also be a great help in the selection of the “Onboard Computer” since they already gained experience with a seperate system; the Flight Management System, short FMS.

Ultimately the Abstract of our Mission for the Selection Workshop should be:

Daedalus’ goal is it to build and successfully test an alternative form of descent mechanism for drops very high altitudes. Since parachutes are not always useable there have to be new and innovative ways do descend through an atmosphere without using any propellant at all. Inspired by the bionic design of the maple seed which gently falls to the ground due to its ingenious natural design, Daedalus builds a “SpaceSeed” which is applying the same idea of a gentle descent for Aerospace missions. The applications of this are numerous, for example could designs like this also have terrestrial usages like weather probes which would be able to withstand harsher winds then a parachute could. This is directly usable for turbulent atmosphere like on Venus or even Jupiter. Also Sample Returns from LEO could be made with similar designs again removing the challenges one would face with a parachute or an actively propelled landing system. Daedalus wants to prove that this alternative is usable for real life applications on earth and other planets too.

On the 16th of December 2016 we eventually received the mail that we applied successfully for the REXUS/BEXUS camapign. Our “SpaceSeed” will fly to the edge of space in March 2018 onboard the REXUS23 rocket.

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