Members of the Rocket Competition Team arrived in Green River, Utah on Tuesday and were greeted by large mesas jutting out of endless expanses of flat sand. The scene was certainly different than what the team was used to seeing in New Haven. After getting settled in their hotel, the team regrouped after months of being scattered across the country and made the final preparations for their presentation of Chronos, their competition rocket, at the Intercollegiate Rocket Engineering Rocket Competition (IREC) poster session the next day.
The team’s presentation centered around their payload, a system for environmental control during a test experiment involving sensitive sensors and electronics. The team controls shock and vibration using specially selected padding and springs and prevents overheating by encasing sensitive instruments in gallium. Using a temperature probe and two accelerometer and gyroscope sensors, data will be taken about the conditions of the payload to tell the team about the effectiveness of the system
To test their system the team has designed an experiment to test for the effects of general relativity. Using two atomic clocks, one on the ground and one in the rocket, the team can compare the expected time difference with the one measured. The closer the two times differences are, the more effective the system has been.
The judges were impressed with the ambitious set of experiments and the Chronos as well. The team is looking forward to the chance to launch tomorrow!