Category Archives: Projects

Two Members Receive NAR Rocket Ceritification

Rebecca Beilinson ’16 and Jeff Gau ’16 respectively received Level 1 and Level 2 NAR Rocket Certification last weekend from the METRA Rocket Club in Pine Island, New York. Beilinson launched Ultimate with an Aerotech I-435 motor while Gau launched Penultimate with an Aerotech J-350 motor.

To become NAR certified, the applicant must showcase his or her ability to construct and launch a rocket using a class motor respective to the sought level of certification.  Prior to launch, the applicant undergoes a safety inspection in which he or she is expected to verbally answer technical questions regarding the specifications of the rocket. The applicant then flies the model, witnessed by the certification team. Success is judged on “stability, deployment of the recovery system, and safe recovery.

Gau’s Level 2 certification qualifies the Rocket Competition Team to launch Chronos at the Intercollegiate Rocket Engineering Competition (IREC) in Green River, Utah.  In response to the successful certification, Beilinson noted,

“It was a successful launch and a fun day – we completed three launches in one day, which is the most we’ve done at any launch I’ve been to. We now have more members who are certified to launch, which means future launches should go more smoothly.”

To learn more, click here to see YUAA featured on the official Yale University Facebook.

Mounting Penultimate
Mounting Penultimate





Successful Chronos Ground Test

In preparation for the upcoming Intercollegiate Rocket Engineering Competition (IREC) taking place in Green River, Utah, members of the YUAA Rocket Competition Team ground tested Chronos to make sure that the golden beauty would be ready for its debut launch. The series of ground tests had one thing in common: Success.

In the first phase of ground testing, the main parachute was deployed by placing a charge source in contact with a 9V battery. The Rocket Competition Team used 3.0 g of Pyrodex to supply the charge, and after touching the wires from the Pyrodex to the battery, the nose cone launched off, followed by the main parachute. Similarly, the the drogue parachute deployment was tested using 3.2 g of Pyrodex, and the outcome resembled the experiment that preceded it. At this point in the ground tests, the team was confident that Chronos would properly return to ground level after soaring thousands of feet above the Utah plains.

The drogue parachute deploying
The drogue parachute deploying

In the second phase of ground testing, Chronos was fully assembled to evaluate whether or not the Pyrodex would actually ignite at apogee. The team strategically replaced the Pyrodex pellets with LEDs and simulated the environment at apogee by using a portable vacuum. The vacuum emulated apogee conditions,  and as a result, the LEDs lit up, indicating a successful network of communication within the rocket.

Chronos is ready for you, IREC!

UAV Team Launches 15 ft Omega


The team packed up their rocket and gear the weekend of April 26th,  and made the long drive up the the URRG launch in upstate New York. On Saturday the team launched their 15 ft rocket. The rocket flew perfectly, and experienced members commented that they would never have expected such a large rocket to fly so straight. Unfortunately, though the charges and backup charges went off as planned, the rocket sections did not separate preventing the parachutes from deploying. Despite this hiccup, the team is excited to have constructed a rocket on such a large scale which flew beautifully.

Omega Poster 1.3

Alpha Flies with Flying Colors

The UAV, Alpha, flew successfully again this past Saturday, April 19th. This time, however, the plains wings were attached via a scissor wing mechanism. This mechanism was composed of a laser cut structure and ball bearings which allowed the plane’s wing to rotate on an axis and fold up parallel to the body. The group drove to the Swamp Flyers Flying Club Field and flew the plane for several hours without any issues.


UAV Progress Catches Yale SEAS’s Attention

The UAV Team paraded into the CEID last week with fifteen feet of sonotube fourteen inches in diameter. Rather than sit at home and laze away their spring break, the group set to work constructing a massive rocket. The rocket will house the project’s UAV, an RC plane whose wings use a scissor wing mechanism designed by YUAA members to fold up inside the rocket. Either the strong will and hard work of the team or the rockets shear size caught the attention of the Yale School of Engineering and Applied science, and the project and rocket construction is featured in an article posted on their website today!

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Just before the rocket’s construction, the scissor wing mechanism was completed and tested in the CEID. The team hopes to test it in flight soon. Check it out in the video below!

The Quadcopter on a Mission

YUAA completed the Quadcoptor project during the fall of 2013 and the flying machine is now ready to face the real world. With more test flights and pilot training currently under way, the quadcoptor will soon start touring Yale’s campus and capture footage, videos and pictures, from above.  The four rotors secure a stable flight and allow us to reveal the beautiful campus from a birds eye view, which has never been seen before. The footage will firstly be sent to Yale Undergraduate Admissions Office and later to others who might be interested.

Have a look at the video from one of the first test flights, and some of the pictures we’ve taken, below. Stay tuned for more updates!

Announcing Lighter than Air Project

Yale Undergraduate Aerospace Association’s newest project is sponsoring an entry to the 2014 ASME-organized Lighter than Air competition. The competition involves the design and construction of a small UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) to carry a cargo through two gates, see below, drop a payload and return to the starting point.

This particular project is designed to introduce relatively new YUAA members (including a Lit major!) to basics of aerospace engineering. The current design involves a blimp structure with propellers and rudders. All vehicles entering the Lighter than Air Competition must be battery-powered and controlled through a wireless transmitter/receiver radio link.

The Lighter than Air project is led by Mechanical Engineering major and YUAA veteran Megan Perkins (ES’16). Team members include Andrew Deveau (CC’15), Lauren Urbont (BK’16), Sumed Guha (’17), Tom Bu (’17),  Andre Ivankovic (’17), and Matthew Brady (DC’17).

The team hopes to have their UAV ready by April for a regional competition that will give the chance to gain entry to the international competition in November.

Read more about it on the project page.


YUAA UAV Flies for the First Time

Saturday morning November 16th, at Swamp Flyers Flying Club Field, the UAV flew for the first time after being constructed by the UAV team. The plane made three flights that were five to eight minutes long, and it performed above expectations. It flew by radio control (the future goal is to fly autonomously), but the team was still able to test how easily the plane will be able to gain control after being deployed from the rocket.  It was discovered that the plane could go from an almost stand still to flying without dropping more than five feet, which is a very promising result for the future.


Successful Launch of “Artemis” at CTRA

Saturday November 9 the Rocket Competition Team and other YUAA members gathered at the CEID early at 6 am to travel to the Connecticut Tripoli Rocket Association (CTRA) rocket launch. This day would mark the culmination of countless hours of work put in by the sixteen person team over the past week and a half on their rocket, “Artemis”. After the school bus was loaded, the group headed off to Gill Corn Fields in Hurley New York.


The team arrived at the launch around 9 am, and began to set up for the launch. Though the skies were gray, the overall conditions were beautiful with low winds. After a few minor adjustments, the rocket was ready to launch with a K740 motor. The rocket flew beautifully to 4829 ft. Unfortunately, by the time of the launch, the GoPro had run out of battery, so no footage was recorded, but more importantly the deployment system worked as expected. The siren on the payload proved useful and allowed for the easy recovery of the device.


Finding the rocket after the launch proved slightly more difficult as concerns with the GPS interfering with the altimeter prevented us from tracking the rocket. The team split up, running miles, bushwhacking, and fording rivers to recover the rocket. Finally it was discovered tangled about forty five feet up in a tree. After many attempts throwing weighted ropes members of CTRA were kind enough to lend the group a fifty foot pole. With hours of practice, the rocket recovery group found that by duct taping a rope to the end of the pole, they could wrap the rope around the rocket and pull it down. Some of the couplers were ripped out by the tree, but the rocket was recovered mostly unharmed.


After a long and exciting bus ride, the team returned to Yale. Not only was this day the first rocket launch for many of the members, it was also an opportunity to see the products of their hard work. The team is already looking forward to their next launch, the competition in June!


YUAA would like to thank the people at CTRA for all their help and advice and the local neighbors who aided in the recovery of Artemis. We would also like to thank the companies and organizations who sponsored this rocket: Yale SEAS, Yale UOC, Yale Physics, Aerocon Systems, and SolidWorks.

Rocket Competition Team Prepares for Launch

The Rocket Competition Team is currently putting the final touches their prototype rocket, which will fly this Saturday October 9th at the CTRA launch at Gill Corn Farms in New York. The rocket has been named Artemis and will reach  6,000 ft, carrying a GoPro as its payload. The GoPro will test the rockets payload deployment system and take footage of its descent.

If you are interested in coming to the launch it is not too late! Email to sign up!

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