PUNE: The Rocketry Team of 16 students at Sinhgad Institute have developed a rocket called Rocket APJ. The team is now set to participate in the Intercollegiate Rocket Engineering Competition (IREC) conducted by Experimental Sounding Rocket Association in the USA, at Las Cruces from June 19 to 23.
There are two teams from India participating in the competition and Sinhgad Institute’s tean the only one from Maharashtra.
“The rocket has been named after former President Late Dr APJ Abdul Kalam as a tribute to India’s Missile Man,” said Ninad Patil, who is leading the team. The group of 16 comprises 15 boys and one girl, Sanika Jeste form mechanical engineering, computer engineering and electronics and telecommunications studies.
“The team was formed in 2017 with six members. Sumit Bhoske, a student of mechanical engineering, is the team captain. It was his idea to participate in this competition and he encouraged others to work towards it,” said Patil.
“Our main challenge was that as Sinhgad institute does not have any branch of aerospace we could not seek technical help or pre-knowledge about building a rocket. Faculty advisors Dhananjay Khankal, Professor in the Production Department and Sanjay Chavan, Head of Chemical Department suggested that before heading towards a bigger project we should make a prototype. After that was approved we were allowed to form a bigger team and enrol for the competition,” said Patil.
“It was then we started referring to several research papers, theories and demos of rocket making and we managed to build one in eight months. On an average, most of the team members worked 8 to 10 hours a day,” said Patil.
Rachana Navale, Vice President of Sinhgad Institute recently unveiled the Rocket APJ of team STES Rocketry. The rockets will compete in two categories namely COTS and SRAD. COTS are rockets built on commercially available propellant solid, liquid or hybrid and SRAD is Student Team Research and Design, a custom propellant. Rockets are classified to compete in 10,000 feet or 30,000 feet apogee and judged on flight accuracy. Stringent judging criteria include project concept, design, implementation, flight performance and successful recovery, payload innovation and functionality and professional conduct and use of procedures.
“We are aiming to compete in the 10,000 feet category with a COTS propellant,” added Patil.