UCLA rocket project for IREC

The RRS was glad to participate in the Critical Design Review held at UCLA Boelter Hall. UCLA is preparing for the upcoming Intercollegiate Rocket Engineering Competition (IREC) to be held at Spaceport America in New Mexico on June 20-24, 2017.

CDR for UCLA’s IREC project

UCLA will be flying a 10-foot long, 6-inch diameter rocket to an altitude of 10,000 (+/- 2,000) feet carrying a payload at least 8.8 lbm in weight meeting ESRA standards for the competition. The rocket uses an M-class commercial hybrid motor with three solid motors in parallel. After covering all major systems (structures, propulsion and electronics) over the course of the day, we took a tour of UCLA’s rocket laboratory in the basement of Boelter Hall.

UCLA rocket lab tour

We thank Dr. Mitchell Spearrin for his invitation and hope to work with UCLA on testing their IREC rocket design in the near future at the MTA before the competition in June.

Dr. Mitchell Spearrin, UCLA MAE Dept.

Charles Hoult, 1933-2016

The Reaction Research Society (RRS) would like to remember Charles Hoult who passed away late last year in November. Educated at MIT and UCLA, he began his career in the Air Force working with sounding rockets starting in the late 1950’s until the late 70’s. He worked for Aerospace Corporation and TRW (Northrop Grumman) until his retirement in 2007. In addition to his professional work, he started academic work as an adjunct professor at California State University Long Beach (CSULB) in 2006. He was active for decades in the Experimental Sounding Rocket Association (ESRA) and attended many amateur rocket launches in several countries.

Experimental Sounding Rocket Association

One of his lasting contributions is his website with several open-source tools for amateur rocket design.
Rocket Science and Technology – Charles Hoult

His ashes are to be launched and dispersed into the atmosphere by a CSULB rocket over the ocean at an upcoming Intercollegiate Rocket Engineering Competition (IREC) event in June 2017.

The Los Angeles Times had an excellent obituary. The link is below:
Legacy.com / LA Times – Charles Hoult (1933-2016)

The Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (MAE) department of CSULB also posted a memorium for Charles Hoult:
CSULB remembers Charles Hoult

Any of our members who have specific memories or even photos of Charles Hoult that they would like to share are encouraged to comment here.

Apogee Aeronautics, SuperLoki launch rail system

On November 14, Osvaldo and I had the chance to meet Robert Kleinberger of Apogee Aeronautics. Robert runs a small engineering company specializing in sounding rockets. We had a chance to see one of the SuperLoki launcher systems that he had assembled and mounted on a trailer system in Orange County.

SuperLoki launcher from Apogee Aeronautics

view of the control panel, SuperLoki launch trailer

The SuperLoki is a sounding rocket design that was started in the late 1960’s and were used in the US and other western countries up until the supply was exhausted in the 1990’s.

In short, this two-stage rocket system consists of a first-stage solid propellant booster with an instrumented “dart” that coasts up to high altitudes, typically to make upper atmospheric weather measurements. The four-fin booster and four-fin dart are rail-guided to impart a controlled spin for stabilization.

Super Loki PWN-10A model

SuperLoki launch rails, side view on rails

Astronautix.com has specific details on the SuperLoki launch vehicle
Astronautix.com – SuperLoki

Wikipedia has a fuller article on the subject of the Loki series of rockets including the Super Loki.
Loki rocket – Wikipedia

Robert was assembling one of his SuperLoki rail launchers for a client, but ultimately, the launch trailer will reside at the Chico Air Museum in Chico north of Sacramento, California. The launcher will be there on display to the public. Although the SuperLoki launch trailer is not yet at the museum, I have put a weblink to the museum’s page.

Chico Air Museum

Although he may not make his presentation personally, Robert has put together a series of notes for our upcoming monthly RRS meeting. We’re looking forward to January 13th. Hope to see everyone there.