STERN 2016/2 RSS

German Student Experimental Rockets

The STERN (STudentische Experimental-RaketeN) program of the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt, DLR) is a space-related project carried out and documented by students of different universities in Germany. The complete documentation of the project named Leonis is provided within the STERN Project Documentation (SPD) and shall serve as an invaluable reference document not only for all current and future participants in this project but also for external experts evaluating the development, e.g. during project reviews. The program is financed by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi).

The Student Group HyEnD (Hybrid Engine Development) at the University of Stuttgart is participating with the Institute of Space Systems (IRS) in the DLR STERN program initiated by the DLR Space Administration. In the course of this three year program students shall design, develop and fly a small sounding rocket. The basic technical requirements are a minimum flight altitude of 3 km, recording and transmission of telemetry data and the recovery of the rocket by a parachute system. The official start of the program at Stuttgart University was on September 1st, 2012. The program is accompanied by several reviews to survey and control the development and construction of the rocket. The reviews are co-organized by the DLR Space Administration, the DLR MORABA and the DLR Institute of Space Propulsion. Due to the expected high flight altitude of more than 20 km the launch will take place at the European Space and Sounding Rocket Range (Esrange) in Kiruna, Sweden.

General Information:
Launch site Esrange Space Center
Launch date 1 st hot CD October 28, 2016
Customer Student programme

In October 2015 the first three university teams got their flight opportunity, TU Berlin launched two times the upper-stages of their DeCan (Deuche Cansat Hohenrakete | German Cansat Soundingrocket). Both rockets flew successfully to an altitude slightly higher than 5km.
ERIG from TU Braunschweig launched there hybrid engine powered Faust. Also this launch was successful. 
HyEnD from TU Studtgart launched there HEROS rocket, a 10kN (2248lbs) N2O-Paraffin hybrid rocket that should have reached 20km (65600ft). Unfortunately their engine suffered a failure. An extension of the project was granted with additional funding, in order to build a second rocket and launch it again.

In October 2015 the first Launch Campaign for the HEROS rocket took place at ESRANGE. In October 2016 A detailed Failure Analysis Review is planned to improve the second launch attempt. The rocket will be similar to the first design, with minor changes regarding the instrumentation and the engine. More sensors will be on-board to verify the oxidizer loading and conditions. The basic performance and dimensions stay the same. It is planned to build two identical rockets, one serving as redundant backup model for a second launch opportunity. 

Experiment module:




HEROS A hybrid rocket motor
using N2O as liquid
oxidizer and paraffin
as solid fuel

TU Studtgart

Contact persons:

DLR MORABA STERN Project manager: Katharina Schüttauf

SSC Esrange Project Manager: Maria Holmström

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STERN 2016/2