Space Vehicle Design for SRM University Students

Space Vehicle Design for SRM University Students

The space vehicle designed by the seven – member team from the SRM University, has won the third prize in AIAA’s Space Transport Design Competition 2012. Team leader Sweety Pate talks to Gaurav Dangi about the mission.

Fantastic journey

After my award winning eco – friendly Aircraft design at NASA Green Aviation competition 2010 – 11, I formed a team to work for the next international competitions. All my seven team mates — Joel Alex Roy, Anku Aravind, Rajdeep Chowdhuri, Sarnavi Mahesh, Jeevraj Hejmady, Ravi Shakya, Rishabh Bana — from final year and pre – final year of Aerospace Engineering worked on this project. Contribution of each team member led us to win the third position at the Undergraduate Space Transportation Design Competition 2011 – 2012 organized by American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics ( AIAA ). This project was to design a space vehicle to transport common people so it was really great excitement to work on the project.

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Creating this project

I feel that to manage the team and keep each member together is very important while doing any project. Regular discussions among the team members were required to solve the problem and select the best designs and technologies for our Nav kshitij Vahak Space Vehicle. Continuous hard work and great co – ordination among my team mates gave us these positive results. We were on the 7th cloud when the results were declared. Our team was only one from India. We received the cash prize of $1000 and certificates.

The feasibility

The AIAA is the world’s largest technical society dedicated to the global aerospace profession. The Undergraduate Team Space Transportation Design Competition required participants to design, and produce a business plan for commercial Earth – to – Orbit passenger vehicle. The vehicle should be capable of taking paying customers from earth to orbit and back for a variety of research and tourism purposes. This competition is an effort to encourage space tourism where not only astronauts but the common man can also take space rides safely.

Nav shitiz Vahak is designed to carry 50 passengers to ISS orbit which will be the most exciting journey to the space. The team came up with lots of designs and worked on the launching mechanism through which we can reduce the cost of the travel to space. The most efficient design that we came up with is the blended wing body design. It provides minimum drag and provides lift as well as good control during atmospheric flight. It minimizes fuel consumptions, provide significant payload advantage. For each step of designing the cost was given the major priority. Advanced material and thermal protection can successfully land the spacecraft on the land. Life support and Environmental control is designed for Nav Shitiz Vahak which takes care of providing comfortable atmosphere for the passengers. Advanced avionics system is integrated in vehicle.

Space tourism is made fascinating with various facilities incorporated in the spacecraft. The amusement section is provided to the passenger for experiencing the zero gravity, space sports. Large window gives the passenger the view of the space and enjoy each moment. Training is provided to passengers and all other crew members. Training is being planned in NASTAR center where efficient training for the passengers, crew and pilots. The centre also provides the certification to the passengers as well as the pilots for the approval of space travel

Future plan

We have also got our results for NASA Green Avaition Level 2 Competition 2011 – 12, were we have successfully bagged the second prize under my leadership. I have also recently published our two research papers in international journals. Our team has decided to form a club to guide students for the international projects.