The fastest and most energetic student project in Norway
Propulse NTNU is a rocketry team that aims to give students hands-on experience with engineering projects.
The students join the team as an extracurricular activity on a voluntary basis with the goal of learning as much as they can about rockets, engineering and teamwork. Through Propulse NTNU, members get opportunities that they would not have had as a regular student, adding experiences that strengthens them as engineers in later projects and careers.
The final product reaches thousands of kilometers an hour in a matter of seconds, reaching higher than the tallest mountains, far into the sky - all built by students in their spare time.
The rocket is a purpose-built sounding rocket, designed to execute a specific scientific mission, as defined by the members. This makes members think beyond the development of the rocket and consider the application of their work.
Propulse NTNU is independent and self-organized, giving the members a taste of how to run a project from a management perspective. They are themselves responsible for defining a mission, recruiting and organizing team members, engaging with industry and gathering support, in addition to going through the development process, carrying out tests and other necessary operations in order to achieve their goal.
We believe that our members come out on the other side as better engineers because of the long, high paced and intensive process they go through - and we are happy to give them this opportunity to become better.
How we work
To make students able to develop and build a rocket in a short time span requires a robust plan with a robust team structure. The team is built up around the systems of the rocket, splitting the team in cross-disciplinary sub-teams, called system groups, consisting of members from many different studies. Throughout the project the system groups continually communicate and synchronize through weekly meetings, presentations, design reviews and documentation. The development process follows the principles of concurrent engineering. Want to contribute at a design review? Contact us!
The average time span for a project is nine months, and is filled to the brim with activities that ensure the highest productivity and learning for the members, while maintaining the lowest risk and financial cost for the organization. The support of our partners ensures that the project can keep a fast pace throughout these nine months.
Design & Development
Propulse NTNU strives to let the students develop as much of the rocket as possible. This starts with a concept phase where many fundamental ideas to fulfill different functions and solve problems are researched, discussed and sketched out. This translates over to a design phase where the winning idea of the concept phase turns into detailed 3D models, first drafts of circuits, software architecture, and the groundwork of analysis. During this phase, numerous prototypes are built and tested in order to verify the designs.
During the development process, the team have design reviews where all aspects of the designs are discussed with the whole team, to ensure compatibility between systems.
Production & Testing
To design a rocket is a huge task in itself, but to design a rocket that can be manufactured with the tools available is arguably a greater task. The members of Propulse NTNU are responsible for the production, engaging with workshops and suppliers. Often they will produce the parts themselves from scratch, giving them a hands-on feel on how their designs translate to production.
Testing and verification is a huge part of Propulse NTNUs development plan. The members are themselves responsible for setting up experiments, executing the tests, and then verify and document the results and processes.
Operations & Missions
Few other engineering projects have an end-phase like a rocket project. Designing for operation adds another dimension to a design. In Propulse NTNU, the members are not only the researchers, designers, producers, and testers, but also the end-users - giving them firsthand experiences with every step of an engineering project.
The members execute the mission themselves, and are then be forced to solve every problem that comes with the it. The members see and feel how their design choices affect operations and the mission itself.