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Project Birkeland
Team 2022

Team 2022's rocket was called Birkeland, named after the Norwegian scientist Kristian Birkeland, the "father" of Aurora Borealis. Approximately 10 months after we started development in September of 2021, we competed in Spaceport America Cup 2022, where we came 2nd in our class, 30'K COTS, and 3rd overall in the competition.



Solid motor
Cesaroni Pro 98




Top speed
Mach 1.5 (1850km/h)


in 0.21 seconds

BIRKELAND airframe_edited.png
Project Birkeland

Engineering breakdown

Outer Structure

The fundamental task of the outer structure is to provide structural integrity, and to ensure a stable flight. Birkelands outer structure comprises two fiber-composite airframe sections, a nose tip, coupling tube, boat tail, and four symmetric, wedged trapezoidal fins. It is through the boat tail and aft airframe that the motor force is transferred to the rest of the rocket.


The forward airframe is made out of radio transparent fiberglass, whereas the aft airframe is made out of carbon fiber. Both sections are tapered, following a von Kármán ogive to minimize drag. The four fins are made of carbon fiber, and mounted to the bottom of the aft airframe with aluminum fin brackets. The nose tip functions as an aerodynamic continuation of the upper airframe, and is made out of aluminium to be able to withstand the high temperatures of super sonic flight.

Birkeland mission patch
Launch very nice
Sexy fins
Soldering PCBs
Andøya test launch of Avionics system, to 1400m
Birkeland at launch pad
Presenting our Kalman filter at SA Cup podium session
Inner structure assembly
Producing the airframe
Post-drop test group photo
Testing separation system
The board with Birkeland
Drop test
Drop test!
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