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.

BIRKELAND airframe_edited.png


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.

Drop test
Lead with rocket