TVC Rockets

From October 2021 to May 2022, two DU spaceflight rocketry teams - A and B, built TVC model rockets to compete against each other. The goal was to maximise the apogee, using a thrust-vector control system for rocket stabilisation.


Reach the maximum apogee with a thrust-vector controlled rocket, using Aerotech F40W 29mm RMS motor in an RMS-29/40-120 motor casing.

Team A

We designed our rocket with the aim of it being as simple as possible. It meant removing redundant sensors like an altimeter, and opting for a simpler stage separation design. Like group B, our sensor suite included an MPU6050 accelerometer to help guide our rocket and keep it vertical during flight with two SG-90 servo motors. Where we differed is in our choice of microcontroller. We chose an ESP32 due to its higher compute power and larger pinout. We logged the flight data to the internal flash storage of the ESP32, then dumping it to a microSD card at the end of the flight. It was done to improve reliability as micro SD card can become dislodged during flight, whereas the flash chip is soldered on to the board, making it not susceptible to this. Our coupler and body tube were made out of cardboard tubing, and our thrust vector control (TVC) mount and nose cone were 3D printed.

Team B

Our team picked Arduino Nano for the flight controller. The flight logging with a microSD reader. We included an MPU6050 IMU that measures the angular velocity and acceleration of the rocket, and a BMP180 barometer that senses the change in temperature and pressure while the rocket is in trajectory. Soldering the circuit board was a challenging task to do, as the schematic we followed required many T-junctions and jumpers. After many hours of soldering and consistent testing, our flight controller proved to work. We used a 3D printer to print out a motor mount (TVC CAD file designed by the society), and experimented with shapes of nose cones to test which one was the most durable and aerodynamic.