Document Type

Conference Paper


Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


Computer Sciences, Electrical and electronic engineering, Robotics and automatic control

Publication Details

International Manufacturing Conference, Mayo, Ireland, 2010.


Typical measurement probe deployment systems on sounding rockets employ hinged booms which extend the probes away from the rocket. This configuration often has a significant mass and may require a considerable amount of the rocket’s valuable payload volume. In an effort to reduce both mass and volume, the DIT Space Research Group have designed a light weight carbon fibre telescopic boom system, compatible with measurement probes commonly used in upper atmosphere research. Our design has been selected to be tested on a suborbital space flight onboard the REXUS 9 sounding rocket in March 2011. The purpose of this test is to characterise the boom system in-situ and increase its Technology Readiness Level (TRL). The system is capable of deploying a boom with a mock electromagnetic field (E-field) probe to a length of 1.63m ±0.5%. The mock probe will be attached to the distal end of the boom and will house six LEDs, which emit light at a wavelength of 620 nm. A filtered camera measurement system will gather this light allowing the boom deployment length, deflection and amplitudes of any displacement due to vibration to be measured and recorded. An accelerometer mounted in the probe will monitor vibration frequencies. The boom will deploy from the rocket at an altitude of approximately 70Km and will be jettisoned before re-entry. All data obtained during the flight will be stored on a solid state memory device and then recovered for post flight analysis. A downlink to a ground station will provide a live TV feed of boom deployment and jettison. The entire system has a mass budget of less than 4kg and can be contained in a rocket module of 348 mm diameter and 220 mm height.