Rocketry team of IIT Madras gets recognition at Spaceport America Cup 

Updated - July 12, 2024 12:05 pm IST

Published - July 09, 2024 09:14 pm IST - CHENNAI

The team which won the ‘On the Spot Recognition Award’

The team which won the ‘On the Spot Recognition Award’

Team Abhyuday, the Rocketry team of IIT Madras was given the ‘On the Spot Recognition Award’ by the judges at the Spaceport America Cup for its unique Canard System design. Spaceport America Cup is the world’s largest intercollegiate rocket engineering conference and competition which concluded recently.

According to details by shared by team Abhyuday, the competition is divided into two categories based on altitude: 10K (10,000 ft) and 30K (30,000 ft). With the focus on accuracy over power, the competition judges based on the difference between analytical predictions and actual altitude achieved rather than flying the highest.

“We were among the 24 out of the 150 teams and the only team in India to be selected for the presentation session called the Podium Session where the team presented its approach to control the roll of the rocket using canards and was greatly appreciated by the judges,” said Ishan Mankodi, Head, Team Abhyuday-Centre For Innovation (CFI), IIT Madras who is in his 4th year, Engineering Physics Department, IIT-M.

The rocket hosted some new technologies never seen in the competition, notably Active Roll Control using Canard System

The rocket hosted some new technologies never seen in the competition, notably Active Roll Control using Canard System | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Team Abhyuday participated this year for the second time with its signature rocket Chetak 2.0. With a phenomenal 16th rank for Flight Dynamics in its first year, the team expanded into the field of innovations in control systems and optimization. The rocket hosted some new technologies never seen in the competition, notably Active Roll Control using Canard System. Chetak 2.0 was also optimized to minimize weights with the use of a variable diameter design. The team developed completely in-house flight computers for the rocket and used single parachute reefing technique for safe recovery.

“In only our second year at the competition, we have achieved 11th place in the 10k COTS category and an overall rank of 20 (out of 150+ teams). This makes us the best rocketry team in Asia in only our second launch,” the team said.

Priyanshu Nailwal, Airframe Lead, Team Abhyuday-CFI, IIT Madras who is pursuing his 2nd Year, MTech Aerospace, IIT Madras and Priyavrat Tiwari, Avionics and Recovery Team Member, Team Abhyuday-CFI, IIT Madras who is doing his BTech Aerospace, 2nd Year, IIT Madras said: The Rocket soared to 10,375 ft with an impressive accuracy of around 97% from team’s prediction and achieved astonishing speed of more than 1,000 km/hr.

| Video Credit: Special Arrangement

Prabhu Rajagopal, Advisor (Innovation and Entrepreneurship), IIT Madras, said: “This year’s launch was very special because last year was the very first time they participated in this event. This time the stability of the vehicle was good – it went straight and way up. The propulsion efficiency…..I think we were one of the fastest rockets deployed in the competition.” Noting that there is lot more coming up in the next few months from the team, Prof .Rajagopal said: “Now they are going to have this hybrid rocket engine and they are going to test this in ISRO. They have already got a bay in Sriharikota. All these things are going to start now.”

The team has successfully developed and tested India’s First Student Built Hybrid Rocket Engine and are currently upgrading it to launch a rocket using that. The team is also actively working on active control systems and algorithms to make the rocket industry competitive in nature.

Team Abhyuday is also going to start a rocketry circle where they are going to bring together the like minded rocketry teams from across the country and initiate a collaboration. They have started the work and by December this will culminate, Mr.Rajagopal noted.

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