National Instruments meets with the students from Project SunrIde

Students from the Sheffield University Nova Rocket Innovative Design Engineering (SunrIde) project have recently met with a representative from National Instruments to talk about technology needed for the rocket.

The team met with the Academic Account Manager, Dan Vickers, to discuss using an NI myRIO embedded controller to empower the electronic systems onboard the rocket.

SunrIde is the first student-led rocket design team to represent the University of Sheffield and the UK in the world's largest intercollegiate rocket competition Spaceport America Cup (SAC).

After completing the design of the rocket, the team are now looking to build a prototype using innovative design solutions. The will need to create a rocket which will send a payload of a telescope into space during the Spaceport America Competition held in New Mexico.

Twenty-six students from five engineering disciplines, including the Department of Automatic Control and Systems Engineering, and mathematics have been pooling their knowledge to create the rocket from scratch.

SunrIde student project lead and MSc Advanced Control and Systems Engineering student, Jae Hyun Lim, said: “This is the very first step of the project and it only gets more interesting from here.”

SunrIde academic lead Dr. Viktor Fedun, said: “Since the first SunbYte mission I have received a great feedback from students and I know that these new project will definitely help them develop their knowledge, achieve their full potential. A new collaboration with National Instruments will help us with parameter measurements during the flight and post-flight analysis.”

The students’ design will be put to the test at the competition between the 19th and 23rd of June, where SunrIde will be competing against teams from all over the world.

The Spaceport America Cup is the largest international intercollegiate rocket engineering competition that takes place in New Mexico, USA. In 2016, there was an attendance of 600 participants from over 50 universities with competitors from every continent. SunrIde has been recognised as the first official UK team to compete in the competition’s history.

Dan Vickers, Academic Account Manager at National Instruments, works with 14 universities in the North of England to enable the adoption of cutting-edge technologies that boost productivity in teaching labs and research projects.

Dan Vickers said: “During my 8 years at National Instrument’s I have supported many innovative student projects, but I feel especially excited to partner with the SunrIde team due to my own passion for rocketry. When I met the team members, I was impressed by their ambition and professionalism, and I felt inspired by their own passion for the project. Subsequently, NI has decided to donate some advanced technology and engineering time to explore the use of NI tools within the Rocket itself. I am confident that the combination of NI’s powerful technology and the student’s engineering prowess will yield fantastic results in the this year’s Spaceport America Cup. The SunrIde team will be incredible ambassadors for University of Sheffield and British engineering”