The BYU Rocketry Student Launch Competition allows students to form teams of two or three students, design a custom rocket, and fly it to a target altitude. Teams use an identical rocket motor and measure the altitude their rocket reaches using an altimeter, a device that measures the difference in air pressure both at ground level, and at the peak height of the rocket's flight.
The 2017 competition again saw an increase in growth and participation. Over 70 people were in attendance, including participants, spectators, friends, and family.
Students launched to a target altitude of 1750 feet on an Aerotech G74W-9 commercial rocket motor. Each team designed a custom rocket and used a variety of construction methods. Matthew Fisher, Matthew Roberts, and Chris Harden took 1st Place with an altitude of 1797 feet.
The BYU Mechanical Engineering Department featured the competition in a story that can be read here.
The 2016 competition featured a total of 55 students that formed 22 teams.
Students use a variety of methods and supplies to construct their rockets such as 3D printing, laser cutters, store-bought materials, and more. The rockets are designed in open-source software called OpenRocket which allows the students to know important properties of the rocket based on their design, as well as the predicted altitude.
The 1st Annual Student Launch Competition started a movement among BYU students that were interested in rockets and space. The competition was organized through the university chapter of AIAA. This event brought together many students who pushed for more advanced projects, including 7 members of the 2017 IREC team, and the eventual establishment of the BYU Rocketry Club in the years following the event.
Students were challenged to design custom rockets and aim for the highest altitude possible.