• Project Title: Rocket Fin Optimization

  • BASIS Advisor: Ms. Bhattacharya

  • Internship Location: Hastest Solutions

  • Onsite Mentor: Dr. Sohail Zaidi

Fin design and associated aerodynamics play a vital role in evaluation of the overall flight performance of a rocket. This project will sample multiple fin models on rockets, with the intention of obtaining ideal fin dimensions to achieve maximum rocket flight performance. Working with Hastest Solutions, I will use two rocket simulation software packages—RockSim and OpenRocket—to manage and manipulate data. Both packages allow for creation of a virtual rocket through manipulation of a coupler, motor, and fins, implementing two NASA rocket equations for flight. The first equation, for maximum altitude: y = (1/2Mk)*ln([T - Mg - kv2] / [T - Mg]). The second equation, for time of flight: t = ([M/k]/√ [Mg/k])*arctan(v/√[Mg/k]). I will use these equations to select three specific fin designs, which will then be built as model rockets, and ultimately tested at Del Norte, California. Optimally, this project will determine the optimal fin to utilize in different weather and temperature patterns to achieve maximum altitude and Mach speed.