Hephaestus Rocketry Team

Hephaestus is the first Italian school rocketry team.

Our mission is to create a functioning rocket in all its parts and to do it in the most analogous way to those that are the traditional methods for real commercial rockets.

This implies that there are ground recovery, stabilization and communication systems on board.

Hephaestus was created to be a scalable, replicable and modular project: in the future we hope to be able to grow and attract the attention of the public by doing things bigger and bigger.

To date, the aerospace sector is still a niche and not much discussed by the general public.

We want to help in our small way to give a voice to this sector and above all to young people like us who are trying to emerge.

We currently do not have the funds or the capabilities necessary to carry out this project in the way we think it deserves.

To date these are some examples of what we have designed and produced so far:

Andromeda is an avionics computer for thrust vectoring control rockets.

The teensy it mounts is able to run up to 600 MHz, ensuring great computing power for all avionics.

On board it is equipped with an accelerometer and a barometer sensor, so that it can simultaneously determine which position data to send to the servos that control the direction of the motor and store important flight data on the integrated SD card and on the flash card as a backup.

These data are very important because they allow debugging and troubleshooting to always improve software and hardware at each launch.

It is powered by 12V, but works with just 5V. In any case, there are four different 12V outputs to power fireworks or other possible future features. I personally use these exits for parachute ejection which slow down the descent by landing the rocket safely after launch.

Summing up, the card is equipped with two outputs for servomotors, an RGB LED and a buzzer that operate as status indicators and additional i2c, SPI, UART and simple 5V/GND outputs, two data saving systems (flash chip and SDcard) as well as to what I have already described.

Our latest advancement is a brand new board whose purpose will be to control all security systems, launch procedures and the collection of sensitive and important data.

This, based on the computing power of an Arduino Mega, exploits almost all of the available I / O to ensure that launch is within everyone's reach. In fact, we ideally plan to make all our designs public and consequently we design them also in view of the user experience of those who will have to replicate them.

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Sep 08,2021
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