NI has announced its support to the Texas Rocket Engineering Lab (TREL) at the University of Texas at Austin.
“We are incredibly proud to support TREL and their endeavors,” noted Nick Butler, chief marketing lead for the Aerospace, Defense, and Government Business Unit at NI. “These students and researchers epitomize what it means to Engineer Ambitiously, and their applications represent a great example of the ongoing convergence of design, test and integration where digital technologies are used to accelerate productivity, innovation and discovery.”
“Working with NI to test Halcyon has been a privilege. The experience is invaluable, as this level of dynamic testing is generally outside the scope of university classwork but ubiquitous in industry. With our new ability to test Halcyon in a wide range of mission scenarios, come launch day, we’ll be prepared for anything,” said Stefan deBruyn, senior avionics software engineer for TREL.
TREL, an interdisciplinary research lab that prepares students for a new era of human spaceflight through hands-on projects in rocketry and aerospace, is on a mission to launch a 28-foot-liquid bipropellant rocket into space by the end of 2021.
Named Halcyon, TREL’s rocket has been entered into the Base11 Space Challenge — an international competition that tasks student-led teams to design, build and launch a liquid-propelled, single-stage rocket to an altitude of 100 kilometers, the official boundary between Earth’s atmosphere and outer space.
Supported by NI’s testing hardware, simulation systems and guidance rooted in bold, ambitious engineering, TREL is preparing to launch the most powerful collegiate rocket ever built.
To support TREL’s testing efforts, NI will provide over $150,000 of modular data-acquisition equipment and software to help the team collect comprehensive data about Halcyon’s systems through a series of tests.
TREL’s upcoming hotfire test, the first in a series of tests enabled by NI, is a full-scale burn of the TXE-1 engine that will generate over 2,500 pounds of thrust.
This test will collect crucial rocket engine metrics like thrust, efficiency and temperature that will be used to optimize the lighter TXE-2 “Havoc” Engine, which will launch Halcyon into space later this year.
With NI’s support, the TREL team will push the boundaries of collegiate rocketry and accelerate their own personal development.