UAH student-built payload goes to space

This is the first time in almost 10 years that a payload created by UAH students went to space.
Published: Jul. 5, 2022 at 2:39 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - A payload created by a student-led group at The University of Alabama in Huntsville was recently sent to space.

This is the first time in almost 10 years that a payload created by UAH students went to space. Students have the opportunity to analyze data sent from the flight monitoring equipment that was built as part of the Terminus Spaceflight Research Group (TSRG), operating under the Space Hardware Club at UAH.

The payload was sent into space aboard a Terrier-Orion rocket from the NASA Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. This project was part of 32 other projects from university students in the NASA RockOn and RockSat-C programs.

The completed flight monitoring payload.
The completed flight monitoring payload.(Space Hardware Club)

Ben Campbell, a master’s student in aerospace systems engineering who is the founder of TSRG, said the group is in the process of going through the data collected by sensors built on the payload.

“At the moment, we have a large collection of raw data that was recorded by all the sensors, and we are now in the process of correlating everything together to basically produce the big picture, or life story, of what our payload experienced during the mission,” Campbell said in a statement. “We have things worked out for the initial ascent phase of the launch, where we have clear data indicating events such as the operation of the two stages that were used on the launch vehicle, and our crossing of the Karman line – which is the boundary of space that’s about 100 kilometers above sea level – at around 114 seconds after liftoff.”

The team at UAH is going through data to determine what activity happened in space and when the rocket began to re-enter the atmosphere and land in the Atlantic Ocean. The payload was retrieved by a boat team and has been sent back to UAH.

“The payload was essentially a small deck of electronics, about the size of a dinner plate, which hosted a suite of various sensors to monitor flight conditions throughout the mission,” Campbell said in a statement.

The goal of TSRG is to have UAH students build spacecraft and to go to a NASA launch center to participate in activities like payload integration, vehicle assembly and more.

Members of the TSRG include:

  • Ben Campbell- master’s student; aerospace systems engineering; Nampa, Idaho
  • Tristan Carter- senior; mechanical engineering; Haleyville, Alabama
  • Peter Jay Summers- sophomore; mechanical engineering; Carmel, Indiana
  • Michaela Tarpley- senior; aerospace engineering; Roxana, Illinois
  • Victoria Tarpley- senior; mechanical engineering; Roxana, Illinois
  • David Tutunzhiu- senior; aerospace engineering; Raleigh, North Carolina
  • Tyler Ardrey- senior; aerospace engineering; Fairhope, Alabama
  • Matthew Bray- senior; aerospace engineering; Huntsville, Alabama
  • Jared Sauer- senior; aerospace engineering; Savannah, Georgia
  • Quinn Booker- senior; mechanical engineering; Palatine, Illinois

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