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  • Space Research Launch Vehicle Development in Australia

    Paper number



    Prof. Lachlan Thompson, RMIT University, Australia, Australia



    The objective of this Project is to design, manufacture and launch a Nano-Satellite Launch Vehicle (AUSROC Nano) from Woomera, Australia as an educational and skills development Program. Nano Satellites are typically of the order 10kg. In this day and age of miniaturized electronics, a 10kg satellite can provide a number of useful on-orbit functions. To date there have been many instances of volunteer built micro and nano satellites (AMSATs), but there has never been a volunteer built orbital satellite launch vehicle.
    The Australian Spach Research Institute has been conducting an educational Launch Vehicle development program (AUSROC) since the late 1980’s. That Program is currently comprised of: AUSROC 1 – Launched 1989,  AUSROC 2-1 – Launch Failure 1992, AUSROC 2-2 – Launched 1995, AUSROC 2.5 – Launch Planned 2009, AUSROC 3 and AUSROC 4 – are yet to be scheduled. The ASRI program has strong local University support from all states in Australia. Each project has  behind it a team of students and space industry professionals providing practical skills training and capability development.
    AUSROC 2.5 is well advanced with construction of cryogenic tanks and rocket motor completed and undergoing testing. This was conceived as  an interim stage to develop local expertise to a level that can support the more capable AUSROC 3. AUSROC 3 is intended to be the building block for a family of launch vehicles sharing a common architecture. The AUSROC 4 is designed to lift a 50kg satellite into Polar Low Earth Orbit from Woomera. It uses four AUSROC 3 modules in the 1st stage, one AUSROC 3 module in the 2nd stage, and a solid fuelled 3rd stage to achieve this. Recent top level analyses indicate that a 10kg nano satellite could be launched on a 3 stage vehicle using an AUSROC 3 module as the first stage, a 2nd stage based on the AUSROC 3 kerosene tank with an integral bulkhead and a small solid rocket motor as the 3rd stage. This ‘baseline’ launch vehicle has been given the title “AUSROC Nano”. 
    Abstract document


    Manuscript document

    IAC-08.D2.2.7.pdf (🔒 authorized access only).

    To get the manuscript, please contact IAF Secretariat.