Document Type

Undergraduate Project

Date of Degree Completion

Spring 2023

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science


Engineering Technology

Committee Chair

Charles Pringle, PE

Second Committee Member

Dr. John Choi

Third Committee Member

Dr. Darci Snowden


A team of mechanical engineering, physics, and computer science students from Central Washington University have constructed a fully functional subscale model rocket to be flown at the NASA Student Launch competition. The rocket’s payload was designed to open the nose cone and take a photo of the rocket’s surroundings after descending from the launch. Smaller parts were constructed through machining and 3D printing that will be added to the purchased major component, the linear actuator, in order to perform the required tasks. These tasks are signaled by an attached electronics board, which will receive an RF command remotely, execute code, and commence the deployment sequence. The payload’s testing primarily concerns the 3D printed or constructed components’ strength, as well as the functionality of the electronic components within the payload. The electronic components must remain in place during the ascent/descent sequence, and the constructed parts must keep them secure. The payload’s final weight was approximately 4.0 pounds. The target altitude was 5,000 feet, and the test flight altitude was roughly 4,700 feet. During the test deployment, camera’s opening was 3 inches wide, and the camera rotated 360 degrees for the photo. Three structural plates held the payload together during the launch sequence, the descent/landing, and the deployment. The wiring stayed put, enabling the electronics to perform their tasks, with the linear actuator opening the nose cone 6.2 seconds after landing, and the camera taking a photo of the rocket’s surroundings. Final launch results are expected to effectively mirror those of testing.


Contained in the report (References) are the links to the websites of the other payload team members.