Quantcast

How much is needed to fund a TARC team?

The Rocketry Forum

Help Support The Rocketry Forum:

Bone Daddy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 4, 2009
Messages
928
Reaction score
2
How much money is needed to fund a TARC team?

My goal is to get a team together next year and need to submit a proposal.

Does anyone have an actual proposal they submitted to their principal they would be willing to share?

Thanks
 

Gillard

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
1,975
Reaction score
1
UKAYRoC is the british version of TARC. Same contest, your winner takes on our winner.

i have two teams in this year.
projected costs were £600 per team.
I recieved no funding directly from the school, but used previous school competition funds from another project to fund this years UKAYRoC Teams.

Rocketry is much more expensive in the UK than USA.
 

n5wd

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
1,036
Reaction score
2
How much money is needed to fund a TARC team?
There are several answers to this question. The #1 answer is: it depends.

First, you need the entry fee. It was $105 per team this year - that may go up a bit next year. We take care of the fee by requiring each member of the team to "buy in" with a $25 contribution. This year, both of our teams had only 3 members so we had to dip into the reserves to come up with the rest. Previously, larger teams self-funded the entry fee, with sometimes a little left over (that's where the reserve came from!).

Then, there are three phases of contest flying that you need to worry about:
1. Training - getting everyone up to a certain skill level - Unless you've got a bunch of already experienced kids, you need to plan to get everyone up to some level of expertise with flying rockets. We've started our newbies out with smaller rockets flying A's and B's, letting them get some experience in construction and flying. Then, moving on to the Quest Courier, they learn to fly an egg and not break it, usually on C's and D's. Most of these rockets we already have from my engineering classes - we bought extras. But, if you're buying things from scratch, figure $25-$45 on this phase. Then we start work on the real rocket... Don't forget to budget for RockSim, if you don't already have it available - we had purchased a site license for my lab, so that was already in place.

2. Pre-Qualification design and flights - In years past, 3" tubes, balsa or light plywood CR's, etc. This year, our guys modified Couriers and created their own designs. Figure $25-$50 for parts, maybe a little more - but then you need to fly, fly, fly. We ask that our teams budget for at least 20 practice flights... and up to this year that's worked well for us (we're not having as much success this year, for a variety of reasons). Each flight cost $15-18, so you can figure a couple of hundred dollars.

3. We're going to Manassas - if you get into the finals, you need a backup rocket in case something happens to yours on the pad or it's not recoverable - and you need to fly, fly, fly some more. Each time we've gotten into the finals, we've spent another $200 building the backup and flying more practice runs before the finals. Of course, you're looking at expenses for the trip... air fare, hotel, trips into Washington DC and the area. We usually go for a four day trip (leave Friday, return Tuesday evening - gives us a couple of days to play sightsee'ers.

My goal is to get a team together next year and need to submit a proposal.
Does anyone have an actual proposal they submitted to their principal they would be willing to share?
My principal didn't require a formal proposal - we just sat down over lunch (before school started) and I explained to him what I wanted to do, and assured him that it wasn't going to be dangerous, immoral, or illegal (that principal was pretty liberal on the school activities that he'd approve), so I can't help you with the proposal. If I had to do one, I'd emphasize a few things:
1. the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) properties of the contest
2. the opportunities for kids to learn teamwork and leadership
3. the opportunities for student/mentor relationships that might blossom into other possibilities (remember, I'm a CATE teacher, and we're always looking for community partnerships)
4. the prize money ($60,000 total - and it all goes to the kids as cash, not gift certificates or scholarships)
5. the scholarships
6 the trip to the Paris or Farnsborough Air Show, whichever one is on tap for next year (if you start next school year, it'd be the Paris Air Show).

I'll be glad to help you get it organized, though truthfully, it pretty well organizes itself as you go along.

We can talk at the DARS meeting this weekend, or at Frisco if you're coming then.

Wayne
 

n5wd

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
1,036
Reaction score
2
Thanks Wayne

See you at the next DARS launch?
Feel free to drop by the DARS meeting tomrrow afternoon at 1:00pm... it's at one of the Plano libraries on Coit Road.

And, didja notice there's a launch tomrrow afternoon AFTER the business meeting?

But, I'll miss the normal 3rd Saturday launch since we'll be in Huntsville flying the SLI rocket with NASA that weekend.
 

hardinlw

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 19, 2009
Messages
372
Reaction score
1
We spent right at $1000 to qualify. This particular team is sponsored by a church, but it costs the church nothing because we have a corporate sponsor.

The cost to qualify included :

1. Building a rail launcher to avoid rod whip (about $300) which you can avoid if you have a club launcher available. This is a one-time expense.

2. Building multiple rockets. We went through 3 prototypes before they got the thing big enough to hold the required streamer which is way bigger than the original design based on Rocksim assuming the CD for a folded streamer. (In practice, the payload is so heavy that the streamer flattens out and behaves almost as though it were not folded.) We went into qualifying with one flyable rocket and one that could be finished up with a few hours of work. We'll be finishing that one and building another for the finals. These are not cheap rockets because we are in Connecticut and the flying field we normally use is soaking wet this time of year. The body tube and fins are glassed (actually carbon fiber on the fins for looks) to make them relatively water proof and we are using a plywood centering ring at the back end with a blue tube engine mount.

3. Engines for 30 flights. We are using F50 single use engines and the best price we could find was $16 each, so that's close to $500 in engines alone. The reloadables are much cheaper, but we saw some variability using F39 reloadables last year that might be due to variation in assembly. All it takes is getting a little grease on the bottom end of the delay grain to cause the delay to light late and give the infamous "bonus delay." We figured that Aerotech could do a more repeatable job of assembly in their factory than we could. Even so, there is some variability in engines. You need to buy more than you need and then sort them by lot number, reserving the ones you have the most of for the final calibration and qualification flights. You need to fly in different wind conditions, different temperatures, etc., so you can determine what weight gives the target altitude under some reasonable range of conditions.

4. Licensing Rocksim on a church-owned computer.

5. Three altimeters. We had one Perfectflite from last year and bought 2 Adepts. One of those is hanging in a tree, so I replaced it. The next time out, a rushed packing job resulted in shearing the pressure sensor off another, so we currently have two functioning altimeters and that is a bare minimum in my book. You need backups of everything critical.

A week ago, we broke the altimeter on the first flight of the day and lawn-darted the booster on the third flight because the parachute did not open. It came out, but unfortunately tangled with a fin and caused the booster to come down nose first. The team dug out about 4" of good CT topsoil and had to cut off about 1/2" of the booster tube because it was frayed and might jam the payload coupler. They continued test flying and ultimately posted a qualifying score of 17 (within the time window and 17 feet high). The payload literally splashed down and was floating in a big puddle. Conventional cardboard construction would not have gotten past the lawn dart. Does that sufficiently illustrate the need for backup equipment and robust construction? Because the rocket is rugged, it can make many flights without repairs, so it can be dialed in pretty well. Last Saturday, they posted a second qualifying score of 8 (within the time window and 8 feet high).

On the assumption that an 8 is good enough to make the finals, we have ordered another 24 engines. From those, we expect to make at least 4 flights on each of the three rockets we'll have available and try to cover a range of temperatures and wind conditions.

Note that some of the expenses are one-time, such as a launcher and launch control system and you may not even have to own these yourself if you have a local club that will let you use theirs. Altimeters will have to be replaced if lost or damaged. Always test fly a new design without the altimeter until you are sure it is stable and the recovery system works.
 

n5wd

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
1,036
Reaction score
2
Last Saturday, they posted a second qualifying score of 8 (within the time window and 8 feet high).
Larry, congratulations to your team for a very fine score. Yep, I'd also assume that 8 would be good enough to get into the finals, but we'll find out later this week.


Wayne
 

Bone Daddy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 4, 2009
Messages
928
Reaction score
2
Thanks everyone for the input and sorry for the slow response.

I've been putting some feelers out and have had a few kids express interest in a club for next year.

I'm feeling it'll be a go for next year.
 

hardinlw

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 19, 2009
Messages
372
Reaction score
1
One more piece of advice, start early. The principle of the local middle school wants to partner with the church to put together a couple of teams for next year. I plan to start working with the kids during the summer so they have some design and construction experience prior to starting the design and construction of the TARC rockets next fall. You also need to order your engines early. For repeatability, you want all of your calibration and competetion engines to come out of the same lot number. We'll be going to the finals with two primary rockets plus the old qualifying rocket as a backup. Each rocket will be calibrated using 4-5 flights on engines of a specific lot number. There is really very little variation, but a couple of feet could make the difference. We've measured .2g variation in engine weight which is .5% of the propellent weight. If that is .5% more or less propellent, it could translate into .5% more or less altitude (probably not totally linear) which is 4 feet. That might be the deciding factor. If you buy engines early, you can pick out the ones that are most consistent based on lot number and weight and reserve them for competetion. Use the others for the early test flying. (Can you tell I'm an engineer and pretty obsessive on top of that?)
 

Bone Daddy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 4, 2009
Messages
928
Reaction score
2
Thanks Larry.

Things are starting to move on my end. Ready to start the paperwork. Looks like a go for next year.
 
Top