sounding rockets

The Rocketry Forum

Help Support The Rocketry Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.


Well-Known Member
Feb 2, 2003
Reaction score
What exactly is a "sounding" rocket? Is it one that makes sound? :p Just kidding but really though, what is it? Thanks!
a research rocket used to obtain information about the atmosphere at various altitudes

I believe sounding is an old Naval term
A reaserch rocket.

Example: D Region Tomahawk, used to study the "D region" of the atmosphere, hence the "D Region" Tomahawk.

another example: IQSY Tomahawk. International Quiet Sun Year Tomahawk. There was the IGY (I forget what that stands for, but it had something to do with the sun or something being very active.), and there were all sorts of soundinng rockets that flew to collect upper-atmosphere data. After that, they decided they should continue tests to see what "normal" was. So the IQSY Tomahawk was made. I think it fell off is launch tower or something, or something happened to the fins... I forget... Anyways, it didnt get too many flights... Its makes for some nice scale-models, though. Very easy to make. I have several in different sizes... (I had a 24MM minimum diamter one, but I put an E9-8 in it... You can imagine... ;) My first MPR flight was an AT IQSY Tomahawk... :)
"IGY" was International Geophysical Year. Also an old Steely Dan song if memory serves (which it does less and less).:p