Project Cygnet is Purdue Orbital's first exploration into small satellite launch systems. The basis is a "Rockoon" concept: a rocket launching from a high altitude balloon.
"Cygnet" is derived from a vessel that William Dampier used on his journey to become the first individual to circumnavigate the globe three times. Varying slightly, Purdue Orbital is attempting to circumnavigate the globe with an airship-inspired orbital insertion system.
Fall 2017 is set to be our busiest semester yet! We have much planned including the second (and new and improved) iteration of our Launch Orientation and Control system as well as out High Altitude Lift system. Additionally, we are beginning to turn our focus to space as we begin research and development into accurate trajectory models and early design into a larger, more powerful rocket. We have also launched Project Icarus in support of Project Cygnet. There is so much happening, we can't list it all here! Be sure to check back for more information or contact us directly!
Spring 2017 saw detailed design and manufacturing of our complete Launch Orientation and Control system and High Altitude Lift system. Additionally, work continued into our communications and control systems and a primary investigation into hybrid rocket motors was completed. The semester concluded with testing of our Launch Orientation and Control system as well as the High aLtitude Lift system. A test flight was completed off of the Launch Orientation and Control system yielding important operational and functional data that will be invaluable in the future.
Fall 2016 saw detailed design work into the first half of our Launch Orientation and Control system as well as early work into our computer simulations and communications system. The semester cumulated in a test flight of our DX3 XL rocket off of a custom built test stand. The tests were successful and returned much information that will help us create a safe and effective system in the coming semesters.
April, 2016: Ground Launch Test
Orbital's first large system test of Project Cygnet occurred on April 17, 2016. The team traveled to Three Oaks, Michigan to test the custom designed electronics package inside a DX3 XL rocket frame with a CTI M3700 motor. The launch and recovery were a complete successes and all mechanical and electronic systems performed as designed.