Name and design
Camillo Benso, Count of Cavour, was one of the leading figures of the Italian Unification and the main promoter of Italy’s industrial and scientific development. He was born in Turin in 1810, and died in Turin in 1861, being the first prime minister of Italy. PoliTo Rocket Team's first project is named after him.
In accord with the Team's Mission & Vision, Cavour's design is simple and pragmatic, thought to draw the way for future projects. It is also the first rocket of the Founding Fathers series.
Cavour is a single stage rocket with a solid COTS motor and an internal diameter of 100mm (3.94in), with a variable target altitude.
It is composed of two body tubes and a coupler, and of four compartments plus the nose cone. The structure is made of lightweight composite materials, and all its internal components are high-performance 3D-printed carbon-reinforced polymers. Starting from the bottom, the rocket’s compartments are:
- Motor bay, holding the COTS solid motor;
- Avionics bay with the electronics and the telemetry system;
- Payload bay, containing with the mission’s scientific payload;
- Recovery bay, which contains the parachutes and the other recovery components;
- Nose cone.
On Saturday, April 29th, our Cavour rocket was successfully launched from a launch site in Bavaria, Germany.
Due to the launch site apogee limitation, Cavour had to be launched with a small and less powerful K-class COTS CTI solid motor, that provided a maximum thrust of 1120.8N. The rocket reached an apogee of 1331.2m, staying under the launch site vertical limit. Cavour flew with a maximum velocity of 162.7 m/s, around Mach 0.5, with a maximum boost acceleration of 9.79G.
The drogue pilot parachute was deployed at apogee, while the main parachute was deployed at high altitudes earlier than anticipated probably due to the malfunctioning of a COTS TD-2 tether, which will be investigated. The rocket descended to the ground with a velocity of 6.9 m/s and landed softly on the German green grass. Cavour landed at around 1.2km from the launch site and was found in perfect condition with all airframe components intact: it is now ready to be reused.
At the end of June 2023, Cavour will be launched in New Mexico’s desert during the Spaceport America Cup 2023, with a 4kg-heavy scientific payload. Project Cavour will evolve towards a future reusable rocket with a larger payload capacity, capable of conducting scientific experiments inexpensively and reliably at a precise predetermined apogee.
Cavour is the first rocket of the Team, and it must be proven that with the least possible budget the group is capable of designing and manufacturing a durable rocket which can sustain a high-powered flight while fulfilling the mission objectives.
The Cavour Rocket structure design is modular, able to mount different motors, of different classes, lengths and diameters. Multiple versions of the rocket can be launched with different mission objectives, such as different apogee targets, payload launch and deployment, or system testing.
Using a drogue chute and a main parachute, the rocket is designed to land without inflicting any damage to its airframe or to the environment. This allows the rocket to perform multiple launches without inflicting any damage to its airframe or to the environment, so that the rocket is capable of being flown again without any major repair after just some refueling.