When there is a nuclear accident, such as what happened at Fukushima Daiichi in 2011, one of the most important things to do is to figure out just how much radioactive material has been released into the atmosphere. The goal of this project is to create a rocket/glider hybrid. This rocket will have folding wings, which are collapsed before launch. The rocket will be propelled into the sky by a traditional rocket engine. At the apex of the launch, the wings will unfold. This aircraft will be autonomously launched and autonomously controlled. Onboard sensors will allow it to collect radiation data, and in realtime, send the data to an offsite location where it can be mapped and measured. At a critically low altitude, the glider will autonomously land itself, at which point, it can be recovered and quickly re-launched with just the replacement of a single rocket engine.
This is a Senior Design Project created by four students of Drexel University.