The Arcturus was developed for the 10th IREC competition and competed in the Basic Category. It was the first rocket of its kind with a Carbon/PEEK airframe manufactured using an Automated Fiber Placement machine from the Concordia Center for Composites. As well, the vehicle could boast extremely light aluminum honeycomb and carbon fiber composite fins. The simulation for determining the behavior of the fins in high-speed flows was one of the first of its kind and was consequently published in the proceedings of the 66th International Astronautical Congress.
The vehicle also employed a dual-event recovery system, to allow the rocket to be recovered unharmed and at a reasonable distance from the pad. The system was activated using rudimentary in-house avionics. Finally, the vehicle’s payload was an array of Geiger-Muller tubes which were used to measure the change in ambient radiation between ground-level and apogee.
Overall, the vehicle had a successful flight and a full recovery. It managed to attain a maximum altitude of 12,705 feet and a maximum velocity of mach 0.84. The payload won second place in the competition’s payload challenge.