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Icarus Interstellar (Drexel University Chapter) http://drexel.icarusinterstellar.org Reaching for the Stars, one student at a time. Wed, 14 Oct 2015 21:32:22 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.1 Fall Kick-off; Work on Project Tin Tin Begins! http://drexel.icarusinterstellar.org/2015/10/14/fall-kick-off-work-on-project-tin-tin-begins/ http://drexel.icarusinterstellar.org/2015/10/14/fall-kick-off-work-on-project-tin-tin-begins/#respond Wed, 14 Oct 2015 21:32:22 +0000 http://drexel.icarusinterstellar.org/?p=168 With the start of Fall term at Drexel, the team begins working on Project Tin Tin. Although we are still deciding, the current top name suggestion for our design is Project Tiny Tim. The team this year is over saturated with brainpower which will certainly lead to some creative design ideas and colorful discussions.

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Planetarium Trip and Last Meeting for the Term http://drexel.icarusinterstellar.org/2015/06/04/planetarium-trip-and-last-meeting-for-the-term/ http://drexel.icarusinterstellar.org/2015/06/04/planetarium-trip-and-last-meeting-for-the-term/#respond Thu, 04 Jun 2015 02:30:51 +0000 http://drexel.icarusinterstellar.org/?p=164 Read More...]]> Hello Everyone,

This weekend, the team visited the Hayden Planetarium at American Museum of Natural History in NYC. They gained insight into the formation of the universe and its composition and valuable perspective about cosmic distances and scales. They also learned many other cool and interesting space facts. Unfortunately they did not get to meet Neil Degrasse Tyson…

Also, our last meeting for the term is on Thursday, where we will discuss each system in preparation for the paper deadline.

Stay tuned for more information.

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Project Icarus Status Update http://drexel.icarusinterstellar.org/2015/05/20/project-icarus-status-update/ http://drexel.icarusinterstellar.org/2015/05/20/project-icarus-status-update/#respond Wed, 20 May 2015 00:43:36 +0000 http://drexel.icarusinterstellar.org/?p=157 Read More...]]> Hello everyone,

Over the past couple of weeks, the team has been making a lot of headway on some major milestones. For starters, the propulsion group has been working on the propulsion models. These calculations include determining how long our initial burn period will be, which is important for our shielding and fuel team for determining the parameters for tritium breeding. Another place we have made considerable progress on is the droplet radiator design. Our proposed radiator will use helium in a plasma state as the working fluid, and will pump it throughout the ship. Once the fluid reaches the end of the fuel tanks (behind the cone), it is sprayed in a fine mist, which radiates heat into space (See picture below for more details). The mist is then collected in a dish and fed back into the cooling system.


In other news, Icarus Interstellar Drexel Chapter’s first field trip is this weekend! We will be heading up to New York to visit the Hayden Planetarium, which should be a fun and educational break from all the research.

Stay tuned for more information and updates in the coming weeks.

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Weekly Update: Spring Kickoff!! http://drexel.icarusinterstellar.org/2015/04/25/weekly-update-spring-kickoff/ http://drexel.icarusinterstellar.org/2015/04/25/weekly-update-spring-kickoff/#respond Sat, 25 Apr 2015 18:27:41 +0000 http://drexel.icarusinterstellar.org/?p=151 Read More...]]> Hello Everyone,

Another exciting term is underway at Drexel, and with it comes the first spring meeting of Icarus Interstellar! In this meeting, we mainly discussed our current progress on each section, and what work still needs to be done. One of the major things to come out of this meeting was a new group which will focus on cooling.

In other news, plans for a field trip to the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History are currently in the works for a weekend in late May.


Stay tuned for more information in the coming weeks.


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Drexel at the Project Icarus Design Weekend http://drexel.icarusinterstellar.org/2014/11/17/drexel-at-the-project-icarus-design-weekend/ http://drexel.icarusinterstellar.org/2014/11/17/drexel-at-the-project-icarus-design-weekend/#respond Mon, 17 Nov 2014 03:15:46 +0000 http://drexel.icarusinterstellar.org/?p=134 Read More...]]> On the weekend of November 7, a team of four undergraduate engineers from Drexel University drove from Philadelphia, PA to Atlanta, GA to discuss the design of the Project Icarus spacecraft thanks to the generous aid of Drexel’s SAFAC and MEM SAC.
Those in attendance from Drexel included: Zachary Block, John Breslin, David Evinshteyn, and Damien Turchi.
The two day conference was separated into two topics: spacecraft description/comments and spacecraft integration.  The first few sessions involved each team presenting their spacecraft and receiving feedback on the design.  At the end of the weekend, those in attendance considered system integration and the final Project Icarus spacecraft.  It was determined that each presented spacecraft has the capability to appear as a published alternative in JBIS for the future of interstellar travel depending on how fusion research develops. Issues that still need to be addressed for each craft include communication and reliability.
The spacecraft presented included the following: Firefly, Ghost, and Zeus.  The pros and cons of each vehicle were addressed throughout the conference. Zeus is Drexel University’s design.  The team drafted a 50+ page engineering analysis, along with a multitude of CAD drawings.
At the design weekend, the Zeus craft was predicted to have an impressive Isp  of 1.5 million seconds, which roughly translates to meaning that 1 lb of fuel can produce 1 lb of thrust for 1.5 million seconds.  Considering that the spacecraft’s objective is to arrive at Alpha Centauri within 100 years, the higher the Isp, the better!
Future work will confirm this number with a more sophisticated analysis. Drexel members in attendance Design Weekend 2014

As a fun outing, the members all went together to see the movie Interstellar. Design Weekend 2014 attends Interstellar

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Project Icarus: Drexel Hack-a-thon 10/18 http://drexel.icarusinterstellar.org/2014/11/04/project-icarus-drexel-hack-a-thon-1018/ http://drexel.icarusinterstellar.org/2014/11/04/project-icarus-drexel-hack-a-thon-1018/#respond Tue, 04 Nov 2014 15:00:52 +0000 http://drexel.icarusinterstellar.org/?p=128 Greetings Everyone!

On Saturday 10/18, Drexel hosted the first interstellar hack-a-thon.

We were joined online by two members of Project Icarus (Rob Swinney and Brian Bixler), who provided excellent advice throughout the day.

The Zeus ship is making great progress, and we can’t wait to present it on the weekend of 11/07.


Drexel Members at the Hack-a-thon

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ILC Dover Visit 7/23 http://drexel.icarusinterstellar.org/2014/08/04/ilc-dover-visit-723/ http://drexel.icarusinterstellar.org/2014/08/04/ilc-dover-visit-723/#respond Mon, 04 Aug 2014 01:47:59 +0000 http://drexel.icarusinterstellar.org/?p=123 On July 23rd, Drexel’s chapter of Icarus Interstellar visited ILC Dover; the company that designed the Apollo mission spacesuits!

We would like to thank Dr. Marek Swoboda for making this possible.

Reach for the Stars!



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Summer Term Kick-off: Week 2 and 3 Summary http://drexel.icarusinterstellar.org/2014/07/10/summer-term-kick-off-week-2-and-3-summary/ http://drexel.icarusinterstellar.org/2014/07/10/summer-term-kick-off-week-2-and-3-summary/#respond Thu, 10 Jul 2014 18:10:17 +0000 http://drexel.icarusinterstellar.org/?p=120 Read More...]]> Hello Everyone!

Over the past 2 weeks we have begun to shift our focus toward the overall design of the craft. This includes designing and fitting each system into a neat package. So far we have been compiling design criteria so that we have a general idea of what we are designing toward. Some criteria include:

1. Room to store both probes and spare parts

2. Dimensions of the craft

3. Mass percentage of fuel

Over the course of this term, we hope to finish a rough design of the craft, as well as begin work on the actual paper. Keep checking back for more status updates.

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Weekly Update; Term Wrap-up http://drexel.icarusinterstellar.org/2014/06/02/weekly-update-term-wrap-up/ http://drexel.icarusinterstellar.org/2014/06/02/weekly-update-term-wrap-up/#respond Mon, 02 Jun 2014 15:35:18 +0000 http://drexel.icarusinterstellar.org/?p=66 Read More...]]> Hello everyone,

This week, we focused on Project Tin Tin research proposals for communications and intermodule controls. As for Project Icarus, we held an informal meeting to go over the procedure for our “end of term” presentations, which will be held on Tuesday June 3rd.

Come back next week to see all the progress we have made thus far.


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Weekly Update: Project Icarus http://drexel.icarusinterstellar.org/2014/05/27/weekly-update-project-icarus/ http://drexel.icarusinterstellar.org/2014/05/27/weekly-update-project-icarus/#respond Tue, 27 May 2014 15:16:03 +0000 http://drexel.icarusinterstellar.org/?p=62 Read More...]]> Hello Everyone,

This week we met to discuss Project Icarus, and the progress everyone has made on their individual systems. So far, everyone has made excellent progress toward our goal for week 10. Also, a new system group was formed that would look into the feasibility and execution of accelerating the craft prior to leaving the solar system.

Check back weekly for more updates on our progress!


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