Tohoku University Student Teams Won
2006 ARLISS Comeback Competition
from Tohoku University’s Department of Aerospace Engineering, the Graduate
School of Engineering took 1st
in the “2006 ARLISS Comeback Competition”
held from September 20 to 22 at the Black Rock Playa in Nevada,
Rocket launch in the sky
this competition, each team develops a payload which has an autonomous
capability to reach a designated goal within 1,050 gram total mass. The payload
is launched in the sky up to 4,000 meters altitude by a solid-fueled rocket
operated by the members of AEROPAC, an American armature rocketry association.
In the competition the winner is determined by the distance how close the
autonomous payload can come to the goal.
payloads developed by Tohoku University students took a strategy to descent by a
parachute from the sky, then after the soft landing on the desert, automatically
separate the parachute, and run on the ground toward the goal using an on-board
GPS-based navigation controller.
Tohoku team A, led by Mr. Sekiguchi, made a record of 6 meters from the
goal after 3,000 meters of surface navigation from its landing point,
and won the 1st place. Tohoku team B, led by Mr. Yoshikawa,
made a record of 44 meters after 7,000 meters of surface navigation, and
won the 2nd place.
The winning robot
The Comeback Competition
the year 2002, co-hosted by UNISEC,
University Space Engineering Consortium (Japan),
Stanford University (USA) and AEROPAC (USA).
year, total 13 universities, from 4 different countries participated in this
competition; including Japan, USA, Spain
and South Korea. (South Korea was just an observer).
From 2006, Tohoku University’s Department of Aerospace Engineering offers a
new class for graduate students titled ‘Exploring Aerospace Frontiers through
Flight Testing’ (Aerospace Frontier Program),
”Initiative for Attractive Education in Graduate Schools”, promoted by the
Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology
class aims to foster creative young researchers who can take a leadership role
in the future R&D by giving hands-on challenge and project driving
opportunities, from which students would learn the importance of the cycle of
flight tests and design improvements, and that of cooperation and communication
among group members. The
students participated in the Comeback Competition as one of the activities of
this educational program.
snapshot before the launch
victory over other participants shows
the ‘Aerospace Frontier
demonstrating the technology potential for future robotic exploration
experience in completing
will be a great stepping stone toward
only for space exploration oriented applications but also for any of real-world
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