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The Ausroc III Program is one of the most advanced initiatives of its
type in the world. It is by far the most ambitious high technology education
and development program ever undertaken in Australia. The methods by which
the Program is being advanced are revolutionary. The vehicle being developed
is an order of magnitude more sophisticated than any other rocket previously
developed in this country. From humble beginnings, the Ausroc Program is
maturing into a pathfinder for the re-entry of Australia into the global
Advancement of the Ausroc Program relies upon the continuing support
of government, industry and the Australian public generally.
The Ausroc III vehicle is a liquid fuelled sounding rocket designed to
launch a 150 kilogram payload module to an altitude of 500 kilometres on
a sub-orbital trajectory. Unlike most sounding rockets in commercial use
today, the vehicle will incorporate active guidance which means that its
trajectory will be controllable during flight. The payload module will
achieve approximately 6 minutes of weightlessness before re-entry and recovery
via a steerable gliding parachute recovery system. These capabilities compare
favourably with those of sounding rockets in commercial use today.
The resources required to develop the vehicle are being contributed by
ASRI, government, industry, academic institutions and the Australian community
generally. Development work is being undertaken by work groups supervised
by a professional project management hierarchy. Assessment of the integrity
of designs and components is being undertaken at three levels, including
a review by a panel of independent experts drawn from industry.
The Ausroc III Program is primarily intended to advance education, technology
and industry development. However, the capability and hardware developed
through the program may have commercial application:
- As a technology,
process and experience base.
The design of Ausroc III is similar to several proposed commercial light
satellite launch vehicles. This similarity is not coincidental. As satellite
and hence launch vehicle weights are reduced with advances in technology,
lightweight pressure fed launch vehicles will become increasingly competitive,
at least in the small satellite end of the market. Capability in this area
may therefore be the key to future Australian participation in the provision
of light launch services. The Ausroc III Program is intended to forge Australian
capability through establishing a technology, process and experience base
upon which future commercial industry activity in this area may be built.
- As a sounding rocket.
The Ausroc III vehicle will have performance similar to a number of sounding
rockets in current commercial use. However, it is expected to be less costly
for a number of reasons, including the extremely low development cost and
the use of safe, low cost fuels. Further, being liquid fuelled and actively
guided, its performance and trajectory can be tailored to the specific
needs of users. The design may therefore be competitive in existing markets
and sufficiently low cost to open new markets. Pilot studies as to markets
and further development of Ausroc III for commercial use are to be undertaken
as part of the Program.
In these respects the Program is pathfinding potential commercially
Further information on the Ausroc III program can be obtained from The
Ausroc III Program, which is downloadable below. The document outlines
the aims and objectives of the Ausroc III program, the project management
structure, details of the flight vehicle and launch arrangements.
The Ausroc III Program
(60 pages, 2.8Mb)The Ausroc III Program comprises Document A3.01 of the
Ausroc III documentation system. Other documents are listed below.
Ausroc III Program
|A3.08||Flight Control Specification|
|A3.10||Ground Segment Specification|
|A3.11||Test and Evaluation Master
|A3.12||Loads and Environment