PDR: Preliminary Design Review

Today is the first day for our PDR (Preliminary Design Review) at German Aerospace Center (DLR) in Oberpfaffenhofen, which is an important phase during the whole project life.  The PDR would start on 4th, February, end on 8th, February, lasting a whole week. During the PDR, all selected experiment teams would come to the DLR and meet together. So what is the PDR? We need to talk about it from the whole project.

The REXUS/BEXUS programme allows students from universities and higher education colleges across Europe to carry out scientific and technological experiments on research rockets and balloons. The REXUS/BEXUS programme is realised under a bilateral Agency Agreement between the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and the Swedish National Space Board (SNSB).  EuroLaunch, a cooperation between the Esrange Space Center of SSC and the Mobile Rocket Base (MORABA) of DLR, is responsible for the campaign management and operations of the launch vehicles. But only students without corresponding aerospace technologies and experiences cannot fulfill such great an experiment, we need introductions. Experts from ESA, SSC and DLR would provide technical support to the student teams throughout the project.

The period of this project is about 18 months. The indicative timetable for the whole project is showed below:

T-18 m Call for experiment proposals

T-16 m Proposal submission deadline

T-15.5 m Selection workshop at ESTEC (ESA) / Bonn (DLR), presentation of proposals

T-15m Final experiment selection

T-13 m Student Training Week (STW) at SSC, Esrange Space Center or DLR, MORABA facilities. Preliminary Design Review (PDR)

T-8.5 m Critical Design Review (CDR) at ESTEC (ESA) / Oberpfaffenhofen (DLR) including soldering course.

T-7 m IPR at experimenters’ organisation

T-4.5 m EAR at experimenters’ organisation or a DLR/SSC facility

T-4 m Delivery of Experiments at Scientific Payload Integration week at DLR Bremen (experimenters required)

T-2.5 m Bench Test at DLR Oberpfaffenhofen (experimenters required)

T-0.5 m Spin and Balance Test (experimenters not required)

T+0 m Campaign at Esrange

T+0.5 m Flight Report Documentation from experimenters submitted.

T+1 m Distribution of the REXUS post flight Report by EuroLaunch

T+3 m SED v5-0 submitted including experiment results

T+4 m Publication of Final Report/Results Seminar

So in the PDR, we need to present our preliminary design of our experiment to the experts. If there are any unreasonable and incorrect methods or theories, the experts will correct them, and give their advices. If we have any unknown things or uncertainty, we could ask the experts for answers. On the other hand, there are a series of training activities for the students, such as lectures about that we need to build a balloon or rocket experiment, visiting DLR Oberpfaffenhofen. All in all, PDR would be a good opportunity for students to learn how to do this project.

Hope our members to have a nice and successful PDR!

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