UKRA Rocketry Record Criteria

For a record to be valid, the following flight criteria must be adhered to:

  • The rocket must be built by team of UK residents (1).
  • The rocket does not necessarily have to be flown in the UK if it's predicted altitude would make such a flight impractical.
  • The team must be non-professional in nature.
  • No substantial part of the rocket vehicle, for example the propulsion system, may be obtained from a military or governmental source. Governmental or military facilities and ground support / tracking equipment can however be used.
  • The propulsion system can be amateur made or commercial subject to the relevant safety code and local laws and legal requirements for the country in question (2). (For example, the 1875 Explosives Act, if the flight is made in the UK)
  • The individuals / team cannot be carrying out the launch for a commercial gain other than in the event of a prize being offered for a competition.
  • If the proposed altitude record attempt is predicted to reach an altitude of 50,000ft Above Sea Level (ASL) or less, then a commercially made barometric altimeter (3,4,5,6) should be used for altitude determination. If the flight is predicted to reach an altitude greater than 50,000ft ASL then a system such as an integrating accelerometer backed up by ground tracking of trajectory or photogrametry will be accepted as an alternative. Any other forms of altitude determination such as ground based optical or radar systems should be discussed with the UKRA Safety & Technical Committee prior to the launch.
  • If no UKRA members are there to witness the launch, a written report must be submitted to the S & T committee, stating dimensions weights and propulsion system along with photographic and videographic evidence of the flight with videographic evidence of recovery showing altitude verification by a qualified third party such as a safety officer or board member from one of the below listed organisations. The raw altimeter data should also be included with the written report to the S & T committee.
  • All relevant safety code and local laws and legal requirements, for the country in question, must be adhered to :- UK = UKRA, USA = Tripoli / NAR / NERO
  • In the case of HPR motor class altitude records (H-class and upwards), all parts of the rocket built by a UK individual or team must be recovered, substantially intact, for the record to count. In other cases, the payload and altitude logging sections of the rocket built by a UK individual or team, must be recovered substantially intact, for the record to count, as long as all stages of the rocket use a valid recovery method (7).

    NOTE 1: Flying only a payload on a rocket which has not been built by the record applicant or group, or on a pre-built third party rocket, is unacceptable.

    NOTE 2: Commercially available rocket motors or amateur rocket motors may be used for propulsion, as long as the propulsion system meets the legal and health and safety requirements of the point/location of manufacture and point/location of launch. UKRA will not verify any flight in which an amateur motor is used which contravenes the 1875 Explosives Act.

    NOTE 3: Altitude logging may be by means of optical tracking and trigonometry where appropriate (and where full details of the altitude determination are included with the record claim), and, or, by commercial altimeter/accelerometers, photogrammetry, GPS, radar track or other acceptable system for high altitude flights.

    NOTE 4: Dead reckoning of altitudes, or simply watching the rocket flight, are understandably, unacceptable methods of altitude logging for altitude claims.

    NOTE 5: Commercial altimeter/accelerometers used by UK rocketeers for altitude logging include the AED R-DAS, Perfectflite MiniAlt W/D and Alt 15K, PicoAlt, Black Sky Research ALTACC, Cambridge Instruments IAX-96,G-Wiz LC,LC Deluxe and MC and Transolve P2. These have been shown over hundreds of flights to be sufficiently accurate to be acceptable devices for altitude determination.
    NOTE 5 UPDATE (2018): The following commercial altimeters have added to the above list and have demonstrated sufficient accuracy to be used for altitude determination in record attempts - AED R-DAS Compact & Tiny, Perfectflite Stratologger, APRA, Firefly & Pnut, Altus Metrum Micropeak, Telemetrum & Telemega.

    NOTE 6: Non-commercial altimeters/accelerometers, products under commercial development or similar avionics equipment are acceptable, but only where full documentation on the equipment, along with detailed calibration data, and flight test data, are submitted, and where the non-commercial equipment has been flown alongside a recognised calibrated commercial unit (such as one of those mentioned above) for a minimum of 10 logged flights, and has demonstrated deviation of 5% or less from the altitude recorded from the calibrated commercial unit.

    NOTE 7: This rule covers multi-stage model rockets where tumble recovery may be used for booster stages, and also larger rockets in the open category, where multiple sections of a rocket may be descending under separate recovery systems.