All our members are given the opportunity to build their own certification or “cert” rocket. Members will start with their level 1 certification and can work up to a level 3. This program opens the doors to students of all experiences, beginning to advanced, allowing them to build and design their rocket. This will give students a good grasp on the knowledge, procedures, and terms involved in rocketry, as well as access to larger motors. Our certification program is through Tripoli Rocketry Association, and more information can be found on their website.
We recommend OpenRocket for designing cert rockets. You can download it here.
Everything you could want to know about a cert rocket is in this document.
Below is a brief overview of the requirements for each Cert level. Please refer to the Tripoli website for all prerequisites and objectives.
A level 1 rocket must have a standard rocket design, with a visually identifiable center of pressure, and can be either built from kit or scratch. All CPSS “cert” rockets are scratch built. A standard parachute recovery is a requirement. The flight must be with a single H or I motor, and electronics are not required. After the flight, the rocket must be presented for inspection of damage, which needs to be minimal for certification.
To receive a level 2 certification, the rocket body must meet the same requirement as a level 1, and must be built by the flyer. Additionally, a written test must be passed. A parachute is required, but in the case of a multi-event recovery, the first event may use a non-parachute drag system. Level 2 motors must be a single J,K, or L. Electronics are not required by Tripoli, but CPSS requires members attempting a level 2 to use electronics. This is because Tripoli requires a successful launch with electronics before attempting a level 3. The same damage criteria must be met for a level 2.
Level 3 rockets must meet the same structural requirements as level 2, and must be inspected by 2 TAP (Technical Advisory Panel) members and signed off before launch. Recovery procedure requirements are the same as level 2 but must contain 2 separate electronics, with one being the deployment system. The motor must be a single M or larger. As with level 1 and level 2, level 3 rockets must be presented and checked for excessive damage.