YA Research Rocket Project

Atmospheric sub-orbital and weather modification rocket.

This is one of the most challenging and expensive projects in which I have dedicated myself. This is the realization of a small carrier designed as a probe for sampling at high altitude and to the alteration of the localized weather. The project aims to achieve low cost, a carrier fully automatic.

This means that it contains all the guidance systems of a modern rocket coordinated by a powerful microprocessor in Real-Time architecture.

Before addressing the technical properties of the carrier, I put the focus on the definition of its possible uses.

The rocket will be designed to best perform two jobs, which are the objectives of the project:

  • Sub-orbital atmospheric research rocket
  • Weather modification rocket


Sub-orbital atmospheric research rocket

Distinction between atmospheric layers is made for the rocket final configuration in according to the following definitions:

  • Lower atmosphere (troposphere and stratosphere) : Weather phenomena occur mostly in the troposphere (roughly, up to 10 km). Circulations in the stratosphere (roughly, 10 km to 50 km) can also have some effect on weather and climate, and ozone is found in the stratosphere. Lower atmospheric rockets carried instruments to make observations of meteorological variables such as winds and temperature in these layers, and also of ozone in the stratosphere.


  • Upper atmosphere (mesosphere and ionosphere) : Aeronomy is the science of the upper atmosphere, which for this page we define as the mesosphere and the ionosphere. The mesosphere is the layer above the stratosphere, extending from about 50 km to 85-100 km depending on the latitude and the season. A high layer known as the thermosphere lies above the mesosphere. The ionosphere is not a separate layer. Rather, it is the region in which ionized gases are important, and extends from roughly 50 to 400 km. It is therefore composed of the mesosphere and part of the thermosphere. It is commonly divided into three sub-layers: D-layer (50 to 90 km), E-layer (90 to 120 km) and F-layer (120 to 400 km). Some rockets carry instruments into the mesosphere or higher, but they generally do not measure traditional meteorological variables. Rather, they observe some of the more exotic details of the properties of thin ionized gases, including their interactions with the Earth’s magnetic field and with various forms of energy arriving from space such as ultraviolet radiation, cosmic rays and X rays. The aurora, which occur in the lower ionosphere, are a result of some of those interactions and are commonly the object of ionospheric research.


Weather modification rocket

A special rocket final configuration used for weather modification. The goal of this configuration of rocket is to deliver silver iodide into clouds in an attempt to modify their structure and therefore to change the amount or type of precipitation that falls from them. In this configuration  the rocket carries only the guide instrumentation. Rather, it carries its load of silver iodide and an explosive charge that makes the rocket blow up inside the targeted cloud. The rocket does not fly to high altitudes; it delivers its payload to portions of clouds in the lower or middle parts of the troposphere.

A historical parenthesis. See also the following “Contributors to Meteorology” involved in weather modification : :)

Genty, Robert (1910 – 2001), cloud seeding project designer
Langmuir, Irving (1881 – 1957), cloud-seeding pioneer
von Neumann, John (1903 – 1957), weather modification expert
Wilson, Charles Thomson Rees (1869 – 1959), cloud-physics pioneer


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