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Airbus Sloshing Rocket Workshop


Students interested in our competition
Participants from all over the world


Modeling the behavior of sloshing liquids is of significant interest in the Aerospace industry.

In aircraft design, the study of fuel movement in tanks is of paramount importance for the design of the fuel management control system, the evaluation of the handling characteristics of the aircraft, and ultimately the assessment of the structural integrity of the containment structure.

For modern satellites, the design is often driven towards lightweight structures, high pointing accuracy, and long-life expectations. These can result in a large proportion of the overall weight being allocated to the liquid propellant. Therefore, the movement of the liquid fuel within its containers can significantly affect the dynamics of these systems, during in-orbit controlled maneuvers and atmospheric taste encounters in the launch phase.


The Airbus Sloshing Rocket Workshop is a hybrid competition (online and in-person) in which teams are required to design a low-cost reusable rocket which is destabilized by the movement of water stored in an unpressurised tank located on the rear side of the vehicle.

The participants, divided into teams, would be provided high-quality educational material from Airbus, focused on the sloshing and designing challenge.

The rocket design shall incorporate mechanisms to manage the dynamic forces introduced by the sloshing water to maximize its range, time of flight and liquid payload capacity. The controlling mechanism can be designed based on passive and/or active means and its performance is a key aspect of the design.

This challenge aims to simulate the conditions experienced by real world aerospace vehicles containing liquid propellant such as satellites or next generation aircrafts.




The judges would stress the importance of approaching the challenge with a flexible and fresh mind, meaning that arrangement of the tanks does not have to conform to a traditional rocket shape. Teams are not only warmly encouraged to consider aircraft concepts benefits and drawbacks but are also expected to include in their report an in-depth investigative appendix about ideas and research in other disciplines that aviation should take inspiration from. 


The vector’s total dimensions are: 

  • Maximum length = 1.5 m.
  • Maximum wingspan = 2.25 m.

The primary structure of the vector shall be formed of readily available items forming two or more water tanks: 

  • 1 unpressurised tankcontaining a minimum of 500ml of water.
  • 1 or more pressurised tanks containing water for propulsion. 

The primary submission will be a technical report, supported by evidence of any analysis and physical testing performed to assess the safety of the rocket - this is required to access the second phase of the competition. The reports are marked based on precise criteria stated in the regulations, displaying the ability to document clearly and correctly a complex technical system, aided by graphs and charts.


The rocket design shall incorporate a means of controlling the descent of the vector to counteract the destabilising motion of the sloshing liquid. This could be achieved by using passive or active means or a combination of both: 

  • Passive Control: e.g., baffles.
  • Active Control: e.g., control surfaces.

Performance marking of the rockets will be based on the following parameters: 

  • Distance covered horizontally
  • Altitude reached
  • Total flight time
  • Payload mass/TOW

AIRBUS & ArianeGroup Sloshing Symposium

Every year Airbus & ArianeGroup organize the Sloshing Symposium.

It is a gathering of engineers and researchers at the forefront of propellant sloshing technology, which covers topics such as CFD modelling, benchmark experiments, and problems related to the sloshing phenomena.
The team that wins the Airbus Sloshing Rocket Workshop has the opportunity to present its project during the next edition of this Symposium.

On the left, there is the poster of the 6th edition.