Certification for high power rocketry consists of three progressive levels:

·         Level 1 allows the purchase and use of H and I impulse class motors; solid and hybrid. Certain F and G motors may also require Level 1 certification for purchase and use.

·         Level 2 allows the purchase and use of J, K, and L impulse class motors; solid and hybrid.

·         Level 3 allows the purchase and use of M, N, and O impulse class rocket motors; solid and hybrid.

The procedures for Level 1 certification are documented below.

Level 2 certification requires that you hold a valid Level 1 certification before applying, pass an exam and successfully fly a rocket with a total installed impulse of between 640.01 and 5120.00 Newton seconds (N-sec).

Level 3 certification requires you to hold a valid Level 2 certification and requires in-process reviews of the certification model's design and construction prior to flight by a certification team. You must successfully fly the certification model with a total installed impulse of greater than 5120.01 N-sec.

Please note that the ARA high power certification is only one consideration when purchasing and using high power rocket motors. Compliance with local and state laws as well as federal regulations (e.g. CASA Part 101 ) is also required.

High Power certification is intended to provide a measure of the modeller’s competence to avoid gross violations of good modelling practice and safe model operation. The program is not foolproof. A single demonstration of a modeller’s skills does not guarantee consistent safe performance. The certification program does not replace competent range personnel to provide assurance of safe models and operating practices.

Who Needs HPR Certification?

A person needs High Power certification if they intend to:

1.       launch models containing multiple motors with a total installed impulse of 320.01 N-sec or more, or

2.       launch models containing a single motor with a total installed impulse of 160.01 Newton-seconds or more, or

3.       launch rockets that weigh more than (1500 grams), or

4.       launch models powered by rocket motors not classified as model rocket motors, e.g.:

a.       average thrust in excess of 80.0 Newtons

b.      contains in excess of 125 grams of propellant, or

c.       hybrid rocket motors

Minimum Requirements:

The individual seeking Level 1 High Power certification must be a minimum of 18 years old at the time of certification. A birth certificate or driver’s license is an acceptable proof of age. Note: Other requirements may be imposed by state, this document does not supersede any requirements imposed by the authorities having jurisdiction.

The individual must be a member in good standing with the Australian Rocketry Association INC (ARA) at the time of certification. Evidence of ARA membership will be requested prior to the certification attempt. Acceptable evidence of membership includes the ARA membership card.

Motors used for certification attempts must be currently certified by the NAR, ARA, CAR, UKRA, NZRA or TRA. Manufacturer's designations, not certification test data, will be used to identify suitability for the certification level being attempted (e.g., an H128 is an H, a G75 is a G).

Certification Process and Documentation

The duties of the Flight Test Officer include administering flight tests, administering Level 2 exams, and mentoring individuals applying for certification

Certification may be accomplished at any ARA sanctioned launch. CASA regulations requiring notification or permissions must be complied with and the launch site must have CASA approval for high power models at the time of launch. All conditions and restrictions imposed by the CASA must be satisfied and followed.

The member attempting certification must personally build the rocket that they wish to use for their certification attempt. The model may be either scratch built or a commercially manufactured kit. The rocket must be constructed in such a manner that it will perform safely under the additional stress of an HPR motor. Family/friends attempting to certify cannot use the same rocket, but rather are required to each build their own model. In addition, the member must use an active recovery system for their certification attempt, which usually includes parachute recovery; details of these recovery methods are described in the Blue Book. The modeller must demonstrate his/her ability to build and fly a rocket containing at least one H or I impulse class motor. Single use, reloadable, or hybrid technology motors are permitted. 

The model will be subjected to a safety inspection prior to flight. The safety inspection form is on the back of the ARA High Power Certification Application. During the safety inspection the modeller will be expected to provide oral answers to technical questions related to the safety and construction of his model. The questions may include (but not limited to) identification of the model's centre of gravity and centre of pressure, methods used to determine model stability, and interpretation of the rocket motor's designation. The certifying FTO will initial (or check) the blocks indicating that model safety, motor certification, and the existence of a CASA Permission (if required) in effect were verified prior to flight.

The individual will fly his model. The flight must be witnessed by the FTO. Stability, deployment of the recovery system, and safe recovery should be considered when evaluating safety of the flight. Models experiencing a catastrophic failure of the airframe, rocket motor, and/or recovery system (e.g., shock cord separation) will not be considered as having a safe flight.

The model must be returned to the FTO after flight and be inspected to verify engine retention and for evidence of flight-induced damage. The FTO will initial the blocks indicating that a safe flight was made and that the post-flight inspection was satisfactory. In general, the guideline for acceptable flight damage is that the model could be flown again without repair. It is left to the judgement of the FTO to differentiate between flight damage and "normal" maintenance to assure reliability (e.g., shock cord replacement to prevent future flight problems). "Zippering" of the body tube is another area of flight damage left to the FTO for judgement and acceptability.

The FTO will sign the certification sheet to indicate that the certification attempt was successfully completed. Both the certification sheet must be signed. 

The certification sheets are returned to ARA Headquarters. No fees are required. 

Falsification of data or statements by the certifying individual will result in revocation of the high power certification. Falsification of data or statements by the FTO, e.g., failure to secure CASA permission, can result in revocation of ARA memberships.


To contact  FTO `s for your state please send a Email to the below address with your home state and ARA member number and the launch site you wish to use , and we will put you into contact with the closest FTO to your home address.