Rocketry Resources

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This page contains links to research that was performed by the rocket team with which I participate. Although the data appears on my site, the credit for the research resides with all of the hard working members of the team.

Battery Life Calculations:

As a battery discharges, its voltage drops. When its voltage drops too low, the electronics it is powering will stop operating. This section explains how to estimate "how long a battery will be able to power your flight computer".

High Power Li-Ion/Polymer Battery Testing:

We tested some Lithium-Ion/Polymer batteries and compared their results to the 9V Alkaline batteries that we had been using. The batteries are tested both for supplying flight electronics (100mA discharge) and for triggering Pyro events (>1Amp discharges).

Igniter characterization:

A two-stage rocket project that we are working on drove the desire to select and characterize a workable method of air-starting the second stage of our rocket. We noticed that many rockets smoked for a prolonged period of time on the pad before the motor sufficiently lit to make the rocket airborne. These experiments focus on creating a motor igniter that would instantly ignite a motor in a safe and predictable manner.

Shear Pin/Screw Calculations:

At times it is necessary to use shear pins to hold a rocket intact until a predetermined event occurs to separate the rocket sections. This page describes that calculations used to determine the material and cross-sectional area for shear pins; and the force needed to cause the pins to shear reliably.

Main Parachute Release Device

This is a device that we designed to release a main parachute from an open chamber without the use of black powder. The release can be triggered from either of two flight computers.

Attitude Stability Unit

This device dynamically compensates for wind and other flight perturbations to keep a rocket going straight up.

Torsion Pendulum

This device measures rocket Moments of Inertia.

Roll Control Experiments

This project applies the Attitude Stability Unit to trailing edge controls to perform roll control experiments.

ARLISS Data Logger Experiments

This project discusses the ARLISS Data Logger experiments performed with it..