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Flight Log Updates

#186 - Level 1 HPR

#185 - Liquids in Zero-G

#184 - More Axion G6

#183 - Axion G6

#182 - Casual Flights

#181 - Acoustic Apogee 2

#180 - Light Shadow

#179 - Stratologger

#178 - Acoustic Apogee 1

#177 - Reefing Chutes

#176 - 10 Years

#175 - NSWRA Events

#174 - Mullaley Launch

#173 - Oobleck Rocket

#172 - Coming Soon

#171 - Measuring Altitude

#170 - How Much Water?

#169 - Windy

#168 - Casual Flights 2

#167 - Casual Flights

#166 - Dark Shadow II

#165 - Liquid Density 2

#164 - Liquid Density 1

#163 - Channel 7 News

#162 - Axion and Polaron

#161 - Fog and Boom

#160 - Chasing Rockets

#159 - Measurement

#158 - Dark Shadow

#157 - Polaron G2

#156 - Foam Flights

#155 - Down The Barrel

#154 - Revisits

#153 - ClearCam

#152 - Mullaley, Axion G2

#151 - Competition Day

#1 to #150 (Updates)

 

FLIGHT LOG

Each flight log entry usually represents a launch or test day, and describes the events that took place.
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Day 103 - Polaron G2 CATO and Servo Timer II test flight
New side deploy body with PET ejection plate.
Internal framework with servo and flight computer connected to a 9V battery.
Detail showing the location of the servo motor.
Components of the entire nosecone deployment mechanism.
Assembled nosecone ready for installation on top of the rocket.
Electronics payload section.
Backup parachute is controlled by a MAD with Servo Timer II.
The MAD is powered by a single 70mAh LiPo and the ST II and altimeter are powered by two 70mAh LiPo batteries.
Servo, Z-log altimeter and MD-80 clone camera,.
Fully assembled and ready for flight the night before. The payload bay is fitted once on the pad.
T -5 minutes
We pour in 3.8L of water.
Final check before pressurising to 250psi.
Perhaps we need to wind it back a little.
A new sculpture is born on the rocket range.
There were some very serious forces involved.
That will buff out.
Nosecone only has minor body damage. Easily repaired.
Coupling with bottle necks still stuck in it.
The failed bottle.
Nicely trimmed fiberglass reinforcing. We suspect the launcher guide rails made the clean vertical cuts.
Top section of the failed quad.
Electronics payload bay with servo and timer still attached.
Zlog altimeter (OK) smashed MD-80 clone camera, and MAD (OK).
Camera PCB with shattered IC.
The explosion was powerful enough to shear these bolts and tubing.
Distorted hexagonal ring bracing.
Guide rails neatly bent. These need to be replaced.
Axion IIc after landing on a high-G test of the ST II.
The wind picked up the gazebo and threw it over our cars. :(
ST II safely recovered the rocket.
Paul's Pod 2, 2 stage rocket flown on a couple of C motors...
...had an easy recovery right near the pads.

Date:  10th April 2011 8:15am - 11:30am
Location:
Doonside, NSW, Australia
Conditions:
 Windy 20km/h with gusts to 30km/h later int he day. Temp ~26C
Team Members at Event:
PK, Paul K, John K and GK

Polaron G2b

During the last couple of weeks we concentrated on getting the G2 ready for flight again. We replaced the in-line deployment mechanism with a side deploy that has worked well for us. We also added an independent backup parachute mechanism in the first gap between bottles. The backup uses the Servo Timer II and a MAD to detect when the rocket tips over at apogee. This was done so that if something went wrong again and the rocket flew lower than expected then the backup would fire when the rocket tipped over.

We also added the altimeter and camera to the payload bay. All the electronics are also powered by a couple of the little LiPo batteries. All up including the 32 gram parachute and complete payload bay, only weighs 150 grams.

Both the main and backup parachute ejection plates are based on the same principle we trialled with the Servo Timer II tests two weeks ago.

The nosecone is also new and made of thinner and lighter fiberglass compared to the in-line deployment mechanism from the previous version.

We also opted for only 3 spliced quads on this flight, in case something went wrong again.

Launch Day Report

It was just one of those days where things just don't quite go your way. We had the Polaron G2 ready on the launch pad and fully pressurised, armed, and mere seconds from lift off when BOOM! The top spliced quad failed sending out bits in all directions. This was our first quad failure at this pressure, though the  pressure chamber had been hydro tested to 270psi a week before. We can only speculate why it failed, perhaps a weakness in one of the spliced bottles, or perhaps the result of higher temperatures due to air compression weakening the PET bottle? The rocket was filled quite quickly so this is a likely cause.

The damage was quite extensive, and certainly one of the more expensive failures. The video camera was smashed to bits even cracked some of the ICs on the board. We didn't have the protective sleeve on the camera which probably would have at least kept all the bits together. This way they were all scattered in the tall grass. We didn't find the little SD card. There wouldn't have been much on it anyway as the camera was facing out. The altimeter went flying which we managed to find in the end, the wires were ripped off, and the USB connector was bent, but after straightening it out I was able to connect it up to the PC and thankfully it still worked. There was no useful data on it as power was severed while it was still on the ground.

The MAD and servo timer 2 in the payload bay also appear to have survived with a couple of bent pins. The servo motor was also intact. . The LiPo batteries are gone as we only found the contacts pulled out of the batteries.

The nosecone deployment mechanism survived with only a little damage to the fiberglass body which is easily repairable.

The launcher was quite badly damaged from the failure and bent the guide rails beyond repair. All the aluminium tubing will have to be replaced. We are currently looking to see what improvements we can make on the launcher since we need to rebuild some of it.

Since the guide rails were damaged, we only flew the Axion IIc rocket off the launch tube to test the ST II on a larger rocket and at higher G-loads. The timer worked well, and the rocket landed without incident. We decided against launching it a second time as the wind at this stage was gusting to 30km/h. The wind managed to flip our gazebo over our cars at the same time. Note to self: secure the gazebo better next time!

Earlier in the day we also launched Paul's 2-stage pyro rocket on a couple of C motors and it flew well and both stages virtually landed back near the pads.

Though it's always disappointing to lose a rocket on the pad without even flying it, it's just a part of the water rocket development process. From incidents like these, we always learn something new, and making a replacement is always easier as the design work has been done.

The rocket is now well into it's repairs and we look forward to having another attempt at launching it soon. A new MD80 clone camera has been ordered, and with the strength of the Australian dollar, it only cost $11.50 delivered.

Here is a highlights video from the launch day:


Day 103 - Highlights

Flight Details

Launch Details
1
Rocket   Polaron G2b
Pressure   250 psi
Nozzle   16mm
Water   3800mL
Flight Computer   FC V1.6 - 8 seconds
Payload   Backup parachute deployment with ST II and MAD, Zlog altimeter, MD-80 clone camera.
Altitude / Time    N/A
Notes   Exploded on the pad at 250psi. Severely damaged payload bay and launcher.
2
Rocket   Pod 2 (Paul's Praetor)
Motor   C6-0, first stage C6-5 second stage
Altitude / Time   ? / ?
Notes   Good burn on both stages. Rocket angled into the wind a little, but good deploy. Both 1st and 2nd stage landed close to the pad
3
Rocket   Axion IIc
Pressure   120 psi
Nozzle   16mm + 1200mm launch tube
Water   1800mL
Flight Computer   ST II - 5 seconds
Payload   None
Altitude / Time    ? / 29.8 seconds
Notes   Good flight with parachute opening just past apogee. Good landing

 

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