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Flight Log Updates

#230 - Tajfun 2 L2

#229 - Mac Uni AON

#228 - Tajfun 2 Elec.

#227 - Zip Line

#226 - DIY Barometer

#225 - Air Pressure Exp.

#224 - Tajfun 2

#221 - Horizon Deploy

#215 - Deployable Boom

#205 - Tall Tripod

#204 - Horizon Deploy

#203 - Thunda 2

#202 - Horizon Launcher

#201 - Flour Rockets

#197 - Dark Shadow II

#196 - Coming Soon

#195 - 3D Printed Rocket

#194 - TP Roll Drop

#193 - Coming Soon

#192 - Stager Tests

#191 - Horizon

#190 - Polaron G3

#189 - Casual Flights

#188 - Skittles Part #2

#187 - Skittles Part #1

#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

#1 to #160 (Updates)



Each flight log entry usually represents a launch or test day, and describes the events that took place.
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Day 119 - Sydney Observatory and Altimeter Flights
Sydney Observatory 17th April 2012
Back court yard at the Observatory where the observatory staff had their water rocket launches.
NSWRA's static display was set up indoors due to the bad weather.
David and John getting ready to launch a rocket on the front lawn.
The small paper rocket launched on a 1/2A motor. The rocket landed back on the lawn.
Parents and kids gathering ...
... for a static motor firing demonstration.
There were close to 500 kids and parents that attended the observatory.
John setting up for another motor firing.
This time it was an E9 motor.
Doonside 28th April 2012
Setting up the small Axion III. There is no need to detach the rail for this rocket.
Launch #1 at 120psi
Landed close by.
AltimeterOne says 296 feet.
The grass just keeps growing and growing.
2nd landing after being launched at 90psi.
A good day for NSWRA - a full rack with 71 entries in the log book for the day.
Lawn mowers and rockets ... what more do you need?
Paul's Pod-2 finding an empty rail.
It flew well again on a C6-5
3rd Launch was only at 70psi.
The rocket flew to 158 feet.
Axion V launched at 120psi.
It was a very slow launch.
Looking down from around 329 feet.
Flight time was around 26 seconds.
Rocket landed close by again.
2nd Launch at 125psi.
Rocket flew to 389 feet.
There were quite a few people at the NSWRA launch.

Date:  17th & 28th April 2012
Doonside, Australia
 24C, overcast calm
Team Members at Event: PK, Paul K and GK

Sydney Observatory

Two weeks ago I took a day off from my regular daytime job and went to the Sydney Observatory's Mini Rocket Scientist Party day to help out as NSWRA was doing demonstrations there for the kids and parents. Because the observatory is so close to the city, a major freeway and a helicopter flight path, we could only launch the smallest paper rockets on 1/2A motors. These were still great for the kids to see. We also did a number of static motor firing displays up to an E motor so the kids could good get an idea of the noise and smoke they generate in bigger rockets.
We also had a static display set up inside with videos and rockets & motors the kids could touch. Unfortunately it was quite a rainy day and so we could only launch during the breaks in the weather. Still it was a great day and the Sydney observatory staff even had a water rocket range set up for the kids. They were launching rockets to perhaps 30-40 feet as the rockets only used half a tennis ball for a recovery system. Despite the adverse weather around 500 kids and parents attended the open day. A big thank you to all the staff at the observatory for making it a great day for all.

Shadow 2 Update

I've updated the Shadow 2 build log with some recent repair progress. It's mostly been a fairly easy process since we have been through it once before and there really aren't new design considerations to be made. Since we are repairing the top of the pressure chamber, we decided to extend it somewhat for more capacity, The exact final extension (and capacity increase) is still to be determined, but at the moment it looks like the rocket will be about 250mm longer.

We will need to do a full pressure test again because we are not sure if the crash had weakened the pressure chamber in any way. This will also test the seal around the nozzle bulkhead since it moved so far down the rocket on impact.

Flight Day

Our rocketry club (NSWRA) bought a number of the AltimeterOne altimeters recently for use in club competitions. I've now seen quite a few people using these on their water rockets as well. I've always been hesitant about using altimeters that detect launch themselves as they usually rely on some threshold to trigger them. The trigger condition usually is a certain gain in altitude over a given period of time. The problem with some of our water rockets is that they have a very slow take-off especially when using foam. The altitude threshold for launch detect on the AltimeterOne is 50 feet, but I am not sure over what period. So this weekend we flew a number of flights to see how well the AltimeterOne triggers on slower moving rockets.

We flew the small 3.35L Axion III rocket 3 times at 3 different pressures. All three flights used 900mL of water and were launched at 120psi, 90psi and 70psi. We then flew the Axion V rocket a couple of times using foam and 1900ml of water. These were visibly slow launches off the pad.

In all five flights the AltimeterOne performed really well, and the reported altitudes looked about right meaning they weren't reporting spurious altitudes. Sometimes this a problem with peak only altimeters. Overall the AltimeterOne is very well designed and simple to use.

I think we will use the AltimeterOne on the less critical flights and continue to use the logging altimeters for the more important flights. I can see the AltimeterOne useful in experiments where you are testing a feature of a rocket on repeated flights to see how the performance compares to a rocket without the feature.

We mounted the altimeter with a couple of wire wraps to the inside of one of the inter bottle fairings and cut a hole for the button. We also made sure the fairing had a vent hole in it to allow the pressures to equalize on the inside.

We also flew the #16 camera again on the foam flights and it looks like the new 8Gb cards work well and no longer cause the camera to stop recording. This is where we purchased the micro SD cards from:

Apparently the colours of the #16 camera are supposed to be more realistic, though I prefer the more vibrant colours of the #11. These flights weren't a true test of the colours because it was an overcast day and so everything usually is a little washed out. But other than that the camera is quite good and doesn't drop frames even in complex scene changes.

Here is a highlights video from the day:

Flight Details

Launch Details
Rocket   Axion III
Pressure   120 psi
Nozzle   9mm
Water   900mL
Flight Computer   ST II - 3 seconds
Payload   AltimeterOne
Altitude / Time   296' / 22.5 seconds
Notes   Good flight with parachute deployment right at apogee. Good landing.
Rocket   Axion III
Pressure   90 psi
Nozzle   9mm
Water   900mL
Flight Computer   ST II - 3 seconds
Payload   AltimeterOne
Altitude / Time   211' / 17.1 seconds
Notes   Good flight with parachute deployment right at apogee. Good landing.
Rocket   Axion III
Pressure   70 psi
Nozzle   9mm
Water   900mL
Flight Computer   ST II - 2 seconds
Payload   AltimeterOne
Altitude / Time   158' / 13.2 seconds
Notes   Good flight with parachute deployment right at apogee. Good landing.
Rocket   Pod-2 (Paul's)
Motor   C6-5
Altitude / Time   ? / ? seconds
Notes   Good flight and landing
Rocket   Axion V
Pressure   120 psi
Nozzle   9mm
Water   1900mL + foam
Flight Computer   ST II - 5 seconds
Payload   Jet foaming spacer, AltimeterOne
Altitude / Time   329' / 26.43 seconds
Notes   Good flight with slow takeoff and parachute deployment right at apogee. Good landing.
Rocket   Axion V
Pressure   125 psi
Nozzle   9mm
Water   1900mL + foam
Flight Computer   ST II - 5 seconds
Payload   Jet foaming spacer, AltimeterOne
Altitude / Time   389' / 32.4 seconds
Notes   Good flight with slow takeoff and parachute deployment right at apogee. Good landing.


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