Archive for 02/01/2012 - 03/01/2012

Hard Questions for an Open Hardware Acolyte

Okay so from a bit of web browsing I have created a list of questions, by no means complete, that I will need to answer in order to be successful. Some of the questions I have already answered, and will continue to fill this in on a Google doc (link below) as I go along. Here's hoping I can have many of these at least theoretically answered in the next 10 days.

Critical questions for rocketry project:


What am I trying to do?
Why am I trying to do that?
How am I going to do that?
When am I going to do that? (Repeats)
How much will this cost?
What do I need?
Where am I going to do this?


What is the maximum flight ceiling to avoid FAA regulations?
What type of model rocket (if any) will be used for the experiment?
What components will be used and how will they be integrated into the payload?
How will flight data be recovered (and/or) Transmitted?
How will the micro controller and sensor pod be sheilded from external physical forces such as temperature, barometric pressure, newtons (g-forces)?
How will the instruments be powered?
How will the power supply be affected by the physical forces of the flight, and how will it be shielded from hazardous forces?

Scientific: (Answer with post data) 

What physical forces did the payload encounter during the test?
How long was the test duration?
Was there a significant difference in test duration between an unloaded and loaded rocket?
Where there any unexpected events during the test?
What can be improved upon for a future experiment?

Technical Difficulties

After the first of the year my desktop PC started having hardware issues and it is the one I use for most space art, research, programming and other things. I've finally got it back up and running.


I heard of a rocketry competition through in November, however after researching the kind and scale of rockets used I had to conclude that my former school would not have the resources to meet such an awesome task.

Scaling Down

Not to be deterred, my research did bring up hobby rocketry....
So I had an idea (cue wicked laughter). I will attempt to launch a smaller mid scale rocket and take some measurements from the flight using the reliable Aurdino board. I have never launched a hobby rocket before, and I am still in the research and planning stages; however, I will be sure to post all of the work here as it progresses.