PSAS had a mechanical engineering capstone team this past year that designed and built us most a new carbon fiber airframe for Launch Vehicle 3. Since PSAS is putting up the LV2.3 on Sunday, September 28th in Brothers, we gathered a pile of mechanical people to see if we could, in about fifty-five days, prepare the carbon fiber airframe for a test launch with minimal electronics on Saturday, September 27th.
The short answer was yes, with teamwork and sufficient dollars.
Things To Do
Jenner needs to finish the oven controller so we can get our oven up and running on the new improved hardware.
We need to choose a motor for the flight. The rocket comes with a 98mm motor mount. We considered launching on a single grain 98mm L but decided we’d prefer to launch on a 75mm motor. Ideally we’d have the club buy a 75mm-to-98mm motor adapter. We’ll use a simple threaded rod from the hardware store to retain the adapter at the top. We’ll get back to this in a few weeks when we’ve got the rocket together for
We need to determine how to track the rocket. PSAS has a Telemetrum v1 and an ARTS2 but those are the trackers for the LV2.3 launch on Sunday and it would be an incredibly bad idea to use those trackers in our untested airframe. Wilson recommended looking at the BRB900 and Jeremy said he’d look into the Eggfinder.
- Jeremy and the ME capstone team are going to figure out dual-deploy. The design calls for a heavy mount point in the body of the rocket but we need the ring made. The other steps are:
- Buy drogue and main parachute
- Do calculations for descent velocity
- Figure out attachment of parachutes and cords
Dave and the ME capstone team are going to test the nose-cone separation ring by August 30th.
We need fin brackets but it sounds like the mold is ready. ME capstone is also going to figure this out.
We need rail buttons. The two options were to make a rail button coupler ring or just to glue on 3D printed rail buttons. The ME department has a 3D printer so Jeremy’s going to make a model and check in with Sam; this is way easier than making a ring.
- The nose itself is the biggest problem. The original plan was to use the donated foam to build a nose cone and that would still be ideal, and still probably will happen, but for the purposes of this launch we’re going to go with a 6” fiberglass nose. We could either make a coupler/adapter to the 6.6” we need or we can slap a ton of Bondo on it or something. I don’t know, I’m an electrical engineer. Wilson said he’d call around to see about the cost of a fiberglass nose.
The end result is that we’re going to go for it; even if we’re not ready, this is work that needs to be done anyway and getting going on it ensures the project won’t die off before we get an airframe aloft.