This blog covers the day to day progress of water rocket development by the Air Command Water Rockets team. It is also a facility for people to provide feedback and ask questions.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Flight Computers & Misc

Most of this week has been spent working on a new design for the flight computer. As mentioned in the web update a couple of weeks back, we want to make it more automated to enable remote operation. We are building our own IR remote so that we can have full control over its operation. Most of that hardware is now designed and part of the remote's software has been written.

The new flight computer will not have any buttons except for the power switch, instead it will have the IR sensor module. It will also have a small speaker to acknowledge mode changes as well as serving as a recovery aid should the rocket fall in tall grass. The flight computer will also support two servos for staging and recovery as well as the capability to support the Zlog altimeters. The flight computer will be able to start the altimeter recording once the flight computer is armed.

Most of the design for this new hardware is now complete, with about half of the software still to be written.

We have now repaired J4III's body and fins, and are in the process of remounting components in the payload bay in order to protect them better during impact. J4III will now also sport the new shock absorbing nosecone to help provide even more protection should the parachute fail.

We have also made our first jacketed bottle that includes a Robinson coupling. We have pressure tested it to 100psi to check for leaks around the coupling, but will need to burst test it to see how much it can actually hold. If the burst tests are successful we would be aiming for launch pressures of around 180psi. While we believe the bottle burst pressure will be around 220psi+ the Robinson coupling is the biggest unknown.

If the weather holds up this weekend we will try to go back and do the foam and water comparison flights.

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