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.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Polaron G2 - Development continues

I've updated our main site with some of the progress that has been made on getting G2 assembled. It's good to be able to see it in actual size rather than just on paper. It made me realize that we are going to need to rethink some of our logistics in terms of getting the rocket setup on the pad and configured. We are going to need to bring a full size ladder. The update is here:

I had to take photos of the rocket lying down, as the ceilings are too low in the house to stand it up. We are going to need an extra long guide rail for this rocket too. Most likely 2.5 - 3m long.

The update also includes a highlights video from the last weekend's NSWRA launch where we tested the Mk3 stager with a more powerful booster. The flights went really well, and the stager performed as expected.

Here is a size comparison diagram for the Polaron G2 rocket. 

 Here it is starting to take shape lying next to Polaron G1.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Joe Genius - Rocket Science

A bit of fun this week. One of our video clips made it onto this week's episode of Joe Genius:

The clip (shown about half way through the episode) is around 3 years old now - here is the original that it came from:

What else would you do on a hot day? :)

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Splicing production line

We have spent the last few days cleaning, cutting, shrinking, curling, sanding and splicing quite a few 2 liter bottles. These will form the pressure chamber for the Polaron G2 rocket as well as the boosters. We are making a number of “spliced-quads” that are just a couple of spliced-pairs of bottles, spliced together. This gives us a longer section of rocket body that is more efficient since we get more volume per length of rocket while still retaining the modular aspect of the design.

When all the splicing is finished, we will reinforce all of the bottles with fiberglass.  Each spliced quad has a 5.3 L capacity. Phase 1 of the G2 will combine 3 of the spliced quads giving a total capacity of 15.9 L. Our current thinking for phase 2 is that we are likely to add a spliced pair to the bottom as the foam mixing chamber. This will increase the capacity of the main stage to 19 L.

Some 2L spliced-pairs, 1.25L spliced-pairs as well as a spliced-quad.

We are making a few spare spliced quads with the idea that some of them will likely fail pressure tests, others will be used for burst tests and some will get damaged on landing. We want to have at least two complete G2 rockets ready for a launch day in case something goes wrong or the other can be used for spare parts. 

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Polaron G2

Okay time to get a little more serious with these water rockets. We haven't really been optimizing a lot of our rockets as we carried out various experiments. But it's time to start pushing the envelope a little more with the next set of rockets. These will focus on optimizing the rocket as a whole for better performance using the lessons we have learned.

Polaron G2 is a new rocket now in the planning stages, and we are starting to gather materials for it.

Here are a few 2L bottles ready for processing into rocket components. We will also be trying out some new construction techniques. Polaron G2 will follow the Polaron series of rockets in overall design, and will be developed in 3 phases. The first phase will be a full size single stage rocket, with drop away boosters in phase two, and with phase 3 a small sustainer will be added to the main stage.

Time allowing I will try to keep this blog updated with more regular progress, with major milestones covered on our main website. We are revisiting each aspect of the rocket and seeing how things can be improved. The rocket will also need an upgraded launcher with a longer guide rail.

Currently the target launch pressure is at 250psi, but things may change depending on how various tests go with the design.


Saturday, September 04, 2010

MAD Deployment

I've updated our main website with the road trip report to Parraweena. We test flew PK's Magnetic Apogee Detector on a couple of the flights and it worked very well. We also did a couple of 2-stage flights testing a sustainer support brace for the Mk 3. stager.

The update is here: and includes photos, as well as a highlights video.

PK's Magnetic Apogee Detector.

2 Stage rocket testing the Mk 3 stager sustainer support brace.