Saturday, January 3, 2009

To 100K

At all times, there are a baker's dozen rocketry projects from teams and individuals on the edge between level 3 high power, and amateur rocketry. Many of them are attempting flights to near space or space. Some of these can be found in the links list, below and to the right. This is a particularly nice project: To100K.

These rockets are twins; built as exceptionally light (on the order of 20 lbs empty) two stage rockets that will fly on a CES O motor staged to what appears to be a 75mm M motor.  From the name it is probably clear that these rockets are supposed to hit 100,000 feet.  This is what we call near space, and has only been hit by a few amateur hobby rockets to date.  Obviously they need to get a camera payload in there for the first flight...

"In late 2004, AeroPac, decided to do another group project. (Our previous group project was the Moon Race for LDRS XX.) Eventually, we decided to do a rocket that would use all of the waiver we have for the launches at Black Rock desert."

A closer view of the upper stage.  This rocket design (fin size, shape, rocket lenght and weight) is near optimal for rockets in the atmosphere.  This is what a high altitude rocket looks like.

And closer again, one can see the M motor and the wire for the igniter.

This project is obviously close to flight ready; we have the motors and the rockets ready to go.  But for some reason, there have not been any updates on the project in a while.  The rockets were scheduled to fly in September.  But still no updates.  Hopefully good news is pending.

To 100K

Update (3/2009):

Here is an image and more info about a test flight.  Still no information about full scale flights, but this is all from a while ago now.  Will keep looking.

"Much of the excitement this weekend was around the 100K team. This is the only place in the country with an FAA waiver to shoot up 100,000 feet. The atmosphere ends at 55K feet at this latitude, and you can see the thin blue line clearly up there (see photo below).

This rocket is a sleek 2-stage custom build with redundant electronics bays (altimeters, GPS, telemetry, motor controllers, parachute deployment systems for drogue and main chutes). It is designed for an O motor booster stage (with an engine repurposed from a cruise missile launcher), and an upper sustainer L-motor stage that will go for the prize.

Well, this particular 100K test launch performed beautifully with the booster stage, with the rocket roaring out of sight, but the sustainer had an electronics malfunction. (current hypothesis is a software bug in the sustainer’s motor controller)

The sustainer did not light, or pop its chute. We heard a sonic boom as the top stage went to ground.... and drilled into the solid clay 14 feet down.... When dug out, they found a cave… created by the shock wave of the impact. It was effectively a "bunker buster." The unlit and heavy motor from that stage drilled a further 5 feet down.

This was not the first spectacular “lawn dart” for this rocket. Here's commentary from the designer:

"This is an experimental motor we built, about a half M in the booster, with an L in the sustainer. Flew to about 30K which was the target altitude to shake down CO2 deployment system and airframe. Too much rollrate, though. Onboard video will make you puke. Recovery system never deployed drogue, so it came in post Mach 2. I think about 2.8. You can hear the sonic boom as the shock wave passes us just before the video cuts out. It came in ballistic at about Mach 2.8, blew its main chutes as designed at about 800 ft., which shred, and then lawn darted into the playa. Spent the last 3 weeks in a rebuild project.

This is a two stage rocket that air started the sustainer at about 20K AGL. The sustainer motor was soft, to keep the altitude below the jet stream."

Obviously the test produced mixed results. Not a big deal, as long as they keep trying. Note the claim that it came in ballistic at over mach 2 (up to 2.8). This is massively highly unlikely. Anything short of a solid steel dart is not going to get this fast. Probably it was just around mach 1.


Junior said...

heard about magnetic power and how it could make work the ufo's?
even tho we'd need huuge magnets
but its the futuuure

DTH Rocket said...

That sounds pretty ambitious, considering the other 100k rockets were flown on Q motors to the best of my knowledge!

R2K said...

DTH this is an O to M rocket. So generally a staged rocket will get better performance than the next letter up above the lower stage motor. So an O to M will do better than a single P motor.

In any event, it is shocking to see just how much potential a rocket has. The Super Loki dart, that flies on an O motor, can hit space! Optimal design can greatly increase what we amateurs get. We are a long ways from top performance and using our impulse to full potential. The recent record flights are starting to hint at this.

L motors should break 30,000 feet no problem. M motors should be closing in on 50,000 feet soon also. A new 13 sec N motor just came out, who knows what it might do!

But so many great projects like this never make it to flight. Why is that? Why do people get so far, so often, and then just stop?

DTH we are counting on you and the younger rocketry generation to help give us some additional momentum and support. With the right motivation, who knows what will come in the next decade?

emilie zoey baker said...


sekerse tehlike said...


crusaderkk said...

WOW, amazing !

jeremias said...