L2 Post-Flight Analyses

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Cardinal II

Flight Summary

Date of Flight Feb. 6, 2016
Launch Location LUNAR
L2 Certification Attempt? Yes
Launcher Ian Gomez
Recovery Status Recovered


Rocket Specs

Manufacturer Giant Leap Rocketry Firestorm 54
Length
Weight
Motor
On-Board Avionics Featherweight Raven 3
Payload 18" drogue, 36" main parachutes

Analysis

The data from the Raven can be found on the Google Drive here

JARVIS I

Flight Summary

Date of Flight Feb. 20, 2016
Launch Location TCC
L2 Certification Attempt? Yes
Launcher Rebecca Wong
Recovery Status Recovered, minimal damage to airframe

Rocket Specs

Manufacturer Giant Leap Rocketry Firestorm 54
Length 69"
Weight 5.1 lbs
Motor Aerotech J425
On-Board Avionics Featherweight Raven 3
Payload 18" drogue, 36" main parachutes

The rocket was configured with the drogue chute located in the aft airframe and the forward chute located in the forward airframe with the aft airframe friction fitted onto the avionics bay. The Raven was programmed to fire a charge for the drogue chute at apogee (barometric), a redundant charge at apogee + 2.5 seconds (the time determined by OpenRocket that the rocket would have fallen 100 feet), the main charge at 600 ft, and a redundant charge at 500 ft. Each charge well contained 1.5 g of Pyrodex.

Analysis

JARVIS I marked the 2nd attempted rocket flight with on-board electronics for the 2015-2016 year. Flight takeoff was nominal, however, at apogee, the drogue parachute did not deploy, nor did the main chute deploy at any lower altitude. Upon recovery, it was determined that the nose cone was ejected, which helped to increase drag substantially so the rocket did not lawn dart but fell laterally instead. The Raven was operational even after recovery, and the data retrieved from the altimeter concurred with the physical evidence that all ejection chargers successfully fired. The most reasonable hypothesis for the parachute ejection failure was that the size of the ejection charges was simply undersized.

The data from the Raven can be found on the Google Drive here

FLAMOS I

Flight Summary

Date of Flight Feb. 20, 2016
Launch Location TCC
L2 Certification Attempt? Yes
Launcher Cameron Ramos
Recovery Status MIA

Rocket Specs

Manufacturer Giant Leap Rocketry Firestorm 54
Length 69"
Weight 5.1 lbs
Motor Aerotech J425
On-Board Avionics Featherweight Raven 3
Payload 18" drogue, 36" main parachutes

The rocket was configured with the drogue chute located in the aft airframe and the forward chute located in the forward airframe with the aft airframe friction fitted onto the avionics bay. The Raven was programmed to fire a charge for the drogue chute at apogee (barometric), a redundant charge at apogee + 2.5 seconds (the time determined by OpenRocket that the rocket would have fallen 100 feet), the main charge at 600 ft, and a redundant charge at 500 ft. Each charge well contained 1.5 g of Pyrodex.

Analysis

FLAMOS's avionics coupler was installed upside down causing the main chute to be deployed at apogee. The rocket successfully executed two events which would have qualified the user for Level 2 certification had he been able to recover the rocket after it drifted upwards of 1 mile from the launch site. Cameron did not have a pair of binoculars handy and took his eyes off the rocket approximately 100ft before touchdown to take a bite of his pizza and thus the rocket's landing location could only be approximated to within a quarter mile square area. After approximately 45 minutes of searching for the rocket, the search party decided to give up on the recovery. In the future, all level 2 attempts should be tracked by binoculars and the recovery team should be inside a vehicle ready to begin driving towards the rocket should it start to drift. All rockets should have an audible alarm installed that activated upon liftoff.


MERRILL LYNCH I

Flight Summary

Date of Flight Apr. 16, 2016
Launch Location TCC
L2 Certification Attempt? Yes
Launcher John Dean
Recovery Status Successful, No Damage

Rocket Specs

Manufacturer Giant Leap Rocketry Firestorm 54
Length 69"
Weight 5.2 lbs
Motor Aerotech J270
On-Board Avionics Featherweight Raven 3, Buzzer
Recovery Duel deploy 18" drogue, 36" main parachutes
Payload Airframe-Mounted Camera

The rocket was configured with the drogue chute located in the aft airframe and the forward chute located in the forward airframe with the aft airframe friction fitted onto the avionics bay. The Raven was programmed to fire a charge for the drogue chute at apogee (barometric), a redundant charge at apogee + 2.5 seconds (the time determined by OpenRocket that the rocket would have fallen 100 feet), the main charge at 600 ft, and a redundant charge at 500 ft. Each charge well contained 1.5 g of Pyrodex.

Analysis

The flight was fairly nominal. Due to a loose friction fit of the nose cone, there was an inertial deployment of the main chute with the drogue at apogee. However, due to low win the drift of the rocket was minimal. In the future, shear pin(s) should be used for a more controlled attachment method.