Firestorm AV Bay

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The Avionics Bay in a rocket provides a place to mount all electronic equipment while protecting it from any pyrotechnics used during the flight of the rocket. The most basic AV bay used by SSI is the firestorm AV bay, which is primarily used to house an altimeter for duel-deploy for an L2 certification flight. (Need to add a nice picture of an AV bay here)


The picture to the left shows the general structure of an AV bay. The mounting rack provide the surfaces for mounting hardware. The bulkheads (also called end caps) protect the equipment from ejection charges and provide a surface for mounting charge wells and connection points to the shock cord. The all threads clamp the AV bay together and provide the rigid elements that prevent to AV bay from being ripped apart during ejection. The coupler encapsulates the AV bay while providing a structural element to connect the two halves of the rocket's air frame.

Bulkheads and mounting rack

The solid works files of the AV bay, and an already made SLDDRW file for exporting the parts to be laser cut can be found here: GrabCad Files

The bulkheads and mounting racks are typically made of laser cut duron. This is for easy of manufacturing, low cost, strength, and resistance to cracking. Each bulkhead consists of an inner and an outer piece to ensure that so that the securely fit into the coupler. The inner and outer pieces for each bulkhead are epoxied together, as shown in the images to the left. The pegs of the mounting rack fit into the slots on the inner bulkhead. On one side, the bulkhead should be epoxied to the bulkhead (this is typically the end of the AV that is facing the ground when it is mounted in the rocket). Also attached to each bulkhead is a an eye bolt, for attaching to the shock cord on either side, and a charge well. Two more holes should be drilled through each bulkhead for igniter wires to be routed through.

NOTE: Completely assemble the structural components of the of the AV bay, with the mounting rack, bulkheads, and coupler put clamped together, and all of the holes on the bulkheads lined up before epoxying anything, to make sure that every piece is oreiented correctly, then disassemble and epoxy. This is easier than you might think to mess up.

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