Some Updates On The Servos

So we spent some of the session on Saturday playing around with the servos for Hummingbird, we  started by taken one of them apart so we could solder a new wire in there and get some feedback on the current position:

We have been soldering... Upgrading the servos to give us some position feedback.

We have been soldering… Upgrading the servos to give us some position feedback.

We then spend the rest of the day wiring up the two servos, one for the x-axis and one for the y-axis, creating a circuit and attaching it to the Arduino so we could control them independently:

Starting to wire up the servos, one for x-axis, one for y-axis. Now to program them to work with the 2-axis joystick (which will eventually be replaced by some gyroscopic sensor).

Starting to wire up the servos, one for x-axis, one for y-axis. Now to program them to work with the 2-axis joystick (which will eventually be replaced by some gyroscopic sensor).

As you can see, the servos are currently being controlled by a 2D joystick; this is just a concept idea, eventually that control will be replaced by a gyroscopic and magnetic sensor which will tell the servos which direction the motor needs to point to stay on course.

See them in action below:

Now we just need to order those gyroscopic and magnetic sensors!

Our polos have arrived!

We had a surprise delivery today of our personalised polo shirts. We think they look great!

IMG_20150131_210752

Our personalised polos have come!

Here you can see Chris, our Chief Engineer, modelling the Warwick Rockets Spring 2015 collection:

Chris Polo

Chris, our Chief Engineer, modelling the Warwick Rockets Spring 2015 collection.

This is the first batch, so drop us a message if you want one

We’ve Made Progress :)

So as you must know by now (have you read the project outline?) we’ve been given a specific class of motor we are allowed to use for this rocket. It’s all about altitude to win this one, so we need to design a rocket with that in mind.

At the last meeting we went over the basics of OpenRocket, and sent everyone back to work on some designs; so far we have a rudimentary outline of the rocket, which is far from complete:

Basic Design

Our first basic design.

We know it isn’t much at the moment, at least we know we are aiming for a minimum diameter rocket, but we have more pressing issues to worry about…

…we need to choose a motor!

You can see some of the thrust curves, which is a graph of the performance of a rocket motor (thrust vs. time), of some of the motors we have the choice of using below:

(Click the images to make them larger)

If you’re not 100% sure what they are showing. watch the animation below to get an idea of what they mean and represent:

Animation

 

Also, try heading over to NASA to get some more information about thrust curves and how they represent performance.

Before we decide on which motor is best, we need to get a better idea of what the total mass of the rocket will be and then we need to run some more simulations gain the greatest apogee. I won’t be long before we start order supplies, so keep an eye out for this sign on any university deliveries:

Danger

Speak to you soon!

Challenge:

If you think you have a good grasp of the concepts, and have an idea of which rocket motor would be best to use*, why don’t you drop us a message and we’ll let you know if you get it right!

Good luck guessing** 


*Hint: try thinking in terms of having a set, constant mass having to be launched by each motor (in reality the mass will be continuously changing).

**or logically/mathematically working out which one might be best for our situation… Max altitude, minimum diameter!

We have Weekly Meetings Now!

We have managed to be really organised this term and have sorted out weekly meet-ups for all our members (and anyone else who would like to turn up), where you can just chat with fellow aerospace enthusiasts.

These meetings won’t have any formal agenda, just turn up and talk about rockets and space! Previously we’ve also ended up talking about nuclear weapons, making quadcopters out of really weird materials, chatting about projects, and most of all… playing Kerbal Space Program (so bring a laptop with you)!

The meetings are going to be held every Wednesday; you can find the dates, times, and rooms of the meetings on the event calendar. Hopefully we’ll see you all there!

In the meantime, here’s a picture of an astronaut cat

First-Cat-In-Space1

We Have Parts For A GPS Tracker!

After completing some initial designs and ordering some very important parts for the High Altitude Balloon, the electronics for the GPS tracker have arrived!

This will be used so we can track the balloon on the way up, and hopefully on it’s journey back down to earth (we really don’t want to lose it like James May did in his attempt to get an Action Man past Mach 1):


Our tracker doesn’t quite work the same way as that, but it’s funny nonetheless and gives you an idea of how some of these things work.

You can see some of the components of our GPS tracker below:

Some components for the simple high-altitude balloon tracker.

Some components for the simple high-altitude balloon tracker.

We’ll be assembling them, with all the fancy electronics, in a couple of weeks.

Wish us luck!