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  1. #1
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    18th July 2016
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    Boosters and Magnetism

    All,

    Has anyone tried to attach boosters to the side of their main rocket with magnets of sorts? It seems that it would improve aerodynamics (since you don't have the mounts sticking out to the sides of the rocket), but I'm sure the electrical requirements complicates the design. Plus, the added weight may be too much for this to be a real improvement...


  2. #2
    Join Date
    14th March 2009
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    Ohio
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    I assume you mean external boosters like the two solid rocket boosters used on the Space Shuttle? I think the extra weight needed for magnets to be big enough to hold on the boosters would more than offset the drag needed to attach the boosters by more conventional means. But that is only a guess. This sounds like a good experiment to try.

    Are the boosters for show or would they provide thrust?

    Zeus-cat
    NAR# 92125 L1
    Total Impulse for 2017: 1,493.8 N/s Flights: 56
    2017: 1/2A:0, A:6, B:11, C:2, D:12, E:4, F:1, G: I have NEVER launched a G motor, H:1, I:1

  3. #3
    Join Date
    18th July 2016
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    The boosters would provide thrust. Perhaps a series of smaller magnets placed in a pattern that is spread out may work.

    Worth a shot!

  4. #4
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    13th November 2009
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    We need more information.

    What motors are you planning on using for the boosters? If the booster motor has 5 pounds of thrust, then you are asking a magnet(s) to hold 5 pounds of shock load. Magnets don't work well with sheer loads, which is likely what is being discussed. Also, what mechanism will you use to un-magnetize them for booster separation? Finally, what happens if the magnets fail?

    It's a fun thought exercise, but I think this idea is best left that as an idea.

    There are better ways to do booster sep for rocketry if that is your goal.

    Greg

  5. #5
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    1st July 2011
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    Pittsburgh, PA
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    I'm guessing it they are weak enough to break away at burn out, they are weak enough to break away at liftoff.
    Kevin Wuchevich
    Tripoli Pittsburgh
    TRA 12238

  6. #6
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    14th March 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by brainy19 View Post
    The boosters would provide thrust. Perhaps a series of smaller magnets placed in a pattern that is spread out may work.

    Worth a shot!
    If I were an RSO at an organized launch I would not approve this rocket for flight unless you could prove that the boosters would not release when under power. I'm not sure how much you gain by dropping the boosters after burnout. Yes, less drag, but the added weight of the magnetic system and the release mechanism seems like it would negate any benefit.
    Zeus-cat
    NAR# 92125 L1
    Total Impulse for 2017: 1,493.8 N/s Flights: 56
    2017: 1/2A:0, A:6, B:11, C:2, D:12, E:4, F:1, G: I have NEVER launched a G motor, H:1, I:1

  7. #7
    Join Date
    13th November 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeus-cat View Post
    If I were an RSO at an organized launch I would not approve this rocket for flight unless you could prove that the boosters would not release when under power. I'm not sure how much you gain by dropping the boosters after burnout. Yes, less drag, but the added weight of the magnetic system and the release mechanism seems like it would negate any benefit.
    +1

    Greg

  8. #8
    Join Date
    3rd August 2011
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    Reed City, Michigan
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    You can buy strap on, releasable booster kits now.
    Apogee has them "HERE"
    Seams like the plastic pieces would be easy to duplicate with a 3D printer.
    I find these quite interesting and you could add wings to make them glide.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    18th July 2016
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    10
    Thanks for the input everyone. I didn't have any particular motors in mind, it was just an idea. The design would most likely be too complicated for it to be worthwhile.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    10th April 2017
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    Quote Originally Posted by brainy19 View Post
    Thanks for the input everyone. I didn't have any particular motors in mind, it was just an idea. The design would most likely be too complicated for it to be worthwhile.
    It’s a great idea. Super magnets today are a huge improvement and would firmly attach the booster engine can to any body tube. The problem is booster thrust power being safely used to lift main rocket body tube. That could be done by applying a small [tiny] light weight plastic hook above the booster can on the main rocket BT. Think of it like a latch/catch for the booster can with the super magnates holding alignment.
    Basically the booster thrust is imparted to the plastic hooks …lifting the main rocket. The magnets are just for proper alignment of the booster engine can.

    If you have never worked with super magnets be careful and read safety tips as even small ones will ‘bite’ you. I have received painful skin bites when two super magnets ‘snap’ together. With 90 lbs of adhesion [attraction] they can only be separated by sliding them laterally apart. It would take some testing on junk-box BTs to see which super magnets would work best… too strong and they will destroy the main rocket when you attach or detach the booster.

    It is difficult to say what is impossible, for the dream of yesterday is the hope of today and the reality of tomorrow. Robert Goddard

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