Great movie Tony. You said you couldn't see at the point where you recovered your rocket. Just in case you didn't realize it, we were just down the road from you and we were able to enjoy your moment of discovery. Nice rocket and nice flight!
I have one more update to offer on my flight. This will probably be it unless the rocket is found. There are several of us looking at the gps file and I think we have reached a consensus on at least part of what happened. The data from two separate gps units are shown in the graph below. It includes the on-board gps data from an 18mw BRB unit (the red diamonds) and the separate telemetry from a 100mw BRB unit (the black squares). The 100mw unit is a prototype from Greg with a uBlox chip, and I think the unit will be a hit. The data can be superimposed, which I think provides more assurance that the data around apogee are correct.
By slightly changing the simulation (reducing the Cd a little) we were able to fit the simulation to the gps data collected PRIOR to apogee. By "fit", I mean we were able to match the time, altitude and calculated speed of the gps data. The revised simulation suggests that the final altitude should have been 111,000 feet (a bit higher than my 98K estimate prior to the flight, which was based on exactly zero actual data at these altitudes). This simulation, which I think represents the best representation of the "up" part of the flight, is shown as the blue line in the figure.
At 97K feet, there is a 12-second gap in the data. We now believe that this is where the apogee event occurred. According to Adrian, 97K AGL at Black Rock gives an air pressure (0.01 atm) that exactly corresponds to the lower pressure range of the barometric sensor in the Raven. We suspect that when the altimeter reached this limit, it fired the charge. Please note that this does not represent a problem with the altimeter, and it remains to be verified that the altimeter actually operates this way when the range is exceeded. The problem was that it appears that the flight was going to go higher than I expected. Had we known that, we would not have tried barometric detection at apogee. Lesson learned.
At the suspected deployment point, the rocket was traveling at a speed of 1,100 ft/s. Although it's been pointed out that the air is pretty thin there, that's still a pretty good rate of speed. Unfortunately, we can't piece together why the rocket came apart. Perhaps it will be found at some point and we will find out what happened.
All things considered, I'm pleased with the flight. I managed to get at least one piece of space junk above 100K AGL using a rocket with home-rolled tubes and without sponsors (although I certainly had lots of good help!). Every aspect of the trip and the launch went exactly as planned (except for the coming apart part), and we were even able to accelerate the flight by a day to try and hit the best weather. And I have at least one movie that shows the flight and how the rocket managed to survive a pretty bumpy Mach 2+ ride through the jet stream. Dang, I'd like to find that rocket though.