Approximate budget

SterlingArcher

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Hey,

We're starting a new student organization that will build rockets and participates in launch canada competitions.

I wanted to compare "tentative" budgets to see if we have estimated enough. We intend on building a rocket that will reach 10K feet level 1, and has avionics systems like COMMS, GPS, IMUs. The rocket will be custom-built ourselves and not from a rocket kit, so the fuselage will be built either out of plastic or aluminum. We intend to use COTS motors but are researching our own solid motors (looking into including this into our costs).

At an initial level without having had a chance to look into very far into it yet, we figured 22K$ for all of this until 2023 for the next launch canada competition. The project will be ongoing and we will scale up.

I know that this is very rough but I just wanted to know if other educational groups could say in general if 22k$ is critically low and we will run out of money, or if this is enough for just the first competition.

Any input would help, thanks!
 

Zeus-cat

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I can't discuss budgetary issues directly as I don't know what your budget should be for a project like this. However, one thing that factors into cost is what levels of experience does your team have? Any level one or level two certified people? High power rocketry is not just an upscaled Estes rocket. Experience with large rockets helps tremendously and it takes time and money at successive levels to get there. Jumping in and trying to hit 10K feet with your first or second rocket is very difficult.

My club has hosted a number of college teams working on NASA projects. Failures occur when teams move from small to larger rockets quickly without gaining experience. In my opinion deployment problems are the main cause of failure. As we say, the up part is easy, the down part is tricky.
 

prfesser

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I can't discuss budgetary issues directly as I don't know what your budget should be for a project like this. However, one thing that factors into cost is what levels of experience does your team have? Any level one or level two certified people? High power rocketry is not just an upscaled Estes rocket. Experience with large rockets helps tremendously and it takes time and money at successive levels to get there. Jumping in and trying to hit 10K feet with your first or second rocket is very difficult.

My club has hosted a number of college teams working on NASA projects. Failures occur when teams move from small to larger rockets quickly without gaining experience. In my opinion deployment problems are the main cause of failure. As we say, the up part is easy, the down part is tricky.
Precisely. In many ways there is a great deal that you "soak into the skin" as you build and fly rockets. Even small rockets. In fact, especially in small rockets. And as you fly bigger rockets, the stuff that soaked into the skin with the small rockets comes out to a great degree in the larger rockets. You find that you don't make mistakes (or not as often) in the larger rockets. You get a feel for whether a particular design will be safe or not, or whether a particular constructed rocket needs something else.

I was told of a team that designed a high-power rocket that had no way to retain the motor in the motor tube, the motor apparently was just to be shoved in place. It apparently hadn't occurred to them, because they hadn't had experience with smaller rockets. A team I mentored tried to build a high-power rocket. In a way, for them, it was lucky that COVID intervened (at last, a minor positive to the virus! :)) because I'm pretty sure they'd have struggled...because they'd never built a small model and didn't know things like orienting the fin grain a particular way, why make fillets, etc.

OK, I think that's it for me tonight. Gonna try to sleep.
Best -- Terry
 

hartlch

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I suggest you plan on spending some of that budget on a prototype(s) to get some experience building and flying as the guys above said. It looks like the competition is a "hit the target altitude" flavor. Pick a commercial kit, get a commercial altimiter and learn what it takes to model that and hit a target altitude. Get the team some experience working with HPR flying and modeling. It will also give you an idea of how fast you will burn through your budget. Hopefully you have a nearby club/launch site and someone who already has a Level 1 or 2 certification. Start with smaller (i.e cheaper) motors and work your way up. The more flights the better to make sure successful flights are from skill, not just luck. Model what you think the competition rocket will be like based on the competition rules and refine that model as experience increases. Your model will show you what motor range you will need for 10k target and give you an idea of cost per test flight. Testing will take a larger part of your budget than most people expect. Don't skimp on it.

Good luck and have fun
Chuck
 

BigMacDaddy

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Sorry another indirect answer to your question but it depends on what you want the students to learn.

For example, this might be a good project to learn 3D design / printing and/or CNC machine techniques. This could require budgeting for a printer or supplies if you have access to a printer. Similar if you want them to make and program the electronics.

Cheapest / easiest way is likely a commercial kit and commercial electronics, best learning opportunity is may be a slightly longer journey.
 

hartlch

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Note that each of the things you mention ( own airframe, own electronics, own motor ) is likely to substantially increase the cost both in dollars and in person hours.

Yes, this is exactly right. Unless the competition requires you do anything "from scratch", then don't waste the team's time/money on it. Master meeting the primary competition goal(s) first. If you have plenty of resources left, then maybe try adding something that counts for extra points (however you get scored)
 

Titan II

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Making 10K, and successfully recovering, is not rocket science. Everything you need to know is already on the net if you do your research. Take your time and use some common sense. As mentioned above, approximately a grand will give you everything you need.
 

Sandy H.

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Eggfinder GPS Tracking System | Eggtimer Rocketry Under $200

3" Fiberglass DD DX3 ™ - Madcow Rocketry I know it's a kit but should be close on cost of raw materials, fiberglass. $300

L1000W-14A 54MM DMS – wildmanrocketry.com $240

This will hit 10,000 agl plus and you can recover it with GPS

I've never been a high altitude flier, but I assume the challenge per his original statement is doing 10k on a level 1 motor. It has been done and exceeded per TRA records, but I imagine those records were set with purpose designed rocket and not kits. I could be misreading his initial post, though.

Sandy.
 

David Schwantz

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Heck I hit 10,000+ on an AT I205.But there was no room for electronics.
Yup, I saw the Level 1 remark, but I thought he was just referring to his own level at the time.
With all his electronics, a heavy plastic airframe, or aluminum, it may be tuff on any budget. A 3" dia is a happy medium, IMHO, room for electronics, easy to work on. You don't have to spend a grand on a motor. Wish them luck with whatever they choose. But only one mor thing, we GOTTA see it. Pics, Pics and more Pics :)
 
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Titan II

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Need more info OP. I see you are in canada were L1 is only an H motor (I believe). Is that the goal....10K with an H motor? If not, what is the criteria?

Good luck. BTW...it is not the journey. Achieving the goal is what counts.
 

Sandy H.

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Heck I hit 10,000+ on an AT I205.But there was no room for electronics.
Yup, I saw the Level 1 remark, but I thought he was just referring to his own level at the time.
With all his electronics, a heavy plastic airframe, or aluminum, it may be tuff on any budget. A 3" dia is a happy medium, IMHO, room for electronics, easy to work on. You don't have to spend a grand on a motor. Wish them luck with whatever they choose. But only one mor thing, we GOTTA see it. Pics, Pics and more Pics :)

My highest altitude recorded so far is only 5199 ft. I was attempting getting as close to a mile as I could. Close, but no cigar. It was just a personal goal, not a competition or anything, so I just chose a motor for a rocket I already had built. It happened to be a J on a 4" rocket in my case and it was far from purpose built.

I like the idea of getting more experience and flying a bit higher and eventually going out west and breaking 10k, but that is far off in my future. I bet that I205 flight was awesome!

Sandy.
 

smstachwick

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Hey,



I wanted to compare "tentative" budgets to see if we have estimated enough. We intend on building a rocket that will reach 10K feet level 1, and has avionics systems like COMMS, GPS, IMUs. The rocket will be custom-built ourselves and not from a rocket kit, so the fuselage will be built either out of plastic or aluminum. We intend to use COTS motors but are researching our own solid motors (looking into including this into our costs).
One thing to remember is that NAR specifies that a high-power rocket must be constructed out of lightweight materials and that ductile metal (i.e. wires) only be used where necessary. It’s a safety thing, to prevent an incoming ballistic rocket from inflicting excessive damage on whatever it impacts.

CAR rules might be different but I’d still say they’re worth checking out.
 

David Schwantz

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Thanks Sandy, yours sounds as if it was better. Getting that close to a set altitude is pretty hard. I fly mine in a MC 29mm Go Devil, modded the fins a bit, and it was out of sight right off the pad. But I have come to think that I prefer the low and slow scale stuff. The V 2 I built flies on an AT M2050X, maybe hits 3000 agl, but you can see the whole flight.
 
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