Electronic Flight Cards?

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Zeus-cat

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Our club is looking into it. If we develop something that works and is easy I assume we would share it.
 

cwbullet

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I was talking about this with one of our board members just yesterday.
Our NAR President and my son are programmers. It would be good to come up with an organizational solution between clubs. Think of the power of being to run reports on motors used........
 

timbucktoo

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Couple clubs I fly at have them on their website. NEFAR actually has one that can be filled out on line. It works with Chrome. Not sure about Firefox. They have several options. One is a editable PDF file.
 

FredA

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No Thanks....

Requires a laptop (something like a Toughbook) at the LCO table that is readable in super-bright sunlight as well as rain & dust proof. Also all-day battery life.

Plus we would hamper pad assignments as stated above.
Where would users enter their information & announcer comments -- a second (third or fourth) laptop?

Lastly - would cause privacy concerns for our members - we destroy flight cards shortly after the statistics are extracted.

Overall a hard pass -- paper works well.
 

Kelly

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Overall a hard pass -- paper works well.
I'm guessing the motivation here is to avoid having to pass physical objects (along with whatever microbes they may carry) from one person to another - definitely a worthwhile goal. I agree with your concerns regarding electronic cards, but I think it's worthwhile to brainstorm whether those could be addressed.
 

FredA

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avoid having to pass physical objects (along with whatever microbes they may carry) from one person to another
Typing on a shared laptop is worse IMHO -- users would spend too much time on it.
 

Kelly

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Typing on a shared laptop is worse IMHO -- users would spend too much time on it.
Agreed. I'm thinking the LCO is the only one that touches the launch laptop/tablet, and the flyers send e-cards via wifi from their own phone/tablet. Definitely would need some good custom software to make this seamless.
 

Buckeye

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Agreed. I'm thinking the LCO is the only one that touches the launch laptop/tablet, and the flyers send e-cards via wifi from their own phone/tablet. Definitely would need some good custom software to make this seamless.
This is exactly how it should work. e-cards should be transmitted before the flyer steps up to the range head.

It is irritating as hell when a guy is slowly penciling in his paper flight card at the RSO table while a queue of people are waiting behind him.
 

Fattbank64

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I see additional expenses such as a minimum number of laptops per flier, maintenance, etc. Not to mention establishing a chain of command regarding information.

I don't see advantages compared to paper.
 

FredA

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Would be nice - if we only had WiFi in the sage that covers 250 people or so......

Standardize your cards -- hand them out in advance of the launch or take some home next time.
Fill them out in camp while prepping the rocket.
Take finished cards to the RSO table for review.
 

Kelly

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Would be nice - if we only had WiFi in the sage that covers 250 people or so......
Actually, I think that's easy to accomplish. I'm not talking about a wifi network that connects you to the internet. All you need is a local ad hoc network that allows the cellphones to talk to the LCO device.
 

Steve Shannon

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Until now we never worried about flight cards being a path of transfer between an infected person and everyone else, but now that’s something people think about.
At our launch tomorrow I’ll have flyers tell me brief information about their flights and I’ll add it to a list. That way we don’t use flight cards, I have a list that I’ll use to announce the flights. I’ll be LCO, so only one person will touch the list.
 

mrwalsh85

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iPhones/iPads should have Airdrop. That would eliminate the need for a wifi system. Would require you to be within 3-5 feet of the recipient... But it is an option. Provide a template that all can download, fill it out, screen shot the template with your info, then airdrop it to the other person (RSO, LCO, etc). Could even be an iPad that is club-owned. Not sure what to do about the androider's out there, though... :)
 

BEC

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This is probably for a different thread....but one of the things I've been pondering, so far without success, for restarting launches in this virus-transmission-conscious time is micro clips at the pads. Getting pads more than six feet apart is simple enough even for LPR...but either one person has to do all the hookups to igniters or there needs to be some way to effectively clean the clips between rounds of flights. Anyone have any brilliant ideas?

If everyone was on Apple devices AirDrop would be just about ideal for e-flight cards. Sadly, not likely.
 

Titan II

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...but either one person has to do all the hookups to igniters or there needs to be some way to effectively clean the clips between rounds of flights. Anyone have any brilliant ideas?
Personal responsibility. Like bringing your own mask. If one wants to clean the clips for their protection, they can bring their own gloves and/or spray bottle of disinfect. There is no sense in placing an extra burden on the club.
 
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NateB

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Surface to hand transmission doesn't seem like a high risk activity to me. Yes, the LCO doesn't need to touch everything from everyone. As for the pad and igniter clips, load your rocket and then use hand sanitizer. Don't touch your face.
 

cwbullet

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No Thanks....

Requires a laptop (something like a Toughbook) at the LCO table that is readable in super-bright sunlight as well as rain & dust proof. Also all-day battery life.

Plus we would hamper pad assignments as stated above.
Where would users enter their information & announcer comments -- a second (third or fourth) laptop?

Lastly - would cause privacy concerns for our members - we destroy flight cards shortly after the statistics are extracted.

Overall a hard pass -- paper works well.
It would not require a laptop. Most have cells today so we could use a cell compatible program or browser-based.

Paper does not work in the time of COVID. Especially the type some club use - glossy would greatly increase the risk
 

Mike Haberer

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Actually, I think that's easy to accomplish. I'm not talking about a wifi network that connects you to the internet. All you need is a local ad hoc network that allows the cellphones to talk to the LCO device.
If the LCO has an iPhone or Android, he can be the hotspot. The app would need to have features for the LCO to receive and process the e-cards, a flyer would need to be able to send the e-card. A fancy feature would be for the LCO to assign a pad and have the result sent back to the flyer. I think the hardest part would be the authentication requirements - LCO setup, a unique ID for the LCO app for flyers to authenticate and login to. A goof app developer wouldn't find this too difficult if a decent set of requirements could be derived.
 

alexzogh

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I for one think this is an EXCELLENT idea.

The downsides as described so far assume club operations would stay the same, and we are somehow just trying to shoehorn in an electronic flight card - that is ridiculous. The primary advantage of digitizing the flight cards would be to automate a lot of the other manual processes that happen a launch. Why would you manually assign pads when you have all the data electronically to optimize the pad distribution? Pads these days are generally assigned by motor isp. You could take many more variables into account when assigning pads like expected altitude which dictates how long between launches, electronic or motor ejection which could reduce the amount of time battery-operated electronics have to sit on the pad waiting for other launches. the complexity of flight which could dictate the amount of time required for pre-flight work, etc.. Fliers could update their cards with real-world data (actual altitude, issues, etc...) post-launch which could make a great dataset for further research rather than the anecdotal comments or thoughts which seem to drive a lot of decision making in the clubs these days (Tripoli remote arming changes, for example). LCO's/Clubs could add data to the electronic record in real-time to help find certified motors that have a higher cato incidence, etc... rather than relying on manual incidence reports. In fact, electronics vendors could 'append' the flight log data to the electronic card post launch. Lot's of other real-time data could automatically be logged like barometric pressure, temperature, humidity, etc.... which we all know affects what we do, but I rarely hear it discussed because we just don't have the data.

As for privacy. No offense, but I would be more comfortable with an encrypted package being sent from my phone in which I can control the PII (forced expiration and replaced with a hash after 7 days), then relying on someone to destroy the flight cards. Both have issues, but one is much more susceptible to issues than the other if done properly.

I for one would be happy to donate some time, computing power, and user experience testing to bring something like this to fruition. A Rasberry Pi sitting at the RSO could create a private wifi/BLE/NFC environment that would work anywhere. The days of the 'flight card' should be numbered.

Fred, aren't you an electronics engineer? put your QA hat on, and think of the possibilities!

Alex
 

BEC

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As for the pad and igniter clips, load your rocket and then use hand sanitizer. Don't touch your face.
Three cheers for a good solution being right in front of me.....!
 

Buckeye

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... The primary advantage of digitizing the flight cards would be to automate a lot of the other manual processes that happen a launch. Why would you manually assign pads when you have all the data electronically to optimize the pad distribution? ....
Excellent ideas! This would be the most significant upgrade to range operations since...well...forever? Design and implementation would be a nice R&D project.
 
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