Gravity Rotate-able Astro Cam

BABAR

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I have two Estes AstroCams (just cameras, no rocket).

i have an idea for an Air Brake Recovery Rocket that boosts normally but comes in nose first after deploying Air Brakes. I’d like to have the camera autorotate (basically align with gravity DOWN) so it goes UP facing the tail of the aircraft/ ground and goes Down facing the NOSE of the aircraft/still down. Figure some sort of plate spin wheel with eccentric mounting of the camera, but needs to be both super lite, super strong, and VERY easy to spin. Estes does this with their rocket with the nose tip shock cord attachment, but that’s part of why the thing gyrates like crazy on the way down.

any ideas?
 

Jeff Lassahn

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Tricky. You can't rely on a weight measuring gravity on the way up to tell you which direction the ground is. A pendulum weight will point your camera down during boost but up during coast. Whatever happens the forces on the camera at apogee will be weird and complicated.

It might be better to have some kind of latch triggered by ejection that releases the camera so it can rotate, rather than relying on forces on the camera keeping it straight on ascent.
 

BABAR

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Tricky. You can't rely on a weight measuring gravity on the way up to tell you which direction the ground is. A pendulum weight will point your camera down during boost but up during coast. Whatever happens the forces on the camera at apogee will be weird and complicated.

It might be better to have some kind of latch triggered by ejection that releases the camera so it can rotate, rather than relying on forces on the camera keeping it straight on ascent.
good points, hadn’t thought about the coast phase. I am working on an AirBrake recovery rocket. I think I am overcomplicating it. I will need the brakes up front, and just keep the camera pointed tailward, which should be “down” for both the boost and recovery phases.
 
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You could attach a harness to the nose cone tip, down into the parachute compartment. Then the chute opening will orient the nosecone pointing down at ejection.. You can consider multiple parachutes. Although it adds complexity to the flight, multiple chutes are more stable--they tend not to oscillate like a single chute.
 
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