Guided rocket

Discussion in 'Beginners & Educational Programs' started by Marcus Deletus, Dec 5, 2018.

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  1. Dec 5, 2018 #1

    Marcus Deletus

    Marcus Deletus

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    I have no experience in rocketry, but I got really curious lately. I was wondering, is it possible to create a missile? Is it possible to put rc plane servos on a rocket to tilt the fins and change the rocket's path? I still have no clue how any of this will work, but I want to see if this is at all possible.
     
  2. Dec 5, 2018 #2

    Ben Martin

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    Joe Barnard uses servos to thrust vector and many others have used servo based controlled canards to dictate the trajectory of the rocket. I believe that it is only legal to use these methods to keep the rocket straight during flight, but not legal to use it to target something such as a GPS coordinate as that would make it a missile and not a model rocket. I would suggest doing more research on the topic and seeing what others have done with their rockets, there's a bunch of incredible information out there for your viewing.
     
  3. Dec 5, 2018 #3

    Xrain

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    It is certainly possible, and there are a few around who have made some sort of implementation. These applications were all for just correcting for flight perturbations to keep the rocket flying straight.

    However, if you add target seeking equipment or design it to designate to fly to some land targets it can become classified as a Destructive Device. Which require a large number of permits to posses, and usually some sort of justification. It gets a little murky on this classification, but if it is clear that you built it with the intent of striking a target you will run into trouble. Adding any sort of weapon or explosive payload to the rocket is strictly illegal; unless you happen to be a DoD contractor with a contract to make such things.

    I don't suggest going after rockets with active attitude control right off the bat. Your experience will be much better if you get the basics surrounding such a thing down first.
     
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  4. Dec 5, 2018 #4

    Marcus Deletus

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    Thank you for the rapid responses! I plan to start out with something simple like K(no3) and sugar pvc rockets. I am glad to know that there are others like me who wanted to try guided flight. What should I search up? I believe I tried to research this before but could not find anything.
     
  5. Dec 5, 2018 #5

    Bear Friedrichs

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    Before you go to the effort to make your own fuel, try building one of the kits that are available. Once you build it, join a local club, if available, and go to some launches, and get some pointers. In most cases, it is easy to get the rocket up, but recovery can be problematic. There will be lots of guys who will be more than willing to help you, and then you will not have to spend a lot of time re-inventing the wheel. It has already been done. You might also join Tripoli. Go through the different levels, I, II, and III. At Level III, new doors will open to making your own fuel and propellant systems beyond solid fuel, such as liquid and hybrid. In September, you can go to a Balls Fly-In, (if you are a level II or III) and you will see all kinds of rockets and propellants. Since you mentioned guidance of your rockets, you will also see R/C rocket gliders, that have big motors, and 6 foot wing spans of X-15s, X-1s, Me 163 rocket fighters, etcetra. There is a lot you can do and accomplish, so don't limit yourself with one idea.

    If you can do the research, there was a man, Forest Mimms III, who was a soldier during Viet Nam. He launched rockets off of the tops of buildings while in Saigon, which caused a few issues in it's own rights. He wrote a series of articles that were published in Model Rocketry Magazine, back in the late 60's. His articles were on placing his design of guidance devices in the noses of his rockets and they would track towards the sun. It was really rather neat. His rockets used "C" motors in them, so they were low power in today's terms.
     
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  6. Dec 5, 2018 #6

    Marcus Deletus

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    Greatly appreciate the info! I was holding this idea off for a while, but now I am glad I took the time to find a forum.
     
  7. Dec 5, 2018 #7

    Steve Shannon

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    Marcus,
    Although Tripoli is a great place to learn about rocketry, I sincerely hope that you don’t join hoping to learn how to make “guided missiles.” Very few things could bring draconian regulation onto our hobby faster than someone with such a misguided goal.
    Launching against a target is categorically against our Safety Codes. All rockets must be designed to recover safely.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2018
  8. Dec 6, 2018 #8

    BABAR

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    Welcome to the forum! Sound like you have lots of ideas and motivations.

    Phrases

    "no experience in rocketry",

    "something simple like K(no3) and sugar pvc rockets", AND

    " put rc plane servos on a rocket to tilt the fins and change the rocket's path"

    simply should not occur in someone's first post.

    Number one issue is safety. Also two, three and four.

    After that, however, you are in for a world of disappointment and wasted money when you try to run high hurdles before you learn to walk.

    Find a nearby club. Go to Hobby Lobby or Michaels and get a starter kit such as Tandem X (others are also great, I like this cuz it has one two rockets, one pretty much ready to fly and other sharp looking but easy build, and everything you need to launch except motors and waters, also available at the same store.) Get Harry Stine's "Handbook of Model Rocketry."

    Get yourself grounded in the hobby and then consider moving on to the advanced (and expensive) topics you are trying to start with.

    Straight Trails!
     
  9. Dec 6, 2018 #9

    boatgeek

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    Two more pieces of advice, then information you asked for:
    1. Do not use PVC pipe as a rocket motor casing. It tends to shatter under pressure, and they can't see the shards on an X-ray. 2. Do not learn to make rocket motors from YouTube. That's like learning to drive from YouTube--it won't end well. Go talk to your local club and see if you can find a mentor who makes sugar motors close by. They will save you a LOT of time, money, hassle, failure, and possibly trips to the hospital. Seriously. If there isn't a mentor close by, then come back for recommendations for books or online resources.

    Jim Jarvis documented his system for aiming a rocket up in this thread: https://www.rocketryforum.com/threads/so-maybe-ill-try-a-three-stager.66850/ It's worth reading the whole thing, even though it's 23 pages long. If nothing else, you'll want to see the flying works of art that Jim builds. If you want to look at guiding along a path (not to a target), this is probably a good place to start. Again, you can guide a rocket vertical, follow the sun, or other direction. Do not aim for a target.
     
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  10. Dec 6, 2018 #10

    Marcus Deletus

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    Is flying a rocket horizontally at all allowed? What got me into rockets was watching the Russian defense missile systems launch. I thought the thrusters at the nose that thrust down, up, and forward was amazing! I know this is probably a dumb question since a rocket flying horizontal seems like a hazard but I was curious.
     
  11. Dec 6, 2018 #11

    Marcus Deletus

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    Also, thanks to everyone that commented! I greatly appreciate the time! You are giving me info that would of likely taken me much time to find. Some people seem worried that I am going to do something crazy, but I was just wondering if this was an idea worth looking into. I am glad that I was told about the PVC though. I saw the PVC rocket on a popular channel and assumed it was a good idea. I have heard of how deadly plastic landmines are and certainly would not want to be on the receiving end of one.
     
  12. Dec 6, 2018 #12

    Steve Shannon

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    Safety Codes require that a rocket be launched within 20° of vertical.
    Horizontal flight usually results in damage or destruction of a parachute or worse, violation of the terms of a club’s FAA COA. (Certificate of Authorization- which allows us to fly high power rockets)
     
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  13. Dec 6, 2018 #13

    Bat-mite

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    To summarize everyone's responses: 1) it is possible and has been done; 2) it is a violation of the safety code that all rocket club members follow, and would not be allowed at a public launch; 3) depending on certain factors, it may also violate federal law.
     
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  14. Dec 6, 2018 #14

    JimJarvis50

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    Thanks boatgeek! Actually, the thread for my vertical stabilization system is here:

    https://www.rocketryforum.com/threads/i-could-use-just-a-little-guidance.122042/

    You can also find perhaps a dozen or so vidoes of my flights on Youtube. Just search jiminaus50 and you'll find them.

    This project has been a lot of fun, but has not been easy. I think most folks who have tried it would say that it is more difficult just to fly vertically than they might have imagined. Doing something other than vertical stabilization would be, well, ...going in the wrong direction.

    Jim
     
  15. Dec 6, 2018 #15

    Charles_McG

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    If your project was actually a radio controlled rocket boosted glider (perhaps one that looked like a cruise missile), then these rules would apply:
    https://www.nar.org/safety-information/radio-control-rocket-glider-safety-code/

    See section 6 - airstarts.

    Looking up the thread, I see R/C RG were mentioned before. These are planes first and rockets second, which may not fit your personal goals. But maybe they are close enough.
     
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  16. Dec 7, 2018 #16

    Marcus Deletus

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    Thank you so much for everyone that is helping! I cannot understand why any of you are dedicating your precious time just to help an inexperienced rocket enthusiast with an absurd idea.
     
  17. Dec 7, 2018 #17

    timbucktoo

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    Mostly because it’s an absurd idea and we don’t want to see anyone get hurt and we don’t want to be under the scrutiny of any more alphabet organizations. One incident, especially one in which someone tries to fly a “guided” rocket, can have severe repercussions to our hobby.
     
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  18. Dec 7, 2018 #18

    kevindcornwell

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    Hey Marcus, Frank at dynasoarrocketry.com has a line of amazingly fun and fanciful rocket-boosted gliders. Take a look, they might be a fabulous way for you to begin your guided glider adventures. However, it wouldn't be a good idea to start there. Start with the kits at Hobby Lobby, etc. and get a handle on things rocketry. Then try out a boosted glider. :)
     
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  19. Dec 8, 2018 #19

    georgegassaway

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    You set off warning bells by the word "Missile"

    Guidance to help models go UP, unable to track anything, yes. Guidance that is capable of making a model go after a target in the air or on the ground, NO.

    Try try for purely horizontal rocket powered flight after a near vertical launch, very risky and some practical issues to resolve even if you had experience. Could be done legally but under limited conditions (one big one being at a site with nothing and nobody anywhere near the worst-case impact area far downrange if it failed to recover safely) and only after a LOT of experience flying vertically first (pretty much requiring custom electronics, or custom coding, or both). I mean, I am thinking how I'd do it (horizontal flight under control after a near-vertical launch) with what I have experience with... and it's not there. I'd have to either cobble up two different guidance systems or get DEEP into coding Arduino guidance (I can get Arduinos to blink or count, but guidance coding is way beyond me)

    As others recommended, build some small models first just to get the basics of the hobby.

    Get a copy of The Handbook of Model Rocketry.
    [​IMG]

    Do not even F*** with homemade motors. I'm not even talking about the personal safety issues or whatever. I'm talking that if you want to build a rocket with guidance, concentrate on the GUIDANCE part, and not making your own engines. Because the engines will likely be very unreliable, poor performance, etc.

    After you have built some models that fly successfully, then you could build a small prototype for your guided rocket. My Sunguidance rockets that used aerodynamic controls (nose fins) , were BT-60 (1.64"), about 3 feet long, and 12-14 ounces. They used 24mm engines, mostly 2-staged D12's, a few times E6 (7 second burn). The gimbaled engine project used 2.6" diameter, Estes BT-80, also about 3 feet long or s. Its first flight used 2-staged D12, first stage fixed engine to get a vertical liftoff, then staged where the gimbaled upper stage veered off-vertical to steer for the sun. After that, it used an F15 a time or two, the rest were F10's (about a 7-8 second burn).

    Gimbaled engines are tricky, far easier to go with aerodynamic control fins.

    Thing is that those were relatively inexpensive rocket airframes easy to build and repair or replace. And the mechanisms were not too difficult to build/replace in case of crash or need to change design. Also of course, not as expensive to fly as HPR, and NOT requiring a scheduled FAA waivered launch "somewhere" to fly, I could test these any day I wanted to at a local launch site. Many times I did several test flights on the same day.

    That is how you can learn how to do it well, and reliably, with less work and less cost for the amount of experience and learning you'd gain (and less danger in case things go wrong with the guidance than if it was a big HPR rocket). Then once perfected you could do that with a scaled-up larger rocket.

    So, having said the above, some guidance info. Link to my 1988 Sungudiance project plus some info on the 1989 gimbaled engine project:
    http://georgesrockets.com/GRP/RandD/Sunguidance.htm

    [​IMG]

    But I do not recommend sunguidance. It has been superseded by modern electronics. Some have worked up homemade guidance controllers, often using Arduino microcontrollers systems with custom guidance. Joe Barnard of BPS.Space is selling guidance controllers, as well as gimbaled engine mounts. https://bps.space/

    [​IMG]

    There is a model airplane "autopilot", the Eagle Tree Guardian, that makes for a fantastic vertical guidance guidance controller. Alyssa Stenberg tested it for her 2014 NARAM R&D project. I wrote about the Guardian in this thread:
    https://www.rocketryforum.com/threa...ed-rocket-guidance-eagle-tree-guardian.61680/

    [​IMG]

    Sunguidance project video:


    Alyssa Stenberg's project presentation with flight video:


    BPS.space channel video:
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2018
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  20. Dec 8, 2018 #20

    Marcus Deletus

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    Just the stuff I was looking for. Thank you!
     
  21. Dec 9, 2018 #21

    Alan15578

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    If you liked that, you should look into the Dragon anti-tank missile.

    OTOH, if you are considering MR or HPR rockets, there are specific launch angle restrictions.
     
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  22. Dec 9, 2018 #22

    stealth6

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    Am I the only one that is thinking this?............

    "MARCUS DELETUS" IS A FREAKING TROLL!!!!!

    I know we want to be inclusive, and helpful, and to try and guide folks in "the right direction", but c'mon! Are you guys really buying his "golly gee willickars, I'm just innocently trying to find out about making a missile, horizontal flying, etc." shtick? He's awful dang cheery and "nice", don't you think? Does the word "obsequious" come to mind?

    I appreciate that many of you are trying to give the benefit of the doubt, and to be gentle with him, but honestly the correct response here seems like it should be......NO NO NO, we do NOT engage in such things as "missiles, horizontal flying, projects "inspired by" Russian Defense Systems, plastic land mines, etc." NOPE, NADA, NO WAY. Especially when the person involved has zero experience in rocketry and starts off by talking about PVC sugar motors and such. I'm not suggesting we be mean with him, but I AM suggesting that we make it absolutely clear that we will not help "guide" him down the path he's so curious about. Shut that down in no uncertain terms.

    But sure, invite him to a proper rocketry launch, help him get into amateur rockery in a safe, responsible way. Encourage him to find out what this sport/hobby are really all about. You all know how cool it is, how much there is to learn, how much challenge there is, and how much fun. Something tells me he somehow wouldn't show up more than once or twice and we'd find that all his enthusiasm somehow disappears.

    Marcus.....if I'm wrong, I hope to be proven so, and look forward to looking back in a year or two on this forum, seeing all the cool rocketry projects you've been building and flying, and thinking to myself "gee, I guess I was kind of a jerk to that guy when he first showed up here". I'll give you my apology then.
    For now, my "apology" will be......sorry, I ain't buying it.

    s6
     
  23. Dec 9, 2018 #23

    jimzcatz

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    This is such a bad idea in so many ways. The only advice I support came from Steve Shannon. Any one else giving this idiot any advice other than DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT should have their head examined!
     
  24. Dec 9, 2018 #24

    rharshberger

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    Sorry Alan but ALL hobby rockets LPR, MPR, and HPR are restricted to a maximum number of degrees off vertical the launch rod can be at launch, the exception is rocket gliders as they are allowed some additional increase angle iirc.
     
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  25. Dec 9, 2018 #25

    Marcus Deletus

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    I appreciate your concern s6. But I am confused. What do you mean by trolling? I am familiar with the term but am not sure how this is trolling. I know me being a rocketry noob and asking questions about guidance is worrying, but I only asked that to see if this was something I could work towards as I progress through rocketry. As for the PVC and KNO3, I saw a guy on youtube make it that had done several dangerous and some what advanced projects involving chemistry. He was popular on yt and seemed professional. I made the assumption that he knew what he was doing. Also, the reason my comments are so happy is because I did not expect to get much of a response considering I am just a noob asking an unusual question, but instead I got many replies with tons of info. I do see my fault in that I should of researched the restrictions. I just thought that a rocket that just goes up and down would not be that interesting to work on. I did find something else I could work towards. I saw a guy try to make a self landing rocket, and just thought that was amazing! What is even more shocking is that guy looks like ElonMusk.
     
  26. Dec 9, 2018 #26

    dhbarr

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    I think you and Alan are saying the same thing: MR and HPR covers the whole spectrum as LP/MP distinction is not codified.
     
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  27. Dec 9, 2018 #27

    stealth6

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    Yeah, well that's what we do around here. Apparently it's interesting enough for the folks on this forum. Go figure.

    s6
     
  28. Dec 9, 2018 #28

    Marcus Deletus

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    I apologize to everyone that I worried. I used the word "missile" in the original post because I thought the only difference between a rocket and a missile is a missile could alter (or correct) its course and a rocket coulden't. I did not know missile implied there was a target. I just wanted to see if anyone had tried to get a rocket to perform maneuvers or turns, not to home in on a target. I talked about the Russian Defense Missile because I thought the turns at launch looked cool. That's all.
     
  29. Dec 9, 2018 #29

    dshmel

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    It is the quintessential battle between mass and gravity. For me, gravity seems to win every time. Maybe next year ...
     
  30. Dec 9, 2018 #30

    Steve Shannon

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    Thank you. In my experience “missile” implies use against a target. A missile may be rocket powered; most military missiles are. We bend over backwards to separate our rockets from missiles; you may have noticed.
    Maneuverability is not against the rules, but also as you may have noticed, maneuverability combined with the ability to target anything is as welcome as mange. It would taint our hobby.
    I’m glad you clarified your intent.
     

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