High School Club High Power Attempt- Mentor Needed


MIT AeroAstro Undergrad -- HSRPL Founder
Mar 13, 2016
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Los Angeles
I am a sophomore at Chaminade High School in West Hills, CA, and I'm trying to rebuild our rocket research club.

We had an extremely dedicated mentor in the past who did 90% of the work on our zinc-sulfur rockets (welding, propellant, electronics...), but now that he is unavailable, I'm trying to reinvigorate the club. I am inspired by the projects all of you have undertaken, and I need your advice and your help.

I have taken over the role as mentor for the time being; giving presentations, lessons, rocket fuel tests, etc. and that's because I love the engineering challenges and satisfaction rocketry offers. Our club want to move in the direction of high power rockets (of course), and if we can receive a sliver of the funding our robotics club gets, I think we can accomplish something great. I have built APCP motors in the past but my largest engine was admittedly very modest producing only 110 lbs of thrust- a 40% I engine. This engine sent my rocket to ~10,000 feet, but my poor solder joints on my timer forced me to remove the entire recovery system and leave a nice crater in the Lucerne dry lake bed.

While it is ambitious, I think it is possible for our club to send a rocket to the neighborhood of 70-100,000 feet, yet the more I plan, the more challenging the task appears. With the help of a mentor, I am confident we can build a two-stage N/0 to M rocket that will perform, but we do need a mentor.

To summarize the "plan"; we want to build and static test a homemade N/0 engine (BATES and graphite nozzle) and launch a smaller rocket to test the avionics in the coming months. By January, we hope to begin building the rocket itself. We will build what we can and buy what we cannot, and since we have a very complete machine shop thanks to the robotics club,we should be able to save by manufacturing most everything ourselves. The electronics challenge is where we need the most help along with the details of staging and stabilization (spin-stabilization could be viable option). Everything that can be simplified, we will simplify because altitude is our only goal.

In conclusion, we need a mentor and we need your advice. If there is anyone in the Los Angeles area with experience in this field who would be willing to come to our meetings help us, it would mean the world.
Any advice anyone on this site can offer is hugely appreciated as well; we have not done anything like this before, and I know many of you have.