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New rocket simulation software is free and open source

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WORLD WIDE WEB — A new model rocket design and flight simulation software package has been earning good reviews even though the product is still in the beta testing stage. OpenRocket, a free and fully featured model rocket simulator program, is Open Source and was written in Java by Sampo Niskanen as part of his Master's thesis work at Helsinki University of Technology. The program was created to be used to design and simulate hobby rockets before you actually begin construction. Featuring a full six-degrees-of-freedom simulation, realistic wind modeling, a multitude of installed construction components including support for free-form and canted fins, as well as clustering and staging, the program is rich on extras.

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The EGE

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I'm playing with it right now. It seems pretty good - a lot like SpaceCad - and works well. My only complaints are that switching motors is clunky, and you can't set altitudes to feet.
 

TWRackers

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Now that's kewl.

I'm a big fan of open source, and especially of Java apps, so I have a good idea what I'll be spending some time on this evening. :cool:

Hopefully my L3CC won't insist I sim my big rocket with a specific software package. :eek:
 

TWRackers

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Well, I've run into one limitation which will prevent me from using this package on my L3 rocket: it doesn't support pods on the fins. I can put tubes there, but I think I'm using internal tubes that I just happen to push outside the airframe; I'm not convinced the sim is actually counting them as being in the airflow. And I can't put nose cones into those tubes to enclose them. But that's not the kind of thing that's really common on bigger rockets. On the whole, just playing with it for an hour last night, I can see it's got some real potential.

Meanwhile, I guess I'll just have to break down and upgrade my RockSim to v9. (sigh)
 

DAllen

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I'm playing with it right now. It seems pretty good - a lot like SpaceCad - and works well. My only complaints are that switching motors is clunky, and you can't set altitudes to feet.
Yes you can. Goto edit/preferences select the units tab and change the "distance" option from m to ft.

;)

-Dave
 

gary7

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Ok, you guys all got my interest up so I downloaded the program but I can't open the program. Some error message about an "invalid or corrupt jar file". Any ideas?
 

gary7

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I have downloaded the latest version, still get same error message.
 

MarkH

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I think that is the error message I got before I Installed the Java Runtime 6. After installing I have no problem. Maybe delete the .jar, and uninstall Java. Then reinstall.
 
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stantonjtroy

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I like this thing. Rocsim is better, no question, But this is a wonderful tool in it's own right.
As for the motor, go to the editor and select the tube you have as a motor tube. click the tab labeled "Motor" and chk the box marked "This component is a motor mount". Now you can hit the "Select Motor" button and select your motor and delay. The major problem is that in order to change the motor you have to go back to the motor mount tube editor and go through the process all ove again. Not a major pain but..... Additionally, when you change the motor it futzes with the data from the first sim run. The sim data is good but it would be helpful if it showed wheather the deployment was pre or post apogee (Kinda need to know if the delay is too long or too short). I do like that there is an option for choosing the CP display. I have mine set to Caliber. Stability at a glance, gotta love it. It would be nice to know by what means the CP is calculated. Comparing it to comparable hand-jamed figures I've run I'm betting it's Barrowman. It would also be nice if they could put in a database for commercially available parts. It would save time and give a more accurate mass read.
As this is a Beta version I can't complain at all! There is a link on the download site to report "Problems" or sugestions. I think in short order this will be a most indespensible tool.
 
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