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Nov 30, 2015
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Hello everyone!

Im an engineering undergrad and president of my university's chapter of AIAA so my friends and I are big on rockets. We're participating in the Intercollegiate rocket engineering competition this summer and are making a half scale prototype for local electronics flight testing in addition to the final product.

For the final product our payload has to be cubesat format as per competition rules. However! The scale model is purely for electronics testing and will not fit cubesats so our payload bay on the scale model is open to our discretion. In addition, at least two of us intend to get NAR certified so more payload bays will have to be made.

The bay on the half scale prototype is 3" diameter and the L1 rockets will likely be 54mm.

Im really just looking for inspiration for an efficient payload bay that is easy to remove, structurally sound and easy to work on in the field.

So post your payload bays here for inspiration!! I do have access to good 3D printing!

thanks everyone this forum is always so supportive!

Many people use a sled for electronics, slides on allthread. Depends on your payload really.
definitely depends, no go pro as of now but we are going with a raspberry pi camera module for the scale prototype. We will also alter or make new sleds as we test new electronics.

Most of our team is comprised of EEs so we will be making multiple PCBs with redundant barometers, accelerometers magnetometers geiger counters etc etc so it will vary. Just looking for some picture inspiration!
In progress and horrible lighting. I'm almost finished with the wiring. I'll get it into some decent lighting and shoot some pics soon.

No breakouts in this build. I'm feeding data from an Eggfinder GPS tracker through a Micro MinimOSD to send down along with the live video stream. Same setup as multi-rotor guys use. The components you see are a Raven3 flight computer, 2 Soocoo F23's removed from their cases, Eggtimer wifi switch and tracker, an Atas Sphere PDB, Micro MinimOSD, and a YKS video transmitter. The carbon fiber mounting plate and other brackets were made by hand. I just need a couple of days to get the rest of it wired up. I have a couple of LED strips, a piezo buzzer and deployment channel connection posts left to hook up. It's been a bit of a pain in the ass to get all this crap to fit inside the nose cone of a 2.6 inch Madcow Black Brandt II but I've managed to squeeze it all in so far.
In process photo of my L1 payload frame earlier this year. Payload included a Jolly Logic 2, Mobius camera and Playmobile Bob. Rings are 1/8" aircraft ply on a bamboo kabob scaffold. More kabob section were added to the base in the final version. Very light and stiff.

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yeah its definitely an efficient setup! Which of those components is the heatsink attached to?

I used a Raspberry Pi cooling fan and aluminum heatsinks on top of a YKS TS5828 video transmitter. There is no airflow in the payload bay when the rocket is sitting on the pad and the vtx will be transmitting from when I load the rocket onto the rail until I turn it off in the pits post flight. 600mw video transmitters get hot.

For me, the nosecone was 3D printed, and the payload was liquid refreshment...


The first flight was a complete success. You can see the results of the second above... :sad: However, after a little British ingenuity, I managed a third flight, and got my L1 (and to drink it). :cool:


The glistening that was mentioned was actually a couple of bands of chrome Trim Monokote.
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Most of the stuff you'll find here does not lend itself well to IREC "payloads" or cubesats. I'm assuming you're looking for mostly packaging ideas and not actual payload ideas. A quick Google image search of ESRA or IREC payloads show some examples, as does NASA Student Launch payloads. The rockets themselves tend to lead you towards "round" payloads, where as actual cubesats need to be square. Modular designs seem to be a good idea. 3D printed parts are cool as long as they hold up to the stresses of "your" rockets flight.