Princeton University attempt at a suborbital space shot?

Discussion in 'High Power Rocketry (HPR)' started by RGClark, Apr 21, 2018.

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  1. Feb 22, 2019 #391

    jjwb22101

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    Thanks for the clarification Steve! That's what I hoped it was doing, the article was just a bit unclear in areas about the exact involvement. We're actually in the process of reworking our club constitution (for some logistical reasons, primarily), and if you've got any suggestions about how to improve safety at the club operations level (we're already working closely with a couple NAR and TRA sections, have a dedicated safety officer, and run a number of safety trainings for various club members), I'd love to hear them.
     
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  2. Feb 22, 2019 #392

    Steve Shannon

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    Really, it sounds to me like you’re doing exactly the right things already. It’s just incredibly important to have experienced mentors.
    Thanks for doing the right things!
     
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  3. Apr 3, 2019 #393

    RGClark

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    Just saw this on Mach5Lowdown:

    Iain in USCRPL March 30, 2019 32 Words
    USCRPL Aiming for Space Once Again
    This will be the 2nd student space shot attempt for 2019 that I know of, and USCRPL’s 4th try. Read about the team’s previous attempts here and here.
    https://mach5lowdown.com/2019/03/30/uscrpl-aiming-for-space-once-again/

    [​IMG]USC Rocket Lab‏ @USCRPL
    Traveler IV will fly from Spaceport America on April 20th! Targeting a 8:00am PST

    3:46 PM - 28 Mar 2019
    https://twitter.com/USCRPL/status/1111353955458572288

    Bob Clark




     
  4. Apr 3, 2019 #394

    MClark

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    Thanks for the warning.
    I will stay out of New Mexico that day.

    M
     
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  5. Apr 3, 2019 #395

    jsdemar

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    The SPA launch site is 247,000 feet from my house as the crow flies. Quite a bit closer than the Karman line is vertically.

    Edit: My house is also about 100,000 feet from the launch pads at the White Sands Missile Range.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2019
  6. Apr 3, 2019 #396

    Nytrunner

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    Good thing you're ~1200 miles from either one!
     
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  7. Apr 3, 2019 #397

    RICHARD COLARCO

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    What's the big deal? All my shots are suborbital, as far as I know. Not counting the ones that disappeared.
     
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  8. Apr 3, 2019 #398

    mpitfield

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    lol
     
  9. Apr 5, 2019 #399

    RGClark

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    From Mach5Lowdown:

    _____________________________________________________________
    Iain Princeton Rocketry April 4, 2019 128 Words
    Princeton Aiming for Space Again
    The team had told me late last year they will be attempting their space shot again, now it is finally official!
    The first launch of their two-stage rocket, unfortunately, suffered a failed ignition of the sustainer, the vehicle performed flawlessly and the sustainer was recovered. By the recent post, it looks like they will have the ignition issues sorted this time round!

    Princeton Spaceshot.
    We are looking forward to making our second attempt to reach outer space this May from Spaceport America! We will be launching two identical vehicles for a better chance at reaching space.
    The primary launch dates are 05/26, and 05/27. The stand-down launch date is 05/28.
    As you may know, our launch last year failed to reach its objective of 100 km altitude due to a second stage ignition failure. Princeton Rocketry Club is happy to announce our partnership with the United States Military Academy West Point's SPEAR space research team to rectify this issue. SPEAR cadets are tasked with developing, procuring, and testing an industry grade upper-stage solid rocket motor ignition system to ensure successful ignition.


    Check out the team’s website here for more rocket information!
    _____________________________________________________________

    Bob Clark
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2019
  10. Apr 6, 2019 #400

    MattJL

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    I wonder what that other space shot team is, beyond USCRPL and Princeton. Operation Space (amalgam, led by Duke University) or OLVT (Virginia Tech), possibly?

    I just really hope that they've all learned from their mistakes. I've been working on building connections with active space shot teams in order to create a common knowledge repository for the sake of safety, but some teams are pretty notoriously cagey about sharing what they've been up to.
     
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  11. Apr 22, 2019 #401

    RGClark

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    USC has successfully launched their rocket, after a postponement to Sunday. The rocket was successfully recovered. Here’s a link to the onboard GoPro video:



    The team is working to determine max altitude. About 3 minutes in the sky looks pretty black. How high up do you have to be for this to be the case?

    Also, because of high rate of spin it’s hard to get a good view. Would a spin can solve this problem? If so then it could provide a means of getting good high level imaging using amateur rockets.

    Bob Clark
     
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  12. Apr 22, 2019 #402

    RGClark

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    That is indeed an excellent idea. Sharing safety protocols they follow should be something every team is interested in.

    Bob Clark
     
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  13. Apr 22, 2019 #403

    djs

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    I've seen onboard video of flights where the sky looks black starting around 50k
     
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  14. Apr 22, 2019 #404

    jderimig

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    Yoyo despin is the tried and true method.
     
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  15. Apr 22, 2019 #405

    RGClark

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    Yes. The spin can might weigh less though. Also, it would allow you to get good imagining all through the ascent.

    A software method might also work. The advantage of a software method is that can be applied after the flight to cases such as this one that did not have the yo-yo despin hardware attached. Found this after a web search of a GoPro attached to an American football to despin the video:



    Bob Clark
     
  16. Apr 22, 2019 #406

    UhClem

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    Deployment happened about three minutes in. That would put them short of 100 miles. Princeton was predicting an apogee time of 180 seconds and altitude of 86 miles.

    An impressively long way up but short of the goal.
     
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  17. Apr 22, 2019 #407

    UhClem

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    Sorry, the goal was 100km, not 100 miles. Which means they likely zipped on past it. It would be nice if they had a >50km capable GPS system on board to verify. Like Piksi.
     
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  18. Apr 22, 2019 #408

    MattJL

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    If USC pulled it off, huge congratulations to them. They always were a strong contender, and probably would have made it to space last year had they not failed to arm their avionics suite before launch.

    I guess the question is "what now"? There's many organizations that have spent the last few years working towards being the first to reach space - my own included - and most of those have some kind of vehicle or hardware to show for their efforts. Those folks will probably fly over the next couple weeks and months, but there's still the question of those that were prepping to launch late this year and beyond (my own, of course, included).

    I hope we head for a future where this impromptu competition results in a whole bunch of organizations collaborating with one another to make space more accessible for the rest of us, and one where the hobby enjoys a steady influx of new blood and new ideas. I, especially, hope that this doesn't result in other organizations standing down and disbanding their HPR teams.
     
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  19. Apr 23, 2019 #409

    Ethan

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    It's possible the drogue was fired at a fixed time after launch though, rather than at actual apogee
     
  20. Apr 23, 2019 #410

    plugger

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    I think that's the most likely scenario.
     
  21. Apr 29, 2019 #411

    RGClark

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    Saw this great image taken by amateurs from a helium balloon at 100,000+ feet.

    You can see the blackness of space as well as the curvature of the Earth.

    It’s surprising that even with GPS it’s takes awhile to determine altitude with high power rocketry.
    Could it be determined visually? In this image taken from a balloon you can see the curvature of the Earth. If the imaging is accurate you can measure the angle of that portion of the Earth’s sphere to a fraction of a degree. Knowing the specifics of your imaging system such as field of view you can then calculate the distance to the horizon, and then the altitude.

    An additional problem though with the USC RPL video is the spin rate is so high it might cause distortion in the imaging. Perhaps someone can check individual frames?

    You could apply despinning software but that may cause additional distortion.

    Bob Clark
     

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  22. May 12, 2019 #412

    RGClark

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    It’s been three weeks since the USCRPL attempt at the Karman line and they haven’t definitely determined the max altitude, or they aren’t sure enough of it to release it. Could onboard radar determine that in real time at high Mach speed?
    Could radio triangulation from multiple locations on the ground determine it?

    Bob Clark
     
  23. May 23, 2019 at 12:55 AM #413

    Bill Hanson

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    According to the story in Wired, they succeeded.

    https://www.wired.com/story/a-rocket-built-by-students-reached-space-for-the-first-time/
     
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  24. May 23, 2019 at 8:58 AM #414

    plugger

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    From their blog.

    http://www.uscrpl.com/updates/2019/5/22/traveler-iv

    And the Traveler-IV Whitepaper

    http://www.uscrpl.com/s/Traveler-IV-Whitepaper

    Congratulations to USC RPL! That's one heck of an accomplishment.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2019 at 9:07 AM
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  25. May 23, 2019 at 9:24 AM #415

    OverTheTop

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    Congratulations to the team for their achievement. It is a significant effort with a great outcome! :cool:

    Maybe next time they can obtain one of the GPS units that doesn't have the COCOM limits imposed. Another alternative is to record the GPS Rx stream and apply post-processing to determine their altitude after the flight. It would not be a trivial task, but it is achievable.
     
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  26. May 23, 2019 at 2:34 PM #416

    RGClark

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    Congrats to the entire team!
    The team intends to build on this to make an orbital flight. The first stage booster of an orbital rocket is always the largest and most expensive stage of a rocket. The upper stages are commonly 1/3rd to 1/4th the size of the preceding stage.
    If they can solve the problem of high altitude ignition, then I think they can succeed progressing to an orbital flight.

    Bob Clark
     
  27. May 23, 2019 at 2:38 PM #417

    eggplant

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    What is your source for that?
     
  28. May 23, 2019 at 4:04 PM #418

    RGClark

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    Hmm. I wasn’t able to find that on their site. I know other college teams have said they want to make an orbital flight:

    https://olvt.org/

    Bob Clark
     
  29. May 23, 2019 at 5:42 PM #419

    Richard Dierking

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    Sorry, I'm coming in a bit late on this subject and not going back to read all the comments. But, there's something that Matt JL said that is pushing me a bit to post. I've often wondered about "the path to space" and how TRA could be involved with this? My impression of student teams is that they tend to be overly ambitious, unprepared, and cut corners. So, when I hear a student say, "we want to build a rocket to reach space," I probably roll my eyes a bit. Sorry. I like ambition and the energy of eager students. But, I'm not a fan of rocket competitions and think that overly ambitious and not having clear reasons of why we are doing this tends to teach students to fail and not to succeed. But, dealing with students makes me think of dealing with customers; give them what they want to keep them happy and not necessarily what they need. And, what I think they need is to learn fundamental things and gain experience. But, good luck trying to slow them down. LOL. I think the thing that TRA can help mostly by doing what it's always done, helping individuals build, fly, and advance in certification levels. TRA doesn't need a separate mentoring program. And, what's the #1 thing individual students will learn from going through this established process? How will this help them in their "path to space?" They will learn that this is an unforgiving endeavor; yes, you will learn from mistakes, but the most important thing you will learn is not to make mistakes. Strong team members make a strong & capable team. And, that's what I think TRA can do most; help individuals advance in amateur rocketry and they can take the knowledge and experience back to the team. So, changing gears a bit, MattJL asked "what's next?" It's not an orbital flight. You just had a team launch a rocket with a very similar flight that CSXT did with the GoFast rocket in 2004 and repeated in 2014; slug your way on a single stage past an imaginary line. Impressive - Yes! But, there's considerable refinements that can happen. Like, staging. How about better telemetry (and better video), de-spin, etc. Personally, for a noteworthy achievement, I would like to see some team launch a rocket with a flight over the Atlantic Ocean. But, there's lots of objectives that would have to be achieved before a down-range kind of flight. Well, I tried to keep it short. Stuck my chin out on this one. Here it probably comes...
     
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  30. May 23, 2019 at 7:19 PM #420

    Steve Shannon

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    Nicely said Richard. Mostly I agree with you. Tripoli provides a framework of safety rules, insurance, legal launch sites, and experienced members who are willing to help. Because students are frequently working in teams with members concentrating on specific elements of the project they don’t always get a wide range of experience. The shorter time they have to learn Rocketry creates challenges also. We also see that these students don’t usually have college instructors who have practical experience or knowledge of our Safety Codes.
    Our hope is that by making more mentors available we might be able to help keep the students safe from making serious mistakes and thereby protect the hobby.
     
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