reduce spinning during recovery

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Well-Known Member
Jan 27, 2003
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I have an Aerotech ARCAS that I modified to carry an X10 Camera in the
payload section. The camera sticks out the side and looks down along the
length of the rocket. At ejection, the payload section separates from the
booster. The booster has its own parachute, and the payload has its
own parachute. I put a screw eye in the tip of the nose and attached
the parachute to the screw eye via a kevlar cord. This allows me to pack
the chute into the booster in the normal way with the kevlar extending
outside the rocket to the screw eye in the tip of the nose.

At ejection, the payload section comes down on its own chute with
its nose pointed up and the camera pointing down with a view of the
ground. The problem I have is that the payload section starts to
spin around its long axis as it is descending by parachute. The result
is a very dizzying video of the ground spinning at several revolutions per

Can some suggest a way that I rig this up so that the payload
section doesn't spin under the chute?

Or, try using two chutes, with separate attachment points on the payload - should be very stable.
I vote for the two chute method - works really nicely.

Originally posted by saxophone
Can some suggest a way that I rig this up so that the payload
section doesn't spin under the chute?

First, are you sure the chute isn't spinning? If it is, stopping that might stop the problem. Try checking your shrouds of uneven lengths, and/or streamers of a few contiguous shrouds up near the canopy.

If the chute isn't spinning but the payload section is, that's weird. Somehow it's getting torqued. Possibly something in the way you're packing it? And if the chute isn't but the payload is, do you have a snap swivel? If so, repalce it with something without a swivel. I favor the smallest D rings with hexagonal screw-tight connectors available at Lowe's. They're not tangle proof, but they remove nearly instantly and you can untangle the shrouds completely unconnected very nicely.