Servo controlled/aerodynamic control surface stability

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Dustin Lobner

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I've seen many people doing thrust vector control. Totally awesome, but limited to lower powered motors.

I've seen people (Jim Jarvis's 3 stager comes to mind) that use a computer to control aerodynamic control surfaces.

Are these devices home brew? Or is there someone out there making a computer for this? Would love to have something to just make sure the rocket stays pointed straight up.

Thanks!
 

Voyager1

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Yes, most, if not all, aerodynamic surface stabilization control systems discussed here have been home brewed. The other limitation of the thrust vector control is that it's limited to the motor burn time, where as aerodynamic surface (canard or elevon) control should last while the rocket has sufficient velocity.
 

Dustin Lobner

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OverTheTop - that is amazing! Thanks for posting everything there, I'll be sure to follow along going forward.
 

JimJarvis50

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I've seen many people doing thrust vector control. Totally awesome, but limited to lower powered motors.

I've seen people (Jim Jarvis's 3 stager comes to mind) that use a computer to control aerodynamic control surfaces.

Are these devices home brew? Or is there someone out there making a computer for this? Would love to have something to just make sure the rocket stays pointed straight up.

Thanks!
It is entirely possible to use commercial RC autopilots to perform vertical stabilization. How it is done depends on the features that the unit has, but it can be done. I think there is a limit on the "size" of the flight, but L1 and some L2 flights should be fine, and maybe more than that.

The system I use started life as an autopilot. It has many improvements now, and I can do much with it that can't be done using an autopilot, but if the objective is to go more "up", that can be done.

A few years ago, I had a beta testing group for the system I use. I think there were six participants. I think only two of them actually made a system and only one of them had some limited success. One reason for this is that it is difficult to do - both the control aspect and the mechanical aspect. So, maybe the chances of success aren't that great, but I can guarantee a fun project.

Jim
 
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