WOOSH ECOF 2014 Kelly Challenge

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  1. Mar 13, 2014 #1

    SMR

    SMR

    SMR

    Entropy Demonstrator

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    The Wisconsin Organization of Spacemodeling Hobbyists (WOOSH) hosts the Eat Cheese or Fly launch every summer at the Richard Bong State Recreation Area. This year it will be the weekend of 21-22 Jun 2014. The Kelly Engineering Challenge for this year has been posted over on YORF (http://www.oldrocketforum.com/showthread.php?t=12824) in the WOOSH section for a few months now, but since we have at least one Texan participating, I thought I would open it up to the whole crowd. Out-of-towners welcome!

    Welcome to the Kelly Engineering Challenge for WOOSH ECOF 2014 ----- “Relaunchable Rockets” -----

    The official rules for the 2014 ECOF Kelly's Engineering Challenge. This will be the 6th year she has hosted this event. There have been a lot of great ideas built and flown in the past - we have some very creative people in our group, and we are looking forward to seeing what you can dream up for this one. As this is a particularly involved challenge, especially in keeping it within the NAR Safety Code guidance, we reserve the right to modify these rules as necessary when things we forgot get pointed out. While the rules seem complicated, they are actually intuitive when applied in context of a real mission. Some examples are included at the end.

    July 2014 marks the 45th anniversary of our first landing on the moon. To commemorate that event, we will be replicating it on the barren surface of the Richard Bong State Recreation Area in southeastern Wisconsin. A few minor modifications will be required to comply with the NAR safety code, but basically, the rocket will fly once, safely land, gather a cheese sample, then launch and land again, simulating a return to Earth. (Hey, remember when they told us the moon was made of cheese?) Everything required to fly a second time, (to include launch guidance but NOT ignition circuitry), must have flown the first time. After the first landing, the lander will be moved back to the range, RSO’d, and launched by the LCO using the rocket’s onboard (flown) launch pad but with the range launch controller (LCO). Possible ideas would include a dual-purpose rocket (ala Buck Rogers), dedicated descent and ascent modules (ala Lunar Module), a sky crane (ala Mars Curiosity), airbags (Mars Spirit and Opportunity), etc. The descent portion of flight #1 must have, as did the lunar module, the ability to land upright, and it must necessarily hold itself upright during relaunch of the ascent stage. Reliability of first landing is clearly a critical design element.

    The Apollo program was a learning experience for us, and we had some set-backs. The Apollo 1 capsule fire claimed 3 astronauts. But we bounced back, and the United States had a 100% success rate in lunar landings. EVERYBODY that landed on the moon came back to Earth (Apollo 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, and 17). Also, EVERYBODY that even got close to the moon came back to Earth (Apollo 8, 10, and 13). So, we believe, that with a one year advance timeline, midwest rocketeers should be able to have similar success, albeit on a slightly smaller scale. To simulate the challenges involved in the actual operation…

    1. The rocket must fly at ECOF in 2014, under thrust of certified propellant (BP, APCP, or hybrid). Any motor class is allowed. The rocketeer must be certified to the level of combined motors flown. NAR safety code applies.

    2. The rocket must land, be recovered, pick up a cheese sample payload, and fly again using only what flew in flight #1, to include on-board launch guidance (rail, rod, vectored thrust, …;), but not ignition circuitry. There will be NO onboard ignition source to ascent stage motor. The 2nd flight must be from the active range. Rocket must be picked up from the 1st landing site, inspected by the event judge, then RSO’d and launched in sequence by the LCO, on the active range and utilizing the WOOSH controller. You only have what you flew. Nothing can be brought to the mission after the first launch. Things may be removed, however, if their functions become no longer necessary. See “transition event” simulation in rule #3.

    3. Simulated events - Other than ejection charges used in normal recovery deployments, there will be NO pyrotechnics. This is to comply with the NAR Safety Code, with the added benefit of keeping participation costs down.

    (a) NASA used a lot of explosive bolts to hold stuff together and separate them in flight. But not you. Therefore, events that would have been initiated with explosive bolts must be simulated. However, to simulate the ability to have engineered the equivalent, fliers are allowed to simulate a maximum of three “transition events” between flights. i.e., you can jettison a payload shroud and/or remove a parachute recovery harness from the descent / landing stage if it would otherwise interfere with the subsequent 2nd launch. Or, if you are using the same recovery harness, repacking it would also simulate jettisoning the old. These events “cost” 3 points each, and must be declared pre-flight, i.e. you can’t re-purpose the function of the engineering you have intended. However, while the function of the simulated event must be declared in advance, the point deduction is not made until the simulated event is accomplished. Therefore, it is possible to use a simulated pyrotechnic device as a backup to a mechanical feature that might fail. For example - you have designed a protective clamshell that should mechanically open on landing. A simulated pyro charge is used as a backup and declared preflight. If the mechanical device functions as designed, no pyro device is needed so no points are deducted. If the mechanical device jams, (picture the Agena Target Vehicle’s gaping alligator mouth), you “blow open” the shroud with simulated charges and take the three point penalty.
    * - Pyrotechnics is defined as using exothermic chemical reactions for the production of heat, light, gas, smoke and/or sound.

    (b) Igniters... the igniter for your second flight must be flown on the first flight, but isn’t required to be installed in the ascent motor until back on the range for your 2nd flight. No penalty for complying with this requirement or accomplishing this event.

    (c) Cheese sample scooping... per Rule #2, the rocket must be inspected by the judge between flights. That is when we plan to distribute the cheese samples, so no need to add a remote controlled arm or scoop to pick it up. You can just add it to a suitable payload bay, tape it to the shock cord, etc. The cheese must be safely recovered after flight #2. Note - cheese is light and small by design. Cubes, approximately 0.6" per edge. If squished slightly will fit inside a BT-50. ​

    4. Design and operation of the vehicle will be judged prefight. Unique features should be described, and simulated events must be declared in advance. No secrets going in. Innovations in designs are always encouraged. Family friendly theme mandatory. Remember the judge is a twelve year old girl.

    5. Only one qualifying series of flights is allowed per rocket. While practice flights are allowed, the qualifying 1st flight must be identified as such in advance, and the 2nd flight must follow. i.e. no “in-between” flights are allowed. There is no restriction on number of rockets per participant. If a participant makes two or more qualifying rockets, he may register and fly each of them as an individual entry. However, individual participants may not "sweep" the awards. While it is possible that two or more entries from one flyer could score high enough to each qualify for an award, there will be only one award given to any individual participant. (i.e. only the highest scoring rocket from each participant will count for First, Second, or Third place awards.)

    6. Points are cumulative, with up to 100 base points total, plus the possibility of 20 bonus points. The bonus points may prove to be crucial, as historically a majority of participants have been within 6 points of the leader. Scoring as follows...

    Pre-flight -
    10 points for “Innovation in Design #1” - unique design features, including landing (1st flight) mechanisms
    10 points for “Innovation in Design #2” - unique design features, including launching (2nd flight) mechanisms
    10 points for “Quality of Build” (finish, smooth transitions, fin fillets, motor retention, overall structural integrity)
    10 “Bank Points” that you can spend - everybody gets 10 to start with, minus what you used for simulated pyro events​

    1st flight -
    10 points for “Quality of Flight #1” (stability, altitude, duration)
    10 points for “Quality of Recovery #1” (recovery device deployment, lack of damage to rocket and/or pad / platform)
    10 points for “Re-launchability” (post-flight repair possible if needed, ability to re-launch)​

    2nd flight -
    10 points for “Quality of Flight #2” (stability, altitude, duration)
    10 points for “Quality of Recovery #2” (recovery device deployment, lack of damage to rocket)
    10 points for “Mission Success” (survival of and return of cheese sample)​

    Post-flight -
    Bank points used - 3 points deducted for every simulated pyro event actually used
    Bonus points added for each of the following -
    3 bonus points - you land on the range and do not need to be moved other than to reach a set of igniter leads. must be witnessed by neutral party. (on range bonus)
    3 bonus points - you land upright. must be witnessed by neutral party. (landing bonus)
    2 bonus points - you flew adequate supplies to make suitable repairs between flights, whether or not they were used. shown to judge in preflight judging. used, if required, between flights. (spare kit bonus)
    6 bonus points for duration of 1st flight of at least 20 seconds. (i.e. no 1/4A, lowest flight, closest to the pad, Snitch, etc...)
    6 bonus points for duration of 2nd flight of at least 30 seconds. (i.e. no 1/4A, lowest flight, closest to the pad, Snitch, etc...)​

    cheese.jpg
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2014
  2. Mar 13, 2014 #2

    SMR

    SMR

    SMR

    Entropy Demonstrator

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    7. Rewards... In addition to eternal bragging rights, each of the top three finishers gets an engraved trophy, with ribbons for 4th thru 10th place. All pre-registered participants get a nifty certificate suitable for framing. And I am rolling over last year’s cash prize, so that this year the winner will receive a $100 gift certificate to Wildman Rocket Supply. Second place gets a new AeroTech 29-40-120 hardware set and a G64-W reload. Third place gets a G79-W motor in his/her choice of 4 or 7 second delay.

    8. Expanded explanations & examples - Some effects are under our control, some are not. We can adapt, i.e. a damaged rocket may still result in a successful mission. This is a unique challenge, and all results will be treated as if occuring during an actual spaceflight mission, with due respect to those failures and successes. Some examples are listed below. Actual flights may demonstrate combinations of these.

    (a) - someone stepped on your rocket in the prep area. Bummer. (NOAA-19, Sep 2003) - During final servicing by Lockheed-Martin, engineers failed to check if the weather satellite was bolted down before moving it, and accidentally dropped it. Whoops! Repairs to the satellite cost $135 million, and it was eventually launched in Feb 2009 = no point loss, variable self-imposed time and monetary penalties.

    (b) - launch anomaly resulting in loss of 1st launch vehicle, but with recovery of descent stage and 2nd launch vehicle, i.e. you lose the launch vehicle but recover the descent stage. The descent vehicle must be recovered, and the ascent vehicle must make the 2nd launch and be recovered, along with the cheese. In the Apollo program, the huge Saturn V lofted the Command, Service, and Lunar Modules to the moon. Only the lunar module made the descent to the surface, and only half of that left the surface. The Saturn V was not recovered. So, if the launch vehicle is damaged, you may lose some points in “Quality of Flight (or Recovery) #1”, but if separate and (1) you recover the descent vehicle and (2) are able to refly it = no further point deduction. Mission continues.

    (c) - launch anomaly resulting in loss of descent stage. (Orbital Carbon Observatory, Feb, 2009) - A payload fairing is a clamshell-shaped cover that protects a payload during early flight, and they are always jettisoned as soon as possible after a rocket has climbed high enough that heating from air friction will not damage the payload. The OCO fairing failed to separate after second stage ignition. The extra mass of the fairing was not a significant factor during the flight of the larger lower stages, but it kept the small third stage from adding enough velocity to reach orbit, so the resulting sub-orbital ballistic path put the payload into the ocean near Antarctica, 17 minutes after liftoff = loss of all “Quality of Flight” points, as well as all subsequent categories.

    (d) - launch anomaly, vehicle remains fully functional. (Apollo 12, Nov 1969) - was struck by lightning (twice, at 36 and 52 seconds) during launch, knocking electrical systems offline. Power was restored about four minutes later. The astronauts spent additional time in earth orbit to make sure the spacecraft was functional before firing their S-IVB third stage engine and departing for the moon = no point deduction.

    (e) - your recovery system fails resulting in complete loss of vehicle. (Mars Climate Orbiter, Dec 1998) - In one of the all time great engineering gaffs, NASA subcontractor Lockheed Martin created thruster software that used Imperial units, not the metric units used by NASA. NASA did not know this, never converted from pounds to newtons, and the probe hit the Martian atmosphere and burned up = loss of points under “Quality of Recovery” of the applicable flight, and all subsequent categories.

    (f) - you literally lose your rocket. (Mars Polar Lander, Jan 1999) - on December 3, 1999, after the descent phase was expected to be complete, the lander failed to reestablish communication with Earth. (Beagle 2, Jun 2003) - All contact with it was lost in Dec 2003, upon its separation from the Mars Express orbiter six days before the Beagle’s scheduled entry into the atmosphere. = start looking. You have until Sunday to find it, else loss of points under “Quality of Recovery” of the applicable flight, and all subsequent categories.

    (g) - partial recovery failure with no damage to descent vehicle. (Apollo 15, Aug 1971) - During descent, the three main parachutes opened successfully. However, when the remaining reaction control system fuel was jettisoned, one parachute was damaged by the discarded fuel, causing it to collapse. The Apollo 15 capsule and its crew still splashed down safely, at a slightly higher than normal velocity, on the two remaining main parachutes. = mission may continue, no point loss.

    (h) - partial recovery failure with non-repairable damage to pad / platform but not ascent vehicle. You land hard and break a leg on the lander, but the ascent rocket section is still deemed flyable. (Apollo program, never utilized) - We are going to treat that as a rejected landing with an abort to orbit. If a fault occurred during an attempted moon landing, the astronauts had the option of firing the ascent engine and returning to the Command Module in lunar orbit, and subsequently to Earth. Simulating this, you may remove your ascent stage from the lander’s launch platform, return it to the range, and re-launch it from any appropriate WOOSH pad. Since the rocket flew twice, this will in itself not generate a point deduction in any categories other than “Mission Success”, since when you waived off you didn’t acquire any cheese. There may be, at the discretion of the judge, a points penalty for “Quality of Recovery #1”, if that is what damaged your lander. But you were fully “re-launchable” and your astronauts returned safely. Congratulations!

    (i) - partial recovery failure with repairable damage to ascent vehicle or pad / platform. You only have what you can carry. Nothing can be added to the mission after the first launch. But you can make repairs using what you happen to have brought along in the lander, with no penalty. In fact, everybody can earn a couple bonus points for having flown a representative sample of things you may need to make the trip home. Think of that scene in Apollo 13: “We need to make this… fit into this… using this.” If you break a fin on landing #1, you can repair it only if you flew the tape or adhesive you need to do so. If your second launch attempt burns the igniter, hope you flew a spare. In the actual operation of Apollo 11 (Jul 1969), while moving within the cabin, Buzz Aldrin accidentally broke a main engine arming circuit breaker. There was concern this would prevent firing the engine, stranding them on the Moon. They used a felt-tip pen to activate the switch.

    (j) - partial recovery failure with non-repairable damage to ascent vehicle and/or loss of ability to re-launch. (Apollo program, never utilized) - Your lander is stranded. President Nixon had a prepared speech for such an occasion during the Apollo program. Think about what you may want to say, and full point deductions in all categories of 2nd flight.

    (k) - landing site suitability, example #1. (Apollo program, all) Apollo had pilots, you don’t. Neil Armstrong famously overflew a field of boulders to find a better place to land. Your first flight hangs in a tree, or tips over on landing due to wind. This does not mean the end of the mission. Since, assuming unlimited funds and training and given the ability to do so, you would have picked a better area and safely landed upright in a flat spot, AND under rule 4b you must re-launch from the range, you will be allowed to move your rocket back to the range, and upright it back to its legs (if so equipped) = with no point deduction.

    (l) - landing site suitability, example #2. Your intended landing site turned out to be a “water world” and your mission landed in the lake. Hey, the Huygens probe was designed to float upright, why didn’t you think of that? (Soyuz 23, Oct 1976) The landing capsule broke through the surface of a frozen lake and was dragged underwater by its parachute. The crew was saved after a very difficult rescue operation. = no point deduction, but you get wet. However, any water damage to your ascent stage may result in penalties under example (j). And you still got wet.​

    ==================================================================================================== ==================================================

    Challenge dates - ECOF 2014. Presently scheduled for Saturday, 21 Jun 2014 and Sunday, 22 Jun 2014
    9:00 AM - tent and table setup
    10:00 AM - group photo (bring your rocket)
    10:00 AM to 3:00 PM - preflight judging and qualifying flights (thru Sunday if weather forecast acceptable)
    preflight judging - max of 40 points
    inflight points - 1st flight - max of 30 points
    inflight points - 2nd flight - max of 30 points
    postflight points
    - bank points deducted if used - max of 9 points
    - bonus points added - max of 20 points
    3:00 PM - 4:00 PM - point tabulation
    4:00 PM - awards ceremony

    night time.jpg
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2014
  3. Mar 13, 2014 #3

    SMR

    SMR

    SMR

    Entropy Demonstrator

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    Think along the lines of something like this.....

    LM.jpg
     
  4. Mar 15, 2014 #4

    SMR

    SMR

    SMR

    Entropy Demonstrator

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    I think the actual challenge is going to be the launch-able pad, so here is my first attempt at it. NASA and Dr von Braun had it right during the moon race... it is all about weight. In keeping with the spirit if the actual lunar missions, this part of the rocket is being named the "John Houbolt Lander", after the aerospace engineer who correctly advocated lunar orbit rendezvous over the politically favored but more difficult and expensive direct ascent Nova rocket.

    The nose of the Houbolt Lander is designed around the hub, which is in itself a bulkhead for an enclosed parts bay between the legs and the launch pad. It will be launched upside down (feet up) and recovers legs down, much as the legs on the Snitch. The parachute attaches to the payload shroud, which comes off for launching the ascent rocket. I am using four fiberglass driveway markers for legs. (people with snow will know what those are.) They are strong and light, and will hopefully have a span sufficient for stability on landing. I started by drilling holes straight thru a poplar 1 x 3, and then cutting the wood at 30° angles. This placed the legs at the correct angle, and was much easier than attempting to drill the holes themselves at that angle. Four pieces were drilled and trimmed to fit together, and then sandwiched between two bulkheads to complete the hub. All-threads were added to tie the whole thing together, as well as extend thru the payload bay to the blast deflector side.

    drilled 1 x 3.jpg

    cutting at 30°.jpg

    cut pieces.jpg

    trial fit.jpg

    final cut.jpg
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2014
  5. Mar 15, 2014 #5

    SMR

    SMR

    SMR

    Entropy Demonstrator

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    The enclosed compartment under the launch rod is where my spares (igniters, tape, super glue, etc.) will be. In the actual operation, this will by default be left behind on the surface of Bong and available to others should they be "stranded". Remember, pre-positioned supplies will likely be part of any Mars missions.

    While final weight is yet to be determined, this part is surprisingly light so far. For the booster (first flight), I'm shooting for an I161 White Lightning, with an I245 Mojave Green as a backup if the weight creeps up (likely). This should keep the altitude reasonable since it will likely have a really big chute. Ascent rocket (second flight) will be a BT-50 4FNC to fit inside the 4" payload fairing, and will launch on 18mm black powder in the "B" or "C" range.

    assembled hub.jpg

    flight configuration with payload shroud.jpg

    ready to launch.jpg
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2014
  6. May 27, 2014 #6

    SMR

    SMR

    SMR

    Entropy Demonstrator

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    Down to the wire... busy putting the finishing touches on my entry AND the finishing touches on the contest. Trophies (1st thru 3rd and Honorable Mention) are off being engraved, ribbons (4th thru 10th) are in hand. Prizes are packed by the door and ready to be distributed. Also have completed the scoresheet, prize money, and participation certificate. (Remember, pre-registered fliers get one of these nifty, suitable for framing certificates just for participating. Let me know by email, PM, or word of mouth how you want your name spelled.) See you soon!

    Screen shot 2014-05-27 at 1.03.43 PM.png

    Screen shot 2014-05-27 at 12.55.35 PM.jpg

    Screen shot 2014-05-27 at 12.56.39 PM.png
     
  7. Jun 10, 2014 #7

    SMR

    SMR

    SMR

    Entropy Demonstrator

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    T minus 11 days...

    IMG_5622.jpg
     
  8. Jun 19, 2014 #8

    Eat, sleep, and Fly

    Eat, sleep, and Fly

    Eat, sleep, and Fly

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