I reviewd the telemetry from the last helicopter flight and I think I have finally resolved all my issues with telemetry and hardware. No glitches in either control or data , my telemetry logger logged correctly to SD media so I will never again loose telemetry data from a failure to save, or a dead laptop battery. I got no GPS data, but it's probably because I did not give ehough time for the GPS to lock prior to flight and it did not acquire in the high vib helicopter environement. I'm planning to swith GPS receivers before the next flight in any case.
A new notional vehicle. And a plan forward.
The big question with insufficient data is:
Are our rocket motors really robust for multiple firings and throttling?
We have fired multiple times for long runs within an hour, we have throttled, but we have also had failures. We need to run the motor through several simulated missions. That is follow the LLC flight throttle profile and restart in less than 1/2 hour. Until we have done that several times we do not know if we have a workable design or not.
If our motors work then we will probably continue with a 4 motor vehicle. If they do not we will probably develop a single larger motor. The notional design for the vehicle branches on that question.
Assuming we have a working motor the the current notional design is as shown above. The key is that the weight is supported by a simple pad under the tank and the landing gear only keeps the vehicle from tipping over.
If the motors don't work then we are probably going to build a single engine vehicle with spherical tanks. There are really only two configurations that seem to make sens, the Quad and the Pixel design. Pixel has balance feed problems, but is structurally more efficient. The one drawback I see to the armadillo module design is the mass of the landing gear and the fact that the motor is very close to the ground. I've ordered some hemispheres from AMS industries and they should be here some time in January.