Saturday, June 04, 2011

Long fun day.

We drove otu to FAR last night. We arrived on site about midnight, and the great glowing ball fusing hydrogen (aka sun) rose promptly at 5:39.

I made three atttempts to capture a rocket launch from my autopilot euquiped helicopter. Its currently setup so I put it into position by RC then hit the freeze mode and it stays there in that exact position and orientation until I unfreeze it. So I can take shelter while the rocket launches toward the helicopter. The first attempt we were too far away and the goproHD just caught the rocket launch leaving the frame. The 2nd and 3rd attempts were with my workhorse HPR rocket and I was less concerned about playing chicken with someone else's rocket.

I have video from both the air and ground for all three shots. My video editing setup is currently not installed on my current computer so I can't edit the video.
So I uploaded the helicopter view from the 2nd attempt and the ground view from the third attempt unedited. These are the only ones that are short enough to be reasonable in size. The helicopter view interesting part starts at 2:36.

I would usually resolve this before posting, but I'm catching plane on Sunday and I just won't get to it.

After playing with the helicopter we ran the small printed peroxide/gar motor for the 3rd time. I have video of that, but its really boring, the rocket exhaust is completely clear, and you just get 3 minutes of hearing hissing noises. So I probably won't post that one. Other than leaking valve on the test stand the test was perfect. So I have finally killed my cat pack issues. This cat pack has run three times for at least 3 min each time, over a period of 3 months with no maintenance. This means I can static test a motor, and then put it in a flight vehicle with confidence it will work as desired.

The link for the ground based camera is here:

Video from Helicopter...

Slightly Edited video from the Helicopter with Slo-mo replays.

Friday, June 03, 2011

Weekend Plans...

On Saturday I'm going out to FAR and plan to run two tests.
We will test the small printed stainless motor.

I've been working on my software development helicopter (A trex 600) This is the vehicle I used to develop the software for the blue and silver ball's. It had not flown in awhile and I had to re-familiarize myself with the software and behavior. I've modified the code so instead of just flying the LLC profile you can drive it around the sky with the RC controls then hit the freeze here button and have it stay in place. So my helicopter goal for this weekend is to capture video of a rocket launch from above. I'm not sure what is launching at FAR this weekend, so we'll bring the HPR along as a stand in if necessary.

In addition to the helicopter I've been looking for a smaller less scary platform to do some IMU and GPS testing on. I've now got an Arducopter flying. I'd never played with a quad before and its amazingly stable. Right now its 100% box stock, but the first modification will be to put on a Netburner CPU for more horsepower and probably a test IMU with 3 or 4 different sets of sensors for comparison. Analog devices has some new MEMS rate gyros designed for high vibration environments and I have high hopes for these as a suborbital capable IMU with very little external aiding.