Blayone Rocket Project

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ARCH

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Dash

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Bone

Goal

The main goal of the Blayone Rocket Project is to create a model rocket that successfully launches itself into the air, maintains a stable flight pattern on its ascent, and is able to deploy the parachute systems when returning to earth.  The Blayone Rocket Project will be successful when all the factors mentioned above have been completed.

Overview

The Blayone Rocket Project also known as BRP, is at its heart, a project focused on learning the life of an engineer. It is about learning how to take something from a concept and create a real product, like an engineer would. The goal of BRP is to create a model rocket that accurately models the characteristics of its full-size counterpart. More specifically, the relatively slow and stable assent seen by rockets such as the Falcon 9 by SpaceX.

The vast majority of model rockets that you can buy in kits contain a rocket that weights almost nothing and when launched goes up into the sky with extreme speeds. The only system guiding the rocket is fins on the outside of the rocket to keep the rocket pointed up during the flight. This is much different than real space launch vehicles which slowly ascends and builds speed over time.

The plan for BRP is to create, from scratch, a different type of model rocket which uses electronics to control the direction of thrust from the motor of the rocket in order to stabilize a slow rising motor to accurately model real space launch vehicles. This ability to control the direction of thrust is called Thrust Vector Control, also known as TVC.  The TVC is the way that a rocket is able to maintain stability and guide itself to orbit or even guide it to land on a ship in the ocean in the case of the Falcon 9. While the process of controlling the direction of thrust in a rocket has been around for many decades, the use of Thrust Vector Control at the low power model rocket scale has only been utilized very recently.

To accomplish the goal of controlling a model rocket in this way poses a complicated engineering problem, which BRP will be solving with three different parts that all work together: Arch, Dash, and Bone. First, Arch is a flight computer that contains the necessary hardware to sense the rockets angle and acceleration relative to the ground, the altitude, and the temperature of the rocket in order to stabilize and guide a model rocket straight up. Second is Dash, which is the model rocket that will use Arch to control the TVC mount and the parachute systems built into Dash. Finally, we have Bone, which is the launchpad used to launch Dash from. With these three parts, BRP will build a model rocket that more accurately resembles the real thing compared to a traditional model rocket.

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