Experimental Rocket Air Braking System
This project was started by Longhorn Rocketry Association's Experimental sub team and I aided with the support electronics hardware to drive the high power servo motor, as well as the main sensor data acquisition center used for the feed back loop. The idea behind this project was to create a system to slow down the rocket during flight very precisely in order to control apogee altitude. This system would be implemented in the 2019 Spaceport America Cup as a method of controlling the altitude reached on our hybrid rocket.
The first test was conducted using a wind tunnel to which you can see the drastic affect these fin protrusions make in terms of converting the laminar air flow into a turbulent flow. In practice this would provide the ability to slow down the rocket.
All of the mechanical design of this project was done by members of LRA's experimental team. It was designed in Solidworks, and then manufactured using the Texas Inventionwork's Carbon Fiber/Nylon 3D printers. All other components were then fastened together though the use of nuts and bolts. Provided is the iterative mechanical design process:
Requirements of the Air Braking Board:
- Use of the Teensy 3.6 Microcontroller
- High Power Stepper Motor Driver Circuit
- Motor Encoder Circuit
- Altimeter, Barometric Pressure Sensor (MPL3115A) @ 20Hz Sampling Rate
- High G Accelerometer (ADXL377) @ 20Hz Sampling Rate
- Inertial Measurement Unit (LSM9DS1) @ 10Hz Sampling Rate
- Support of 2 Commercial Flight Computer Altitude (Perfect Flite Strattologger CF) @ 20 Hz
- SD Card Storage Capabilities
Air Braking Board Code