r7 - 26 Aug 2010 - 05:59:46 - LukeWestonYou are here: TWiki >  LunarNumbat Web > LNTaskClassGRockets

Task - Class G Rocket Launches

There are a number of people working on the hardware (rocket / avionics payload, telemetry), firmware and host software. Here's an overview of what is being undertaken (and roughly by who).

Class G rocket avionics / telemetry


This is the first-generation prototype ARTEMIS telemetry / instrumentation board we have designed and built. This board plugs into an Arduino MEGA (pictured) as a shield; it does not contain its own microcontroller. Telemetry is transmitted via an XBee module (2.4 GHz, 1-2 mW). This is not very powerful, but for the limited altitude we have flown to so far, this is sufficient.


This is an example of an Aerotech ARCAS HV model rocket; an example of the same model rocket we have used to fly this payload so far. This is a mid-to-high powered rocket, typically flown on a 'G' motor, or thereabouts.

(By "Class G rocket", what we mean is a hobby rocket of a size consistent with (typically) the use of "G" impulse class rocket motors. This is a simple, rough metric we can use to describe the size of a hobby rocket, in terms of the motor it typically flies on. Both single-use disposable motors and reloadable APCP motor systems can be found in this impulse range.)

Planning session for Class G rocket avionics and audio / video

ARTEMIS: Arduino Rocket Telemetry Module and Instrumentation System

General discussion Avionics details list {LukeW} Avionics schematics {LukeW} Artemis code & Hardware pinouts {LukeW} Power charging schematic ... NEED TO FIND URL or EMAIL ATTACHMENT {LukeW}

Hardware: Overview

  • Arduino
  • Sensor board(s)
  • Audio / Video
  • Telemetry
  • Power
  • Chassis
  • Consider Class C retro-fit

Hardware: To Do {MikeB,LukeW}

  1. Check Arduino pin usage {????}
  2. Definite hardware specifications
    1. Communications (ZigBee ?), storage (DataFlash versus SD card ?)
  3. Assemble hardware in one place {AndyG}
  4. Triage for hardware decisions, what will be flight ready ?
  5. Hand-over to {MikeB}

Hardware: Payload packaging

  • Rigid in flight
  • Accessible, easy to install and remove
  • Testable outside of rocket
  • Weight minimized
  • Avoid shielding telemetry transmission
  • Strength, survive crash landing
  • Mounting resilience
  • What if payload lost, find how ?

Firmware: Sensor Board(s)

  • Communications, e.g. ZigBee mount [serial] {PeteY,AndyG}
  • Storage [SPI] {PeteY,AndyG}
  • Accelerometer / Gyro (6DoF) [analog x 3, serial] {JonO,AndyG}
  • Pressure sensor [SPI] {JonO,AndyG}
  • Temperature sensor [1wire] {AndyG}
  • Light sensor (LDR) [analog] {JonO}
    • Roll-rate and parachute deploy sensor
  • Real-time clock [1wire] {AndyG}
  • Power bus monitoring [analog] {SamS}
  • GPS [nmea-serial] {JonO}
  • VirtualWire [serial pins x 2] {AndyG}
  • Current sensor [analog] {SamS}

Software: Aiko framework {PeteY}

  • Easy install / update - Linux ?
  • Testing: reliable, e.g. real-time timing
  • "Aiko-ize" each device, e.g. LCD, 1-wire temperature sensor, RTC
  • Determine device sample rates ? Attach time-stamp
  • Telemetry -> Storage, after launch -> Upload to host
  • Telemetry -> Communications, determine sample rate
  • Data ...
    • Launch start / end (button press or 2-way ZigBee communications ?)
    • Checksum data, calculated by Arduino
    • Checked by host
    • Generated every "n" records
  • Self-testing: Check-list, provide status, how ?
  • Bench testing: Simulated (switches, potentiometer, signal generator)
  • Test firmware and host software
  • Software test using existing Class C rocket {JonO}
  • Simulate using Test Arduino (generate inputs) -> Rocket Arduino

Software: Miscellaneous

  • GPS -> RTS -> "millis()"
  • Aiko error handling
    • Fatal error code -> provide failure status
    • Non-fatal error code -> ?
  • Use 2 person triangulation during launch to check maximum altitude
Topic attachments
I Attachment Action Size Date Who Comment
jpgjpg RicArcs4.jpg manage 54.7 K 26 Aug 2010 - 05:45 LukeWeston  
jpgjpg artemis-shield-small-annotated.jpg manage 78.3 K 26 Aug 2010 - 05:44 LukeWeston  
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