Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Journey of the Rocket 01

Rockets! These have been one small activity in the "HiTechFromLoTech" project, the idea being to use our by now sweet combo of smartphone-bluetooth-arduino as rocket and model aircraft flight recorders possibly leading to flight control. 2 students picked this up as their project at the end of 2018 and they have done excellent work with it, to the point that "Rockets" may take over as the flagship or number one activity here.

Sun 11 Nov launch day with NZ Rocketry at their launch field on a farm was excellent value for my students and me. Thanks to everyone for making us welcome. Special thanks to Alex for his help and advice and for flying our smart-phone-as-flight-recorder experiment, Thanks also to Jim Hefkey and Tristan O'Hanlon of APSS for their help and encouragement. Some findings: The lowest cost smart phone, Vodafone VFD-300, ($39 on special) did take video and record data. Data recording rate was about 15 samples per second. Our altimeter graph is close to Alex's TeleMega result. GPS results are approximate and the GPS biggest achievement is to place us on the farm. The most accurate GPS result is for walking down the track with the recovered rocket. The smart phone is working well after its flight experience. Jasmin gets a programming hero award. The day before she upgraded the user interface and data recording stopped working. On Sunday, Clinton drove while Jasmin did extreme phone programming. She got data recording up and running again minutes before the launch. Graphs are by our data analysis student Li who has been digging up her high school physics knowledge to analyse this. Our next experiment will be to try using GSM 3G cellphone data networking to send data to Earth while the rocket is in flight.

Alex loading our student instrument package into his rocket

Student instrument package in place

Data collection - smartphone records data into its SQL-Lite database

Data Analysis done post-flight - "Journey of the Rocket" 

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