Basic Information

Name

Z-19

Launch date:

17 August, 2015

Rocket description

- 63.5mm aluminum airframe

- 4 fins, birch plywood, reduced span

- birch elliptical nosecone

- 3 ft. ellipsoidal parachute

Payload

- Raven altimeter

- Minicamcorder (HD)

- BRB900 GPS transmitter

- Smoke charge (med.output)

- Apogee Backup Timer

Liftoff mass

2.491 kg.

Flight objectives

- Assess medium output Smoke Charge

- Assess new Minicamcorder

- Assess new Apogee Backup Timer

 

Motor details

Motor name

Impulser

Propellant

KNSB

Grain mass

305 grams

Nominal impulse

359 N-sec

Class

I

 

Additional information

Smoke Charge for this flight is KNSB 65/35 O/F ratio (was 60/40). This is to increase smoke output rate to improve sighting. A new aft-facing minicamcorder is being flown for the first time. The model is SJ1000 with 12 megapixel HD image. A backup timer, intended to fire a pyro separation charge a few seconds after apogee, was designed and built. Although the Raven has proven to be highly reliable, achieving 100% reliability with regard to apogee separation in 18 flights, it was felt prudent to employ an independent backup system. This is in support of my “Avoid Complacency” directive.

 

Weather conditions

Temperature

18°C

Wind

NE 4 km/hr

Sky

Sunny with scattered clouds

Other

Humidity 65%

 

Launch Event Description

 Setup of the rocket once again went smoothly with no glitches. A checklist was used for this flight due to increased level of setup complexity. Raven confirmed all three pyro charges had continuity. A video camera was set up about 15 feet from the pad to capture liftoff from up close. After verifying the sky was clear, the countdown proceeded and at “zero” the rocket immediately came to life, rapidly accelerating skyward. The rocket ascended straight as an arrow, reached apogee and shortly after, the apogee pyro charge fired, as indicated by a bright smoke cloud. The rocket then free fell as expected, tumbling as it fell. The smoke trail was clearly visible and greatly aided tracking. At about 400 ft. altitude, pyro charge fired, producing a bright smoke cloud.  The parachute did not immediately deploy, and after free-falling for a few more seconds, chute suddenly deployed and fully blossomed. Rocket slowly drifted down to earth in a stable manner, landing about 10 seconds later in a nearby field. The rocket was soon recovered and appeared to be in great shape.

 

Flight Analysis

Event:

Time (sec)

feet

metres

Apogee

13.2

2590

789

Separation

14.2

2582

787

Main deployment

49.5

194

59

Touchdown

59.3

 

 

Range

 

356

109

Descent rates:

ft./sec.

m/sec.

 

Free-fall

69.7

21.2

 

Main parachute

17.5

5.3

 

 

Post-flight analysis and comments:

Post-flight examination confirmed that the rocket was in perfect shape after landing. The Apogee Backup Timer system appeared to work nominally, as pyro charge had fired.  The on-board video footage was very good, with excellent resolution, clarity and colour. The footage clearly showed that the rocket ascended in a very stable manner with no wobble. The medium output smoke charge produced a readily visible trail. Oddly, it burned a lot longer than expected, 37 seconds compared to the expected 24 seconds. The chute pyro charge needs to be slightly increased and more nosecone retaining tape is required to ensure reliable chute deployment.

 

Raven baro and accelerometer graph:                                                

Barometric and axial acceleration data                                                 Z-19\Z-19_Raven.jpg

BRB GPS tracking of flight                                                                         Z-19\Z-19_BRB_mapped.jpg

 

Photos:                                                                                                         

SJ1000 camcorder mounting                                                                    Z-19\DSCF3676a.JPG

                                                                                                                        Z-19\DSCF3675a.JPG

Apogee Backup Timer module                                                                  Z-19\DSCN0015a.JPG

                                                                                                                        Z-19\DSCN0017a.JPG

Propellant grains                                                                                         Z-19\DSCF3677a.JPG

Rocket on pad                                                                                              Z-19\DSCN0020a.JPG

Liftoff and ascent                                                                                        Z-19\Image3.jpg

                                                                                                                        Z-19\Image4.jpg

                                                                                                                        Z-19\Image5.jpg

Apogee smoke cloud and smoke trail                                                     Z-19\Image6.jpg

Rocket free-falling                                                                                      Z-19\Image7.jpg

                                                                                                                        Z-19\Image8.jpg

Parachute pyro charge fires                                                                      Z-19\Image9.jpg

Only shroud lines are extracted                                                                Z-19\Image11.jpg

Chute canopy finally deploys                                                                    Z-19\Image12.jpg

Parachute blossoms                                                                                    Z-19\Image13.jpg

                                                                                                                        Z-19\Image15.jpg            

Touchdown site                                                                                           Z-19\DSC00105a.JPG

Post-flight gathering of parts                                                                   Z-19\DSCN0023a.JPG

                                                                                                                       

Videos:                                                                                                         

Flight Z-18 (hand-held camera)                                                                 Z-19\Flight Z-19_sony.MP4

Liftoff (pad camera)                                                                                    Z-19\Z-19_pad_nikon.mp4

On-board camera (ascent phase of flight)                                             Z-19\Z-19 on-board_ascent.MP4