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Washington State University Aerospace Club

Payload Lead Wk 4-Dallas Chang “Update Finally”

Sorry for being so late with the updates. It’s been a hectic couple of weeks here but our orders are coming through and we finally have that good momentum going. Our payload module has come in and we will be measuring how long our tube needs to be before we cut it. Right now though, with nothing else in I decided to wait on it so that the rest of our products come in and if there needs to be any last minute changes. One of the things we are trying to do is find a way to internally cap off the ends of the tubes. There is a way to plug the pipe but the pipe plug we are thinking about is almost 5 inches think and that would take up a lot of much needed space. I was thinking about drilling some large threads and taking a PVC cap with the same outer diameter as the inner diameter of our tube so that we could screw them both together without taking up that much space. That would take away some of the material of the tube but, it shouldn’t be a problem I think.

The payload items, themselves have yet to come in. Right now it’s mostly been the computer parts that everyone finds really exciting so weight-wise it is not that heavy yet. Right now the altimeter, the GPS, and the vibrometer I know for sure are going to happen. Wireless telemetry  needs to be figured out a bit but nothing that we can’t overcome. The housing for the Go-Pro camera is being worked on by both Malique and I, but Malique has progressed a little farther along than I have in that regard.

We really do want to get some K-12 school kids involved but time has been tough to come by to swing by the local school to see how interested the kids are.

The electronics team that we were going to share some of the payload space with as been moved into the aluminum tube of the rocket. That does put them at a bit of a disadvantage for telemetry reasons and have had to compensate by moving some of their parts into the nose cone, but this rocket is still a work in progress, so I would be surprised if all of our plans turned out perfect the first time.

I need to come up with a payload check-list so that when the team heads down to Utah, we can check off all the things for the payload section before we send it up to record all the data and video we can. I’ll send that to Phil so we can compile all the check-lists together so that we have a giant master-list we can use before we send the rocket up. That seems to be everything that has happened these last few weeks, lots of hurrying up and waiting for parts to come. Until next time


“One test result is worth one thousand expert opinions.”- Wernher von Braun

Payload Lead Wk-3 Dallas Chang

Payload has been progressing well. The payload order was submitted and I am waiting to hear back what they think of my proposal.

My teammates Malique and Daniel are both doing well on their project ideas. As you can imagine balancing school and the aerospace activities takes full time commitment and we have been researching a lot before putting the money where our mouths are.

  • Malique has been working on the GPS/Altimeter device and came up with a new way to record the rocket’s path and that was through tracking. Not quite as comprehensive as GPS, cheaper to do, and allows a more unique way to know where the rocket is going. Tracking is something he brought up with me that is closely related to what the robotics team is doing and seems to be a good mix of having ready made parts and building it yourself.
  • Daniel is researching ways to record acceleration which has been easy to do, but most technologies try to factor out vibration with their recording instruments, so trying to find something to strictly record vibration has been hard to do. What it sounds like we would need to do is to set some accelerometer to a very high frequency and make it very sensitive to just small adjustments in movement. Still a working plan in progress though.
  • On my side, I’ve submitted the paperwork and hope that my payload gets paid and shipped real soon. I’ve found a very affordable way online through the instructuables website to make a Go-Pro camera holder. To add weight it looks like we might have to add several Go-Pro’s. I’ve been meaning to talk about my adding weight payload ideas with things like a ballast but haven’t found a good forum to bring it up yet. It may be best till we have a payload module to see how best to add weight to it before launch.

As always, this is just a snapshot of what’s been happening so far. I’ll be sure to keep you posted more regularly. Till, next week.

“If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading”
– Lao Tzu

Payload Lead-Dallas Chang Wk 2

Sorry for the late post but there’s been a lot going on.

First off, we have two more members to the Payload Team, bringing us to a total of 3 people. I decided that it would be best if we delegated the tasks to individuals instead of trying to all accomplish the same thing at the same time. But here’s the breakdown of responsibility

  1. Dallas – Getting the Payload Module and finding a way to add a Go-Pro inside to get some live action video of lift off and return
  2. Daniel – Researching a way to record both acceleration and vibration for the rocket
  3. Malique – Finding a way to get us a GPS unit that tracks as well as records altitude, a little altimeter action for the fans.

Another point of information is that the payload needs to weigh at least 10lbs so I thought if there was some way to add a ballast to the module, that could provide some dampening, that may translate out into better translational movement and cut any extra vibrations out of the rocket. Right now that is all just speculation and idea, it needs to be talked over with some of the other group leads before it actually gets done though.

I’m planning that at the end of the week we will have the payload module purchased and shipping, along with some progress on the research and electronics to get some good momentum going for the group. But I’ll let you know how it’s going in a week.

—-Dallas Chang, Payload Lead

“I think, at a child’s birth, if a mother could ask a fairy godmother to endow it with the most useful gift, that gift should be curiosity.”
– Eleanor Roosevelt

Payload Lead-Dallas Chang Wk 1

Payload guy here. It’s taken till 2nd semester but we have a list of payload ideas that people find acceptable and are actively working towards.

Possible Payload List of Ideas:

  1. Marshmallows, see how they stand up to G-Forces; fall out map
  2. Determine the relationship between altitude and temperature
  3. Fly various consumer electronics and see how they stand up to the forces.
  4. Construct a simple accelerometer and record the g-forces during flight.
  5. Construct a simple vibration detector and record vibration during flight
  6. Devices to protect a raw hen’s egg from breaking under the forces of acceleration and deceleration.
  7. Devices to protect a hard-boiled egg, including peanut butter and a non-Newtonian fluid (cornstarch and water).
  8. Tubes of shaving cream, cornstarch and water, jello, and some liquids stacked by density (alcohol, water, corn syrup, baby oil, cooking oil).
  9. A hand-held GPS unit which will record the flight data for subsequent analysis of altitude and flight track.

The team does seem to find the more electronic ideas more exciting but since the payload will need to be 10lbs, minimum, we will need to find a way to add some weight to the payload to meet the standard.

However, I am also doing the payload module, which has been the focus of my time this week. It’s important to find a tube that is made of a material that is not so brittle, with an emphasis on ductility/bend-ability. The point being that if the tube were to break under any circumstances, I would not want to have the tube break the rocket from the inside out. I would want tube to just bend under any inconsistencies that happen to pressure the tube during the rocket trajectory. But while communications are going on, I’ll try to find some project ideas to get going underway. Till, next week.

—-Dallas Chang, Payload Lead

“If my calculations are correct, when this baby hits 88 miles per hour… you’re gonna see some serious shit.”
-Doc Brown, Back To the Future (1985)