Skip to main content Skip to navigation
Washington State University Aerospace Club

Electronics Update 2/2/15

Now that the IMU has been properly hooked up to the Arduino board progress has begun on programming the board. Data is being collected and is properly outputting to the serial monitor. A proof of concept has been programmed to simulate the signal used to ignite the ejection charge. Once the electronics system has detected a significant drop in altitude an LED lights up on the Arduino board to simulate the signal to eject the parachute.

Newest Update From the IREC Competition

1/23/15: Rocket Finding Information Updated

We have added some information regarding radio tracking of rockets. The Bridgerland Amateur Radio Club will support tracking of 900 MHz GPS transmitters (which do not require a ham license so you can use them anywhere)

More info at

Structures Update

It’s been a while since we have updated on the status of our structures group. This team’s purpose is to work on our rocket’s structures, flight dynamics, and Systems integration. This includes the analysis, design for manufacturing and construction of the rocket that we will use to compete in the 2015 IREC competition.

As of January we have creates flight models for stability and flight performance. These are to be verified with our first test flight. The working CAD model has been steadily making progress and will have pictures posted soon! We are currently in the process of getting parts ordered and performing testing on our composite body.

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)

Recovery Update 1/30/15

Recovery Team 1/30/15: has been and will again this weekend be testing recovery ejection charges out at the Pullman Rock Quarry. The 17th of January was our first time at the quarry testing and let’s just say we learned that we need to seal our fuselage better, re-drill sheer pin holes, limit the amount of entrances from the bulkhead to the electronics bay, use different ejection charges, and fill in old shear pin holes. This week, we have finished modifying the test stand, re-drilling holes, sealing holes, and modifying the actual connection for the igniter.


Rocket Launch One

Aerospace Club just finished testing it’s first round of rocketry. While these are still a long way from the rocketry we are going to need to send 10 pounds to 10,000 feet, they’re a first step along the journey. Members learned a lot about rocketry in this test, including the necessary steps to prepare a rocket, safety training, and the important items about rocket building. We ended up launching a total of seven rockets, five of which were B–6–4 and two of which were A–8– 3. The video of Kevin Cavender’s rocket is posted below for you to watch.


Happy Re-naming VCEA!



Aerospace Club was a big hit at the re-naming ceremony for the (now) Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture. We had a large display showing off all of our goods from baby rockets to the 18 foot wingspan of Genii. It was a blast to share our experiences with everyone at the event, and to be able to explain what our club does.

IREC Teams to be formed on Monday!

We will be forming the four system teams for the IREC competition on Monday. If you are interested in the competition, please contact us or show up to the meeting on Monday at 5:30. The four system divisions are:

1. Structures

2. Electronics

3. Recovery

4. Propulsion

Rocket Competition Found!

We have found the rocket competition that we feel is right for us, and it is the 10th Intercollegiate Rocket Engineering Competition put on by the Experimental Sounding Rocket Association. We plan to compete in the basic division, which will require us to design and construct a rocket that can carry a 10 pound payload as close to 10,000 feet as possible. Check out their website.