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USLI Flight Readiness Review. Harding University Flying Bison 2010 USLI Rocket Team. Harding Flying Bison Team. Team made up of 16 members with diverse educational backgrounds: Greg Libby Elizabeth Hunter Matt G. April Josh Lisa Darah Chi Patrick Matt I. Meredith Cortney Shailer

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usli flight readiness review

USLI Flight Readiness Review

Harding University Flying Bison 2010 USLI Rocket Team

harding flying bison team
Harding Flying Bison Team

Team made up of 16 members with diverse educational backgrounds:

Greg Libby Elizabeth

Hunter Matt G. April

Josh Lisa Darah

Chi Patrick Matt I.

Meredith Cortney Shailer



Seven Divisions

Airframe Greg, Mgr.

Motor Matt G., Mgr.

Science Payload Darah, Mgr.

Avionics Chi, Mgr.

Launch Operations Matt I., Mgr

Recovery Patrick, Mgr.

Outreach Elizabeth, Mgr.

Team Official & Safety Officer Ed

Project Progress Cortney

mission statement
Mission Statement
  • Design, build, test and fly a hybrid rocket
  • Achieve an altitude of exactly 1.00 mile
  • Measure gamma radiation as a function of altitude
  • Measure temperature and pressure
  • Measure x-, y-, z- acceleration during flight
  • Done safely with no injuries, no damage to property
  • Rocket recovered without damage

Length 93.55 inches 7.5 feet

Diameter 4.09 inches

Span Diameter 14.09 inches

Estimated Mass 241.39 ounces15.03 pounds


Center of Pressure 72.22 in

Center of Gravity 55.0 1in

Margin of Stability4.30 body calibers over stable

scale model test competition rocket test
Scale Model Test & Competition Rocket Test

We were not able to do a scale model test as planned because some key supplies were missing.

We found out in the process that our ignition system has become defective.

We are purchasing a new unit.

We plan our full scale test on 21 March 2010.

thrust to weight motor selection in flight simulation
Thrust to weight motor selection in flight simulation

Average Thrust = 896 N

Mass 241.39 g + 4173 g = 4.414 kg

Weight = 43.31 kg

Thrust to weight ratio = 20.7

rail exit velocity
Rail Exit Velocity

Launch guide length: 94.0000 In.

Velocity at launch guide departure: 77.2523 ft/s

The launch guide was cleared at : 0.203 Seconds

User specified minimum velocity for stable flight: 43.9993 ft/s

Minimum velocity for stable flight reached at: 31.0498 In.

parachute sizes and descent rates
Parachute sizes and descent rates
  • Drogue is a 24” Classic II Sky Angle Parachute
  • P: Drogue Parachute Deployed at : 18.384 Seconds
  • Velocity at deployment: 7.3339 ft/s
  • Altitude at deployment: 5678.14961 Ft.
  • Main is a SkyAngle CERT-3 Large.
  • P: Main Parachute Deployed at : 119.385 Seconds
  • Velocity at deployment: 47.5640 ft/s
  • Altitude at deployment: 799.99344 Ft.
test plans and procedures
Test plans and procedures

Tensile strength tests run for:

Shock cord – 3/8 in. Kevlar

U-Bolts – ¼ in diameter

Knots – Bowline

Bulk plates/coupler

failure at 1000 lbf
Failure at 1000 lbf

Tests stopped after Kevlar cord began to fray at 961 lbf at the knot

The Kevlar shock cord would not have separated until more force applied

further required testing
Further Required Testing

Full scale flight test - planned for 21 March 2010

Dual deployment avionics test test - planned for 21 March 2010

Ejection charge amount test test - planned for 21 March 2010

Payload integration feasibility – Payload is fully integrated into the rocket

  • Science payload consists of:
    • Flight computer number 1
    • Flight computer number 2
    • Embedded microcomputer system
    • Radiation counter
    • Temperature sensor
    • Pressure sensor
    • x-, y-, z- accelerometers
    • Battery power supply
  • Science instruments, flight computers, recovery transmitter and batteries fit inside 3.78 in diameter by 12.0 inch long phenolic coupler tube
  • Switches ,status LEDs, computer connectors mounted on ring in the middle of the coupler
  • Science Payload Objectives.
  • Test and calibrate a Geiger-Mueller radiation counter
  • Interface Geiger counter to embedded controller to operate the instrument and collect and store the data.
  • Test the complete instrument mounted in the airframe using laboratory alpha, beta and gamma radiation sources.
  • Test and calibrate pressure sensor
  • Test and calibrate a temperature sensor
  • Test and calibrate a low sensitivity and a high sensitivity 3-axis accelerometer
  • State the payload success criteria

Payload success will be achieved if all the sensors perform satisfactorily and data from each is collected and stored in the on-board computer memory.


Side profile of science payload with circuit boards and batteries mounted


Contrail Rockets Certified K-888-BM Hybrid Motor

Diameter of motor 75 mm

Length of Motor 40.0 inches

Nozzle medium

Fuel Grain Used Black Smokey


Exit end of nitrous tank showing fill and overfill lines


Ignition -- Pyrodex Pellets Ignited with Resistors


Tripoli Rocketry Association, Inc., Certification


The recovery subsystem is composed of the following components:

  • PerfectFlite MiniAlt/WD to measure and store altitude and deploy drogue and main parachutes.
  • DT2x Data Transfer Kit for connecting MiniAlt/WD to computer
  • G-Wiz MC-2.0 Flight Computer to provide redundant backup of the PerfectFlite
  • Nine pin female to female cable with subminiature D connectors to connect G-Wiz MC-2.0 to computer
  • Software to download data from G-Wiz
  • Ejection charges with electric matches to deploy parachutes
  • SkyAngle Main Parachute with 57 square feet
  • SkyAngle Drogue Parachute with 6.3 square feet
  • Shock cord – to be determined
  • Walston Retrieval System with Rocket Transmitter, 3-Channel Receiver, and 3-element Antenna
avionics dual deployment avionics test
AvionicsDual Deployment Avionics Test
  • Test planned for 21 March 2010

PerfectFlite MiniAlt/WD Official USLI Altimeter and Flight Computer


G-WIZ MC-2 Backup Altimeter and Flight Computer

launch operations
Launch Operations
  • We plan to assemble the motor ahead of time, so that all we have to do is load the nitrous
  • Draft Launch Plan in Appendix A in CDR, Page 29
recovery ejection charge amount test
RecoveryEjection Charge Amount Test
  • Test planned for middle of 21 March 2010
  • Walston Retrieval System for Rocket Locating
  • SkyAngle 24 in for Drogue
  • SkyAngle Large Cert-3 for Main

We gratefully acknowledge support from

NASA/Arkansas Space Grant Consortium

A part of the National Space Grant Program