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Preliminary Design Review “Analysis of Atmospheric Cosmic Radiation Distribution as a Function of Altitude”. Steven Schroeder-Program Manager Damon Emerson- Rocket design Thomas Loughlin-Payload Andy Holm- Construction Gregory Katsaros- Audio Visual Nick Yuan- Safety

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Preliminary Design Review

“Analysis of Atmospheric Cosmic RadiationDistribution as a Function of Altitude”

Steven Schroeder-Program Manager

Damon Emerson- Rocket design

Thomas Loughlin-Payload

Andy Holm- Construction

Gregory Katsaros- Audio Visual

Nick Yuan- Safety

Robert Forzano- Outreach/Publicity

Chris Jardine- Communications

Navin Kalluri- Communications

Mr. Lynch- Head Mentor

Mr. D. Laney, mentor

Mr. M. Loughlin mentor

St. Thomas High School, Houston, TX




•Mission Statement and Goals

•Launch Vehicle and Payload Summary

•Vehicle Body System

•Propulsion System

•Recovery System

•Payload System

•Payload Experiment

•Planning of System Tests


•Budget and Outreach


Mission Statement and Goals

Mission Statement

Our mission is to supply accurate data about cosmic radiation by building a safe and functioning rocket that can provide ample time for data collection.


•Reach an altitude of one mile.

•Payload records data on ionizing radiation.

•Both parachutes deploy at predetermined altitudes.

•Land within one square mile.

•Rocket retrievable with payload intact.

•Shed light on radiation variation with altitude.


Launch Vehicle, Payload Summary


Length – 105.295” Gross liftoff Weight: 23.078 lb.

Diameter - 5.54” Stability Margin – 1.97

Motor – K560W Launch System - 1.5”x1.5” (10’)


Drogue – 28” at Apogee

Main – 120” at 1500 ft.

Payload Experiment Summary:

Measure levels of cosmic radiation with altitude through the use of a plastic scintillator probewhose data will be correlated with time and altitude.



Vehicle Body





Vehicle Body System

•Modified LOC Precision Magnum 3e

•Three Body Tubes (5.40”- size needed for payload)

Lower (31”) – K560W, Main, G10 Fins, Camera

Middle (28”) – Payload Bay

Upper (11”) – Drogue Chute, Canards

•Nose Cone (21”)

GPS Transmitter

(2) Propulsion System

•Motor: Aerotech K560W

•Thrust / Weight: 22.08 N/lb

•Velocity off Launch Rod: 59.03 ft/s

•Rail Length: 120 in.

•Burn Time: 4.97 s


(3) Recovery System

Drogue Chute

• 28” LOC Precision

•Deployed at apogee (18.51 s)

•Perfectflite Dual Deployment Altimeter

Main Chute

•120” LOC Precision

•Deployment at 1500 ft (69.97 s)

•Perfectflite Dual Deployment Altimeter


•Landing at 137.75 s

•Landing Velocity:-18.02 ft/s(V); 10.90 ft/s(H); 21.06 ft/s(M)

(4)Payload System

Within Middle Body Tube

•Bay #1 - Circuit Board, Scintillator Probe

•Bay #2 - Two Altimeters – Linked to ejection charges at either end of Payload Bay.

Within Nose Cone

•GPS Transmitter

Outside of Lower Body Tube

•Video camera


Payload Experiment


After consideration of the effects due to terrestrial radiation, we expect the altitude of minimum radiation to be approximately 700 ft.

Of particular interest is the non-monotonic region in the graph of the data from our previous experiment. We expect terrestrial radiation may be scattered or reflected by the atmosphere


Payload Experiment


(1) Radiation will be measured using scintillator probes which are much more sensitive to gamma radiation than Geiger Mueller tubes and can give as a more accurate picture of how radiation is distributed with altitude.

(2) Radiation levels are suggested to be associated with changes in atmospheric conditions (such as cloud formation and global warming; chlorine production and ozone depletion)

(3) Radiation levels are linked to the breakdown of DNA in organic tissue and so merit further study.


Planning of System Tests

•Payload – Scintillator probe:

(a) consistency of data collection,

(b) background counts,

(c) isolation of ray sources.

•GPS – Locality tracking.

•Recovery – Ejection charges and chute deployment. Safety and RF Signals.

•Propulsion – (a) Inspection of parts

(b) assembly supervision.

•Vehicle – Scale model launch.

•Camera – Video testing.


Safety Plans

Prior to each project phase:

Review system risks and mitigations.

Review Safety Codes.

Pass test on Safety Procedures.

Sign Safety Statement.


Budget and Outreach


Current major purchases

• LOC Precision Magnum 3-E kit with plastic fins $291

• Payload materials (scintillator, photomultiplier tube, casing, and accessories) $400

Subtotal $691

Imminent Purchases

• Recovery System and motor $500

• Remaining payload components $500

Subtotal $1000


• Continued exploration of fund raising strategies.

• We helped boy scouts earn their space exploration merit badges by providing information on space exploration and by helping the boys build and successfully launch the rockets on our baseball field.