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New team. SLI 2012. Project Diffusion. The effect of gravitational stress on the diffusion of liquids . Part 1A: Vehicle. Major Milestone Schedule. GANTT Chart. Mission Profile Chart. Event 3: Apogee at 17s, 5252ft. Coast. Drogue descent.

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Project diffusion

New team

SLI 2012


The effect of gravitational stress on the diffusion of liquids.

Project diffusion

Mission Profile Chart

Event 3:

Apogee at

17s, 5252ft


Drogue descent

Apogee prediction updated based on data from scale model flight (Cd=0.48):


Event 2:

Burnout at

2.24s, 1000ft

Event 4:

Main parachute deployment at

84s, 700ft

Event 5:

Landing at

110s, 0ft

Event 1:

Ignition at 0s, 0ft

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Vehicle Success Criteria

  • Motor ignition

  • Stable flight

  • Altitude of 5,280 feet AGL reached but not exceeded(most current prediction: 5252ft)

  • Both drogue and main parachute deployed

  • Vehicle returns to the ground safely with minimal damage

  • Safe recovery of the booster

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Vehicle Drawings

CP 83.1” from nosecone

CG 65.6” from nosecone

Static margin 3.2 calibers

Length 108”

Diameter 5.5”(body tube), 4”(booster)

Liftoff Weight 21.5 lb

Motor Aerotech K1050W

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Construction Materials

  • Body:5.5”/4.0” LOC Precision fiber tubing

  • Fins: 1/32” G-10 fiberglass + 1/8” balsa sandwich

  • Couplers: LOC Precision with stiffeners

  • Bulkheads, centering rings: 1/2” plywood

  • Motor mounts: 54mm Kraft phenolic tubing

  • Nosecone: Plastic nose cone

  • Rail buttons: standard nylon rail buttons

  • Motor retention system: Aeropack screw-on motor retainer

  • Anchors: 1/4" stainless steel U-Bolts

  • Epoxy: Locktite epoxy

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Motor Selection

  • We selected the AT-K1050W 54mm motor to propel our rocket to but not exceeding an altitude of 5280ft AGL

  • The AT-K1050W motor provides an appropriate thrust to weight ratio for our vehicle (9.8).

Mach delay of 4 seconds will be set on both deployment altimeters

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Altitude Profile

Apogee at: 5252ft, 17s

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Acceleration Profile

Max acceleration:

16 Gees

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Velocity Profile

Maximum velocity:

520 mph

Mach number: 0.72

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Ejection Charge Calculations


  • Wp - ejection charge weight [g]

  • dP - ejection pressure (15 [psi])

  • V - free volume [in3]

  • R - universal gas constant (22.16 [ft-lb oR-1 lb-mol-1])

  • T - combustion gas temperature (3,307 [oR])

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Calculated Ejection Charges

Charges will be finalized via static ejection tests. Tests carried out with the scale model indicated that average increase of 30% against calculated values may be needed for GOEX 4F powder.

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Verification Plan

  • Tested Components

  • C1: Body (including construction techniques)

  • C2: Altimeter

  • C3: Accelerometer

  • C4: Parachutes

  • C5: Fins

  • C6: Payload

  • C7: Ejection Charges

  • C8: Launch System

  • C9: Motor Mount

  • C10: Beacons

  • C11: Shock Cords and Anchors

  • C12: Rocket Stability

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Verification Plan

  • Verification Tests

  • V1 Integrity Test: force applied; verifies durability.

  • V2 Parachute Drop Test: tests parachute functionality.

  • V3 Tension Test: force applied to shock cords; tests durability.

  • V4 Prototype Flight: tests feasibility of vehicle with scale model.

  • V5 Functionality Test: tests basic functionality of device on ground.

  • V6 Altimeter Ground Test: simulate altitude changes; verifies preset altitude events fire.

  • V7 Electronic Deployment Test: tests that electronics ignite deployment charges.

  • V8 Ejection Test: tests that deployment charges can deploy parachutes/separate components.

  • V9 Computer Simulation: RockSim predicts behavior of launch vehicle.

  • V10 Integration Test: payload fits smoothly and snuggly into vehicle, and withstands flight stresses.

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Scale Model Launch Objectives

  • Test drogue and main parachute deployment

  • Test flight electronics (altimeters and ejection charges)

  • Test separation of body tubes at ejection

  • Test validity of simulation results

  • Test rocket stability

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Scale Model Launch Results

  • Apogee- 2181ft

    • Rocksim prediction 1900ft

Calculated Cd :


Apogee for full scale vehicle (Cd=0.48): 5252 ft

  • Time to apogee- 13s

  • Apogee events

    • Drogue deployment

  • Main event

    • Main parachute deploys at 700ft

Main parachute deployed at apogee and drogue at 700 ft (wiring error)

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Scale Model Measured Descent Rate

  • On main parachute (from apogee): 21 ft/s

  • After drogue deployment (700 ft): 21 ft/s

Due to the error in wiring, the main parachute was deployed by the apogee event and drogue parachute by the set-altitude (700ft) event. We have added a test to our preflight routine to prevent this problem from reoccurring.

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Payload Summary

We will investigate the effects of acceleration and vibrations during flight on the diffusion of dye into liquids using digital imaging.

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Payload Objectives

  • Determine the effect of acceleration on the diffusion of dye into liquids

  • Determine the effect of vibrations on the diffusion of dye into liquids

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Payload Success Criteria

  • Collected data from the camera and accelerometers is accurate

  • Vessels containing liquid do not leak

  • Dye is injected into the liquid correctly

  • Images from camera are received

  • Acceleration is recorded

  • Payload is recovered

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Payload Assembly



Sealed Plexiglas vessel




Sealed petri dish




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Nikon AW100 Camera

  • Selection Rationale

  • Fits inside the payload chamber

  • Waterproof (in case of payload damage)

  • Minimum focus is 1cm (0.4”)

  • Full HD video 1920 x 1080 @ 30fps

  • Sufficient memory/battery capacity

  • Within the budget of our project ($300)

  • Robust design (designed for extreme sports)

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Integration of Payload Modules


Coupler Tube

Rocket Body

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Experiment Sequence

Launch and Boost

  • Dye is injected into the solution

  • Camcorder records the diffusion process

The experiment chamber is brightly lit using LEDs to prevent any exposure problems during recording

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Experiment Sequence

Coast and Apogee

The camcorder continues to record the diffusion process until the vehicle reaches apogee.

Accelerometer records acceleration data.

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Experiment Sequence

Data Analysis

The pictures taken during the flight are analyzed

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  • Preflight ground tests

    • Pictures of Petri dish from overhead camcorder

    • Water tank pictures from side view

Control Group (stationary)

Experimental Group

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  • Independent variables

    a Acceleration

    t Time after dye is released (flight time)

  • Dependent Variables

    R Rate of diffusion (diffusion front speed)

    P Pattern of diffusion (qualitative classification)

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  • R = f(a) Rate of diffusion in relation to acceleration

  • R = f(t) Rate of diffusion in relation to time after dye isreleased

  • P = f(a) Pattern of diffusion in relation to acceleration

  • P = f(t) Pattern of diffusion in relation to time after dye is released

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Image Analysis


Measure color saturation in each pixel

Boundary rectangle: X pixels by Y pixels

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Image Analysis

To quantify the results of our experiment, we have selected the following characteristics to measure. Computerized digital image analysis will be used and we expect to process over 7 billion pixels using a multicore Linux machine.

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Instrumentation and Measurement

  • We will use commercially available accelerometers and altimeters

  • The sensors will be calibrated

  • We will do extensive testing on the ground prior to the rocket launch

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Payload Verification Plan

Tested Components

  • C1: Camera

  • C2: Injection

  • C3: Diffusion Vessel

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Verification Plan

Verification Tests

  • V1 Basic Function Test: testing the main functions of the payload

  • V2 Leak Test: verifying that the vessels containing the liquid do not leak

  • V3 Battery Life Test: verifying that the battery life of the camera is long enough to take pictures during the entire diffusion process