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PROJECT BAMBOO. Preliminary Design Review A Comprehensive Study of Healing of Fargesia Fungosa from Hypergravity Induced Damage. Part I: Vehicle. March 20 Two stage rocket test flight April 14 – 15 Rocket fair and safety check April 16 SLI launch Day. Major Milestone Schedule.

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Preliminary Design Review

A Comprehensive Study of Healing of Fargesia Fungosa from Hypergravity Induced Damage

March 20 Two stage rocket test flight

April 14 – 15 Rocket fair and safety check

April 16 SLI launch Day

Major Milestone Schedule


Mission Profile Chart

  • 1) Launch, First stage burn
  • 2) Stage separation
  • Sustainer burn
  • 2a) Booster apogee, parachute
  • deployment
  • Sustainer apogee, drogue
  • deployment
  • 5) Sustainer descends under drogue
  • 3a) Booster touchdown
  • Sustainer main deployment, descent
  • 7) Sustainer touchdown
Stable launch of the vehicle

Target altitude of one mile reached

Smooth stage separation

Second stage ignition

Proper deployment of all parachutes

Safe recovery of the booster and the sustainer

Vehicle Success Criteria


Entire Vehicle

  • CP134” (from nosetip)
  • CG105” (from nosetip)
  • Static Margin9.2 calibers


Diameter 3”

Liftoff weight29 lb (13 kg)

MotorsCTI Pro54 J1055-Vmax (booster),

CTI Pro54 K2045-Vmax (sustainer)



  • CP93” (from nosetip)
  • CG71” (from nosetip)
  • Static Margin7.1 calibers


Diameter 3”

Liftoff weight16.5 lbs (7.5 kg)

Motor CTI Pro54 K2045-Vmax

Fins: 1/8” G10 fiberglass mounted TTW

Body: fiberglass tubing, fiberglass couplers

Bulkheads: 1/2”plywood

Motor Mounts: 54mm phenolic tubing, 1/2” plywood centering rings

Nosecone: commercially made plastic nosecone

Rail Buttons: Large nylon rail buttons

Motor Retention system: Aeropack screw-on motor retainer

Anchors: 1/4” stainless steel U-Bolts

Epoxy: West System with appropriate fillers

Construction Materials

Wp - ejection charge weight in pounds.

dP - ejection charge pressure, 15psi

V - free volume in cubic inches.

R - combustion gas constant, 22.16 ft-lbf/lbm R for FFFF black powder.

T - combustion gas temperature, 3307 degrees R

Ejection Charge Calculations

Wp = dP * V / (12 * R * T)


Calculated Ejection Charges

Ejection charges were verified by static testing. We are using Triple Se7en Pyrodex for ejection charges (the charges are wrapped to ensure proper pressurization).



Two main ejection charges

One separation charge

  • All ejection systems are independent and fully redundant
  • The sustainer is ignited by two redundant M-Tek e-matches with a pyrodex pellet
  • The igniters and separation charge are fired by PerfectFlite timers activated by a g-switch
  • The separation charge fires at booster burnout, 0.1 seconds before the sustainer ignition
  • All electronics and charges are redundant except for the separation charge

Two sustainer igniters

Two ejection charges

Two drogue ejection charges

Tested Components

C1: Body (including construction techniques)

C2: Altimeter

C3: Data Acquisition System (custom computer board and sensors)

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

C13: Second stage separation and ignition electronics/charges

Verification Plan

Verification Tests

V1 Integrity Test: applying force to verify durability.

V2 Parachute Drop Test: testing parachute functionality.

V3 Tension Test: applying force to the parachute shock cords to test durability

V4 Prototype Flight: testing the feasibility of the vehicle with a scale model.

V5 Functionality Test: test of basic functionality of a device on the ground

V6 Altimeter Ground Test: place the altimeter in a closed container and decrease air pressure to simulate altitude changes. Verify that both the apogee and preset altitude events fire. (Estes igniters or low resistance bulbs can be used for verification).

V7 Electronic Deployment Test: test to determine if the electronics can ignite the deployment charges.

V8 Ejection Test: test that the deployment charges have the right amount of force to cause parachute deployment and/or planned component separation.

V9 Computer Simulation: use RockSim to predict the behavior of the launch vehicle.

V10 Integration Test: ensure that the payload integrates precisely into the vehicle, and is robust enough to withstand flight stresses.

Verification Plan

Test rocket robustness and stage coupling

Test full deployment scheme

Test second stage ignition

Test validity of simulation results

Determine necessary altitude adjustments (ballast)

Full Scale Vehicle

Launch Objectives


Flight Data

Turbulence from motor explosion

Main ejection

Apogee event

Motor: J1299N

Apogee: 644 ft.

Time to apogee: 4.5 seconds

Apogee events: Drogue parachute ejection

Main Events: Main Parachute Ejection

Flight Results

AT-J1299N motor CATOed. The aft closure was expelled from the casing,

while the rest of motor advanced inside the rocket, destroying the fin assembly and damaging electronics bay.

Deployment electronics functioned flawlessly. Despite of the low flight apogee, both the drogue and main parachute fully deployed and the rocket sustained NO LANDING DAMAGE.



Measured Descent Rates

Unfortunately because of the low apogee, we have no data for the sustainer descent under the drogue parachute.


03/26: Upcoming Test Flight

We have another test flight scheduled for March 26th, 2011. We will provide updates to our FRR documentation as soon as we can process the data from this launch.

The rocket will fly in two stage configuration with final motor combination (CTI J1055Vmax in booster, CTI K2045Vmax in sustainer).

To investigate the effects of hypergravity on the growth, structural changes and healing of Fargesia Fungosa seedlings

Payload Objectives

Bamboo grown to specified length

Successful application of acceleration forces on bamboo

Undamaged payload

Reliable data from electronics

Maintain experimental controls

Successful post-flight analysis

Payload Success Criteria

Bamboo seeds planted in environmental chambers

Bamboo shoots grow

Modules placed in both booster and sustainer in two orientations

Temperature and humidity data continuously recorded in modules

Bamboo shoots in the booster and sustainer experience high gravitational forces vertically or horizontally

Samples collected each day and analyzed for changes in cell structure and growth patterns

Data tabulated and graphed after 3 weeks

Final report written

Experiment Sequence

Payload components are present in both the sustainer and booster sections and will remain there for the duration of rocket flight. To increase the ease of installation the payload modules will be linked together as one unit.

Integration Plan

A total of eight chambers, four chambers each for horizontal and vertical bamboo, will make up the payload. The first set will fly inside the booster section; the second, inside the sustainer.

Integration Plan





integration feasibility
Integration Feasibility

The payload meets size and weight constraints imposed by the vehicle, and will be able to withstand the stresses of rocket flight. The payload units can slide easily in and out of the rocket. There will be screws to hold the payload in place during flight.

The Structural System is the containment system for our payload. Each Environmental Chamber includes a Vessel, which holds the Biological System.

A 2.50 inch polycarbonate tube, the vessel will contain the Biological System of our payload.

Structural System

Inter-Payload Bulkhead

Tie Rods

Polycarbonate Tube


Biological System

  • FargesiaFungosawill be used as the bamboo species
  • After 1 week of growth, the bamboo will be flown for the experiment
The loam mixture will provide nutrients for the bamboo, as well as structural support.

Bamboo (FargesiaFungosa) are planted into the loam

The Loam Containment Unit will be used to contain the loam and the FargesiaFungosain the horizontally oriented chambers.

Biological System






Data Acquisition












Data Acquisition

  • Sampling Locations:
    • Light, humidity, and temperature sensors on each of the satellite boards in each environmental chamber
    • Accelerometers/altimeters in the electronics bay
  • Sampling Rate:
    • Light, humidity, and temperature are sampled at 1Hz frequency
    • Accelerometer samples at 100Hz with 8x oversampling
    • Altimeter samples at 100Hz with 8x oversampling

Data Acquisition

The payload will measure the temperature, humidity, and light inside each Environmental Chamber

Central flight computer will provide timeline, altitude and acceleration information

Central Board

ADC analog-digital converter

B pressure sensor

BATT battery

CPU microprocessor

C connector



H humidity sensor

L LED illumination

Ls light sensor

Pc power connector


Satellite Boards


Data Acquisition

  • Each environmental chamber has dedicated satellite board
  • Each set of 4 environmental chambers (1 in booster, 1 in sustainer) has dedicated payload computer
  • Each satellite board sends data to payload computer
  • Central computer logs data in non-volatile memory

Postflight Testing

Day 1: collect sample from plant #1 (leftmost), measure the aforementioned variables.

Day 2: collect two samples from plant #2, first sample from the section of the plant that grew during Day #1, second sample from the plant section that grew during Day #2. Carry out the same set measurement as in Day #1, however this time for each sampled section. Remove plant #2 from further observations.

Day 3: use plant #3, same procedure as Day #2, but three sections are sampled (Day #1 growth, Day #2 growth, Day #3 growth).

Plant 4

Day 4 Growth

Plant 3

Day 3 Growth

Plant 2

Day 2 Growth

Plant 1

Day 1 Growth

Independent Variables

A Acceleration

T Time elapsed after flight

Dependent Variables

G Bamboo growth

R Bamboo robustness

CR and CA Changes in cross section (radial and axial)

D Resulting plant density


Light Exposure

Bamboo Specimen

Growing Conditions

Testing Methods

Bamboo Orientation in Payload Chambers


Structural Correlations

G = f (A, T) Bamboo Growth

R = f (A, T) Bamboo Robustness

CR= f (A, T) Cross Section Changes (Radial)

CA= f (A, T) Cross Section Changes (Axial)

D = f (A, T) Resulting Density of Bamboo


Commercially available sensors will be used

Sensors will be calibrated

Extensive testing will be done on ground


and Measurement

Tested Components

C1: Vessel

C2: Inter-Payload Bulkhead

C3: Loam

C4: Fargesia Fungosa (Bamboo Seedlings)

C5: Loam Containment Unit

C6: Master Flight Computer Storage Subsystem

C7: Cable and Data Transfer

C8: Power Source

C9: Temperature Sensor

C10: Humidity Sensor

C11: Light Sensor

C12: Light Source


Verification Tests

V1. Drop Test

V2. Connection and Basic Functionality Test

V3. Humidity Sensor Test

V4. Temperature Sensor Test

V5. Durability Test

V6. Battery Capacity Test

V7. Final Test

Verification: Tests