NERO Launch Day 20-09-2013

Second launch day of the rather packed 2013 season. I was unable to launch any rockets since the booster of the DECA V 2-stage rocket is still missing. Flying a single stage DECA rocket would not bring anything new. However I did an exiting new motor project with LD and static tested this motor at the NLD 2013-2. LD kindly provide his valuable time, skills and  to machine this new 90mm KNSB motor.

The launch rail got an upgrade from LD after the issues we encounters last time when erecting the rail. He mounted the rail on a trailer and in combination with a winch and an A-frame he was able to single handedly raise the tower. Of course we helped him a bit along the way monitoring the guywires but a big thank you to LD for making this possible. Due to this upgrade / modification we were able to fulfill our intension of raising the launch rail on Thursdays every next launch day.

The weather on Friday started out with pretty miserable conditions: rain & wind – deja vu 2004 – but the forecast predicted that the rain would clear by the end of the morning, temperature was  about 16° Celsius and only before or during the occasional shower the wind picked up. The launch rail was set at 10° azimuth and 80° elevation to equalize the drift under parachute of the Westerly wind of 5m/s. The Navro and Dare were on the other side of the launch area with several CanSat launcher and heaps of pre-university students. The DARE ran the CanSat launches with military precision and had many successful launches this campaign. Two NERO rockets were scheduled to be launched as well as one static KNSB motor test.

The H13e was first up and saw an added electronic payload section. Thereby making it 1,2 kg more heavier than the H13d flight. With the limited 2000Ns from the Thrust motor apogee simmed around 950m. After a quick count down the hefty 12,8kg rocket leaped out of the rail with the usual spectacular short roar. After the seconds were counted down no audible “bang”  from the pyro bolt at apogee could be heard. The skies were searched for parachutes put soon confirmation from the NAVRO was received that the rocket had crashed and could be seen sticking in the field wrong side up.

LD brought along the XOC rocket. Now I know where the name came from. It’s sort of an acronym for Exocet – the French anti-ship missle. Packed with loads of electronic experiments in the nose cone it flew as planned although I have no further particulars details about this flight.

Static test of the new KILO 4 grain KNSB motor did not went without hick ups. Due to a driver conflict after a service pack update we were unable to record any data from the test bench. After some tinker time we decided to test the motor anyway and record the voltage output by filming the Fluke multimeter display with a Gopro. This actually worked better than anticipated. The smoke plume was reflected in the display which helped us to determine the time of ignition of the motor. Refresh rate was about 4Hz all put into an excel file and a nice thrust curve was derived from that 20130920 – Thrust curve 90 mm motor . More details on the KILO 4 grain KNSB motor can be found here.