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>> Rocket flight data recorder

Mon, Apr 20th 11:02pm 2009: LunarNumbat

With too many things going on at the moment it's nice sometimes when one project fulfills multiple requirements. Lunar Numbat is about playing around with rockets. Practical Arduino is about playing around with Arduino. Put them together and you get:

Which is (obviously!) an Arduino-based rocket flight recorder.

The bottom board is an Arduino Pro Mini 5V/16MHz from Sparkfun. Sitting on top of it is a 433MHz transmitter module from Jaycar, and the circular PCB to the right is a Lilypad 3-axis accelerometer breakout board. To give some sense of scale the entire assembly is about the same dimensions as a 9V battery, so it's very small and light. You're looking at it lying on its "back": the plan is that it will mount vertically in the nosecone of the class-C rocket that Marco provided so that we can log accelerometer data from a launch. When fitted into the rocket the round accelerometer board sits flat in the bottom of the nosecone so the Z-axis reading will align perfectly with the direction of flight.

I have a 5Hz GPS module in-transit from Sparkfun at the moment too, so if that arrives in time I'll up the ante and try to get the system transmitting x/y/z force plus lat/lon/altitude every 200ms. If everything works out well we may even get a nice flight track from the location points.

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