Sunday, February 3, 2013

All New Water Rocket Axial Parachute Deploy System Test Flight Video

We have uploaded a new video to the U.S. Water Rockets Channel on YouTube. The video documents one of the test flights we conducted to validate the new U.S. Water Rockets Axial Deploy Parachute Recovery System. This new system is very easy to make and can be powered by a Tomy Timer, an Air Flap, or as in this video, we used a MSP430 Launchpad based ServoChron™ servo timer because we needed to have precise control of the deploy time.

The object of this test was to confirm that the new deploy system was robust and powerful enough that it would function properly even when the rocket was moving at high speed. This situation can occur if the parachute time delay is miscalculated and the parachute is initiated while the rocket is still on the way up, or is coming down already. A high speed deploy can also potentially happen if the rocket does not reach the intended altitude, or deviates from the predicted flight path. 

To simulate the worst-case scenario of a high speed deploy, the B-1A test rocket was launched at a steep angle on a ballistic trajectory, and the ServoChron™ timer was programmed to initiate the parachute deploy 2.5 seconds after apogee. By intentionally initiating a late deploy on a ballistic rocket, this flight would prove the new deploy system design was a success. For this flight we used three onboard cameras to record the flight test for later analysis in the event something went wrong.

Click the links below for the related construction plans:
U.S. Water Rockets Axial Deploy System Construction Tutorial
ServoChron Servo Parachute Recovery Timer Quick Start Guide and Construction Page

For many other construction tutorials and water rocket articles, visit:

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