Full System Flight Test:
- Premature ignition of nosecone ejection charges on launchpad
- Shorted/Damaged Processor
After the rocket was fully assembled and carried to the launch pad there was an unintended nosecone ejection. The electronics board was turned on just prior to this event. The intentions of activating the board was to see if the communication with the ground station was working. Three to Five seconds after board activation is when the ejection system was ignited.
As a team we initially thought the problem was due to the code and sensors being too sensitive. This is because the rocket was oriented horizontally and there was a large wind gust. This lead us to believe that the wind gust created a pressure gradient that made the rocket think it just went through an apogee situation and the horizontal orientation may have also triggered the minimum altitude threshold.
Solutions were to make the coding more robust and add in fail safes as well as replace the damaged processor.
The damaged processor was thought to be a product of pre-installation handling, however as described in Full System Flight Attempt 2, it was actually a product of Electrostatic buildup and discharge from sliding in the parachutes.
Flight Test consisted of
- Assembly of Rocket
- Assembly of Commercial motor
- Assembly of Electronics Board
- Insertion of Electronics into Rocket
- Filling of Tender Descender charge
- Insertion of Recovery System into Rocket
- Filling Ejection Charges
- Attaching Nosecone
- Inserting Rocket Motor
- Fastening Motor Retaining Ring
- Inserting Rocket into Launch Tower
- Motor Ignition