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  • How to follow a rocket in flight???

    Some friends and I have this project of sending a man 100 km into space with a home made rocket.

    And yes I know it sounds crazy.



    This august we are planning to test launch of the rocket up to a height of 40 km.

    The problem I have is the following. We need to film the flight and the separation of rocket and spaceship.

    Not taking optics into account, any one got any idea of how to track an object at a distance of 30-40 km?

    We prefer an home made option, or something cheap. Building rockets isn't cheap ;)




    Mission Control



    Spaceship Tycho Brahe

    More about our project here.
    www.Copenhagensuborbitals.com

    Ad Astra
    Jev
    Last edited by Jevski; 03-17-2010, 11:59 AM.

  • #2
    Re: How to follow a rocket in flight???

    I don't know anything about, but umm....ya, you're right. I think you're a wee bit nuts.

    But in a nice way.

    Honest!


    Comment


    • #3
      Re: How to follow a rocket in flight???

      Holy crap, that dude in the last pic is a spitting image of my older brother! Is that you Jevski?
      |TG-6th|Snooggums

      Just because everyone does something does not mean that it is right to do.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: How to follow a rocket in flight???

        Can you put a GPS receiver on the rocket and transmit the position data back via a radio transmitter? That would be a pretty inexpensive option. Or if you only need to track the rocket in azimuth and elevation from ground without knowing the complete trajectory you could just apply camera alignment corrections from optically tracking the rocket in the video feed.

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        • #5
          Re: How to follow a rocket in flight???

          foxbat sounds smart, do that
          doYouEvenLuftwaffe

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          • #6
            Re: How to follow a rocket in flight???

            ask the local national airforce for help, see if they will let you fly in HA bomber and film lol

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            • #7
              Re: How to follow a rocket in flight???

              Originally posted by foxbat View Post
              Can you put a GPS receiver on the rocket and transmit the position data back via a radio transmitter? That would be a pretty inexpensive option. Or if you only need to track the rocket in azimuth and elevation from ground without knowing the complete trajectory you could just apply camera alignment corrections from optically tracking the rocket in the video feed.
              If your going straight up, your lat and lang is going to be fairly similar.. Plus the idea is that they film it seperate, which that won't do.

              How about building 2 rockets that film eachother? :)
              BF3 Soldier: DrSparky



              "Cum bellum clamavit, respondivi"

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              • #8
                Re: How to follow a rocket in flight???

                Some missiles use an IR flare attached to help the operators track them. Perhaps, an IR flare/natural IR signature of the rocket could be used with a passive IR receiver linked to the camera's actuators?

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                • #9
                  Re: How to follow a rocket in flight???

                  is it possible to use some sort of tracking software similar to what you see on FLIR cameras to track targets for hellfire missiles?
                  Alternatively, maybe you could use something like this, just more precise?


                  edit: in fact, adding to Sam Hoy's idea, just use a high contrast IR camera similar to what's used in TrackIR and it can home in on the rocket's flame then use a second camera attached to the same rig with the proper optics to film the detachement.

                  edit2: or you could ask the local military to fly an apache inverted while they film with their super duper FLIR! lol


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                  • #10
                    Re: How to follow a rocket in flight???

                    You may be able to get the precision you need if you get a motor and gear it down heaps with worm gears. Or maybe use a linear actuator and use some kind of linkage to scale down the motion. You will need angular resolution of something like 0.001 deg.

                    If you do optical tracking, one issue you may have is the software not knowing which target to track once separation occurs. This could be difficult to solve as the rocket and spaceship will be heading in similar directions initially after separation.

                    Another issue to consider is what kind of control laws to use in driving the camera's actuators. I think you would need to take the angular position error and apply camera velocity corrections rather than position corrections. I think this is called a second order control system. If you don't do this the camera may not be able to keep up with the rocket.

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                    • #11
                      Re: How to follow a rocket in flight???

                      Thx for the ideas, we solved the problem in the easy way.

                      We got a company who builds millitary radar to track it. Linked up with their radar they have a Hi def kamera with tons of zoom also.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: How to follow a rocket in flight???

                        I am watching your project with interest, good luck.
                        Do or do not, there is no try....
                        -- Yoda, Dagobah

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: How to follow a rocket in flight???

                          Originally posted by foxbat View Post
                          You may be able to get the precision you need if you get a motor and gear it down heaps with worm gears. Or maybe use a linear actuator and use some kind of linkage to scale down the motion. You will need angular resolution of something like 0.001 deg.
                          Gears are bad. You have backlash to worry about. (Belts would be even worse.) Better to use an optical encoder tied to the motion system. Then you're reading actual position, not commanded position. Here's a company that makes good encoders:

                          http://www.heidenhain.com/

                          How are you steering the rocket? These should also be good for that, giving you feedback about the angle of the gimbals.
                          Dude, seriously, WHAT handkerchief?

                          snooggums' density principal: "The more dense a population, the more dense a population."

                          Iliana: "You're a great friend but if we're ever chased by zombies I'm tripping you."

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                          • #14
                            Re: How to follow a rocket in flight???

                            Semi Necro but look who's having some recent successes :)

                            http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/20...le+Feedfetcher

                            PS. Jevski, what would it take to fly the TG logo into space ?

                            |

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                            • #15
                              Re: How to follow a rocket in flight???

                              Yes we did succed. Not as high as we wished, but still.

                              I was sitting in a boat 400 meters away when it launched, and I cant find the words to describe the experience.

                              We didnt get as high as we had wanted. Due to a low angle trajectory shorty after launch we had to shut it down, other wise it would have left the area assigned to us.

                              Here is a little movie from the launch

                              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K7YZp...ayer_embedded#!

                              On another note, we are among the finalists in the space category in The world technology Adward among other finalists as:

                              Canadian Space Agency
                              GeoEye
                              Sierra Nevada Corporation
                              Space X

                              Its an honour just be among those.

                              Last years winners was among other Burt Rutan, and Space X.
                              http://www.wtn.net/awards.html

                              As to the logo, we dont even have a logo on of any of our sponsors ;)

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