Celestial Blue Team 2023

Alex Bobroff, ECE​
George Eng, ECE​
Matthew Dilsizian, ECE​
Zack Rummler, ECE​
Max Menestrier, ECE​
Ibrahima Barry. ECE

High Fidelity Flight Computer for Amateur Rocketry​

Amateur rocketry is a hobby where individuals build their own rockets and launch them into the sky. A critical safety feature of an amateur rocket is for it to deploy parachutes at the right time—you don’t want to lose the rocket, or worse, have it crash land onto a valuable piece of property. Typically, the rocket deploys the parachutes during its descent, and the hobbyists can use GPS to locate the rocket once it has landed. The problem with this approach is that it’s difficult to get a rocket to deploy the parachutes at exactly the right time.

Our solution was to build our own flight computer intended to deploy the parachutes as a function of rocket height, speed, and orientation. The flight computer uses sensors to take measurements about the surrounding environment. The flight computer runs complex software algorithms to determine the rocket’s height, speed, and orientation (in flight terminology, these are quantified as position, velocity, and attitude, or PVA). Our flight computer will use position, velocity, and attitude (PVA) readings to determine the optimal time for parachute deployment. We will not have time to test our device on an actual rocket, but we plan to test the device by walking around the Tufts’ running track.

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