Natural Sciences >> Physics

Model Rocket Predicted Altitudes

by Joseph Frye


Submitted : Fall 2011

The purpose of this project is to theoretically determine the altitude of Estes Alpha model rockets. The rocket will theoretically be fired four times with changing variables. The engines used during the test will be a Estes ½ A3-2T and a Estes ½ A3-4T. These engines both have certified total impulse of 1.25 Newton-Seconds. The difference lays in the delay of the two rockets, the first of the two engines having a 2 second delay and the second engine having a 4 second delay. The timing of the delay can be crucial in reaching an optimum altitude of a rocket of a given mass. I would like to be able to estimate the height depending in the seconds of delay. The recommended max liftoff of the 4 second delay is 28.3 grams and the max liftoff of the 2 second delay is 56.6 grams.

I will also be testing the differences in the theoretical height dependent on the weight of the rocket. The payload in the rocket will be a small altimeter that weighs approximately 15.7 grams. This would represent a payload that would likely be used in a model rocket. The difference in altitude with the payload should be rather large because the payload will raise the total weight of the rocket by about 65%.

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Advisors :
Arcadii Grinshpan, Mathematics and Statistics
Scott Campbell, Chemical & Biomedical Engineering
Suggested By :
Scott Campbell