We're Getting a Camera!

It isn't everyday that students have the opportunity to launch 7 foot rockets a mile into the sky. But that's exactly what the NASA USLI competition is based on- giving students an opportunity to design and fly their own rockets. This year's Student Launch tasks the teams with building rockets can change their characteristics mid flight to increase reliability and performance. Because of the unique difficulties of testing and recording the performance of a rocket mid flight, the Georgia Tech ARES team has decided to implement a camera for two reasons:


Firstly, we would like to record the flight so that even if the onboard computer fails to capture an anomaly, we will be able to look at the camera footage to correlate and diagnose any issues. Because the onboard electronics are designed for weight and size optimization, they don't always capture the full spectrum of rocket parameters. Therefore when all else fails, sometimes a camera can be indispensable. And this year, since performance is so intertwined with how the rocket behaves during flight, it is a no brainier to employ a camera.


For our camera choice we contacted these security camera experts and they recommended a pinhole style camera that meets our requirements for weight, durability, and performance. Our rocket is only 5 inches in diameter and weighs less than 10 lbs, yet it will go from the altitude of New York City to Denver in less than 10 seconds!


Second, achieving an altitude of one mile is no small feat and there is no better way to commemorate that achievement than taking video of the journey there. We plan on using this 1080p camera to not only film the ascent in flight, but to also record some of the fabrication steps involved. We will place this camera in our workshop during some of the build sessions to create a comprehensive journal about what it takes to get a rocket to 1 mile.


We hope to regale everyone with some spectacular footage as we near competition time!