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C-7 Water Rocket Movie Camera completes second successful day of testing.

U.S. Water Rockets reports another successful day of testing for their newly designed High-Definition Water Rocket Movie Camera Payload.

Just days after completing a rigorous first round of testing, U.S. Water Rockets, the current World Record Water Rocket team got the green light to hold a second day of test launches for their newly designed and fabricated Water Rocket Movie Camera, known as "C-7", as it is the seventh in a series of payloads used by U.S. Water Rockets.

These test flights take place on the 1 year anniversary of the very first Water Rocket Movies filmed by U.S. Water Rockets using their C-2 camera payload bay, a much more primitive version of the system in use in C-7.

C-7 is the highest resolution Movie Camera to ever fly aboard a Water Rocket, and was designed to outperform its predecessor, C-6 in resolution and frame rate. In ground testing trails, C-7 performed spectacularly, producing very smooth clear video with every test. The robust software incorporated into the C-7 controller was designed to insure reliable filming through the extreme conditions of launch and also to protect the sensitive electronics in the event of a system failure or breach of the floatation hull used to keep the rocket afloat after splashdown. Software modifications are in the works to allow real-time digital telemetry to be transmitted to the ground station for in flight analysis and tracking.

The weather for these recent test launches was once again overcast, and in accordance with proper safety regulations the altitude of the test flights was limited to below the cloud cover, so the test flights could not be utilized as the World Record attempts as well, but this did not seem to bother the U.S. Water Rockets Team, as they were confident that when weather conditions were ideal, they would be able to make more record launches with the system and it would be even more refined and improved.

There was sufficient time in the launch window for two test flights, and both flights captured High Definition Water Rocket Movies exactly as expected. The additional flights have uncovered a number of problems with the flight hardware, which will hopefully be resolved by the next set of test flights. Two of the problems uncovered were a potentially fatal voltage regulation problem in the Flight Control Computer Power Supply, and a minor leak in the flotation hull which allowed water to penetrate the payload bay and caused the flight control system to shut down all systems to prevent damage. A third problem which poses no threat to the rocket is located in the automatic gain control of the audio recording circuitry, which causes a static noise on the recorded audio when the microphone is overloaded with loud sound (such as the rushing wind sound during flight).

These problems should be resolved within a few days, and if the weather is favorable, there should be additions test flights scheduled to test out the revised systems. If weather conditions are ideal, then there is also a chance that C-7 will become the payload bay on the next World Record Flight of X-10.

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C-7 Payload Bay mounted atop X-10. [Click to enlarge]

X-10 launching to test the new payload bay. [Click to enlarge]

X-10 parachuting down after a successful flight. [Click to enlarge]

Onboard photo from the new camera. [Click to enlarge]

Onboard photo from the new camera. [Click to enlarge]

X-10 ready for splashdown. [Click to enlarge]

Flight one 11-27-2004.

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