Research & Development Report - Testing the Telemetry & Tracking System
This test was conducted in a "real-world" environment as opposed to a laboratory setting, to confirm that the system would function as intended in a real launch situation. This way, the range and directionality of the tracking signal could be validated against the computed models. According to the U.S. Water Rockets Press Release, this system will have an effective range cap of over 50,000 feet (16,000 Meters). With this much range, the future world record launches will be done closer to the predicted maximum pressure limit of the X-10 pressure vessel and there will be a greatly reduced risk of loss of the vehicle because it will emit a tracking beacon in the event that it deviates from course on descent due to a wind shift. The ability to track and communicate directly with the rocket in real time allows the use of more aggressive flight profiles and an accelerated Word Record launch schedule.
In addition to the obvious advantages of a tracking signal, the telemetry system is designed to provide a wealth of status and health information before, during, and after launch. The prototype system already incorporates innovations like live altitude, battery level testing, and Rocket Camera control/status information. Future revisions of the flight control software will add new advanced capabilities like live velocity, acceleration, and even meteorological data such as ambient temperature and wind speed data. The system could ultimately replace costly chemical fueled sounding rockets with inexpensive Water Rockets outfitted with the Telemetry/Tracking system.
We are readying the system for our upcoming World Record launch attempt to be made when weather conditions permit a safe launch with adequate lighting for the required photographic record to be acquired by the onboard camera as required by the WRA2 Class 'A' Water Rocket Rules.
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