Queensland: Model rocket with electronic stabilization legal?

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Villhume
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Queensland: Model rocket with electronic stabilization legal?

Postby Villhume » Thu Jul 01, 2021 11:57 am

Hi,
So, recently, I decided to set my sights on rocket-building. Electronics has always been a hobby of mine, and I noticed I had enough sensors and a good enough microcontroller to *hopefully* plan a launch of a model rocket, with lower-powered engines. Essentially, this would utilize a barometric pressure sensor, a temperature sensor, an accelerometer, a jolt sensor, and a gyroscope, the data from which would be relayed to a microcontroller which would adjust the position of the rocket motor based on the rocket's orientation, altitude, etcetera. Additionally, the entire process would be automated, so the rocket would launch, fly, and land itself autonomously. Some of the parts would be 3D-printed, and some more structurally important components would not. Essentially, what I'm asking is, is this legal without a license? And if not, what kind of a license would I need? Where would I be able to launch it? What electronic capabilities would I be able to add before having it classified as 'guided'? For context, I live in QLD, which would really be the only place I can launch from.
Thanks.

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crom
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Re: Queensland: Model rocket with electronic stabilization legal?

Postby crom » Thu Jul 01, 2021 7:01 pm

Hi Villhume

I'll try and answer your questions one at a time:

> is this legal without a license?
Yes, assuming you are a member of QRS and launching at a QRS launch day and do not use any guidance on the rocket from lift-off to apogee and use the clubs launch equipment (i.e. not an automated launch)...

> Where would I be able to launch it?
At the local QRS launch site in Jimboomba

> having it classified as 'guided'?
Guided recovery is fine and there are a number of projects detailing these efforts, guided flight is not i.e. no guidance from launch to apogee...

There are a number of members who are doing similar projects and launching home made altimeters, gps trackers, etc.

Matt
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OverTheTop
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Re: Queensland: Model rocket with electronic stabilization legal?

Postby OverTheTop » Thu Jul 01, 2021 7:27 pm

Hi Villhume,
I won't comment on Queensland as I am a Victorian.

You might want to have a look at a couple of my threads out of interest :wink:
https://forum.ausrocketry.com/viewtopic.php?f=56&t=5324
https://forum.ausrocketry.com/viewtopic.php?f=56&t=6632
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drew
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Re: Queensland: Model rocket with electronic stabilization legal?

Postby drew » Fri Jul 02, 2021 7:14 pm

crom wrote:> is this legal without a license?
Yes, assuming you are a member of QRS and launching at a QRS launch day and do not use any guidance on the rocket from lift-off to apogee and use the clubs launch equipment (i.e. not an automated launch)...

> having it classified as 'guided'?
Guided recovery is fine and there are a number of projects detailing these efforts, guided flight is not i.e. no guidance from launch to apogee...

There are a number of members who are doing similar projects and launching home made altimeters, gps trackers, etc.

Matt

Hey Matt,

Please correct me if I'm wrong but I was under the impression that 'active control for vertical stability' was acceptable in the hobby. I've always had it explained to me as a 'safety feature'; the active control provides a safer flight during the coast phase before apogee. To my knowledge most people 'park' their active control until the motor has burned out. I expect TVC, even though it's active during boost, would fall under this description.

I also think terminology is also important here. From my perspective the term we should be encouraging and using is 'active stability' not 'guidance'. In my opinion a lot of people immediately think missile when someone mentions guidance. I don't think that's the message we want to convey and making a point to emphasise that it's not GPS driven (and therefore able to accept coordinates) but instead driven by trying to keep the vehicle as close to vertical as possible until apogee would make sense.

Also, and I'm not certain about this, but I'd personally be more worried with guided parachute recovery if it's GPS capable. If it could be configured to say '50 meters north from the launch pad' then it'd most likely be acceptable? But if it's a system where you can manually input lat/lon values for it to attempt to reach during descent I'd expect that to be a little dicey from a legality perspective.

Please note IANAL and this post is largely based on conversations with others who have done similar things here in Australia.

Cheers,

drew
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crom
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Re: Queensland: Model rocket with electronic stabilization legal?

Postby crom » Fri Jul 02, 2021 9:54 pm

Hey Drew

All great points.... As soon as I read "active control for vertical stability'" I thought of Joe Barnard and his thrust vectoring rockets but I'm not sure if they were launched with a club or just in his backyard...

I'll look into these and post back here, let me know if you find any info...

Matt
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http://qldrocketry.com/

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crom
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Re: Queensland: Model rocket with electronic stabilization legal?

Postby crom » Sun Sep 26, 2021 1:41 pm

OK, that didn't take too long... From the Tripoli Range Safety Guide page 9:

http://www.tripoli.org/Portals/1/Documents/Safety%20Code/Range%20Safety%20Guidelines%20v1.3.pdf

Special Projects are subjective in nature, but often fall into the following categories:
- Innovative/experimental flight control mechanisms

Expect to have a rigorous safety review (i.e. bring documentation) and there may be restrictions placed on the launch (i.e. launch from the furthest bank).

Thanks for the heads up Drew!
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http://qldrocketry.com/

DiscountBatman
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Re: Queensland: Model rocket with electronic stabilization legal?

Postby DiscountBatman » Tue Oct 05, 2021 11:27 am

Curious about the exact legislation that prohibits this, does anyone know what/where that might be? (Aus law not just ITAR)

The specific definitions is what will make or break its legality.
E.g. if you make an RC aircraft that followed GPS waypoints, surely that's guidance too, but those are hardly as stigmatised.

Definately agree that 'active stability' is the term to use in rocketry to keep people's minds at ease.

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Re: Queensland: Model rocket with electronic stabilization legal?

Postby drew » Thu Oct 21, 2021 12:02 pm

DiscountBatman wrote:Curious about the exact legislation that prohibits this, does anyone know what/where that might be? (Aus law not just ITAR)

The specific definitions is what will make or break its legality.
E.g. if you make an RC aircraft that followed GPS waypoints, surely that's guidance too, but those are hardly as stigmatised.

Definately agree that 'active stability' is the term to use in rocketry to keep people's minds at ease.


Legislation is kinda irrelevant from a club perspective. The Tripoli rules and regulations govern what we can an can't do at a Tripoli launch.
Andrew Hamilton
TRA L3 (12385)
AMRS Records Committee Chairman
Max Alt AGL - 26,850ft - L935 - THUNDA 2019
Max V - 3,004 ft/s, ~Mach 2.67 - L935 - THUNDA 2019


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