Rockoon

Discussions on high/extreme altitude and mach busting rockets.

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citizenspace
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Re: Rockoon

Postby citizenspace » Mon Aug 31, 2015 12:11 pm

jase wrote:Most weather balloons 'pop' between 80,000 and 120,000 feet - you want to get to 300,000...

Maybe get in touch with these guys http://wotzup.com/

Re your question, the rocket goes straight through the balloon - it is only latex...

Rockoon is theoretically possible, has been done plenty of times before, but the practical 'in reality' stuff for amateurs is virtually impossible...

Even if you could work out the practical side, how are you going to keep the rocket in a safe and predictable recovery cylinder?


No no the rocket went to 100km in total, ballon still at 100,000ft. Thanks for answering my question though.
And yes I've never claimed recovery would be easy, why does everyone keep thinking that? I've already said multiple times that recovery makes it a cumbersome way to do it. But as I've also said, people are planning on sending customers to 100,00ft with a balloon, in a capsule with 6 people, pilot and a bar. Yes, a bar.
Seems to me from that, that while it would be difficult I think it could be doable. Not easy, but doable.
Maybe.
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Re: Rockoon

Postby jase » Mon Aug 31, 2015 1:12 pm

Which rocket are you talking about?

Your theoretical rocket?
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Re: Rockoon

Postby citizenspace » Mon Aug 31, 2015 1:44 pm

jase wrote:Which rocket are you talking about?

Your theoretical rocket?


That sounds hostile...
Yes I was talking about the rocket I simmed.
I should note that the commercial space venture with the ballon flights (http://worldviewexperience.com) uses a parafoil directed by a pilot to guide the capsule back to the launch site. That seems to me to be impractical to do on a rocket, but I might be wrong. That basically brings the idea back to square one, making sure you can recover it properly. Perhaps a glider? That would require some serious software, most likely out of the scope of amateurs.
The easiest option might just be to launch from the middle of a very large desert, but I can just imagine the stacks and stacks of paperwork... Actually, that might not even be legally possible. If you put a deployable flotation device in a payload bay or something you could do water recovery, but still that might not be legally possible.
Really, I don't know anything about the legal side so I'm not really in a position to comment on it, just musing about it. What do you think?
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Re: Rockoon

Postby jase » Mon Aug 31, 2015 2:00 pm

Hostile, really, what aspect?

Thanks for the link too, interesting and good luck to them. Certainly some very credible people working on that particular project - which incidentally has nothing to do with Rockoon...

Thanks for asking what I think, really appreciate that.

I think if there are insurmountable odds against an amateur Rockoon working, practically and legally, then beyond a theoretical discussion, it is pointless.

You mentioned a Glider, there is a guy in Sydney who is planning an attempt, I gave you the link in a previous post - have you checked that out? What do you think of that?
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Re: Rockoon

Postby citizenspace » Mon Aug 31, 2015 2:18 pm

jase wrote:Hostile, really, what aspect?

Thanks for the link too, interesting and good luck to them. Certainly some very credible people working on that particular project - which incidentally has nothing to do with Rockoon...

Thanks for asking what I think, really appreciate that.

I think if there are insurmountable odds against an amateur Rockoon working, practically and legally, then beyond a theoretical discussion, it is pointless.

You mentioned a Glider, there is a guy in Sydney who is planning an attempt, I gave you the link in a previous post - have you checked that out? What do you think of that?


I thought you had posted this after your post in the last thread, in which would then make (under the angry nature of that post) make the 'theoretical rocket' part seem hostile. You know, because you were insulting me about not flying high powered rockets and how I haven't reached 10,000ft before. With that in mind it made it seem hostile.

Yeah interesting project, although I don't see how many people would actually buy a flight. Will be interesting to see how it (and other suborbital commercial companies) go.
Actually it has a lot to do with Rockoons... as you know, the problem with Rockoons isn't the rocket itself but with the size of the ballon, drifting, high altitude, high intensity winds distributing communication and so on. These people are lifting a capsule obviously in excess of 500kg (I know I once quoted that the capsule was 500-600kg, I apologise for that as when I thought about it the mass of 6 people would be close to 500kg alone) which means that maybe the size of the balloon isn't such a limiting factor after all. I know there was the Echo 1 and plenty of other huge weather balloons that have been built, but always nice to have a modern example. The rocket for a space-shot Rockoon style would weigh roughly 30kg (If I'm within 5kg of being correct in my sims), which is an order of magnitude smaller then what these guys are lifting. So we can cross ballon size out of the problem list (although you probably had already realised this).

Secondly, they are achieving very very accurate landings. Now, it would be a safe bet to say that a parafoil glided rocket might be impractical. But a glider? Doable.

Yes I was reading the website just then, after my previous post. Incredible, the guys only 12! Well, maybe 13 now. I was hesitant at first to say RC controlled spacecraft, thinking that it might sound like a childish solution. But it seems like it might just be doable!

Now with all this in mind, why is it virtually impossible? Balloon size doesn't seem to be a problem, and apparently neither is communication. And there seems to be a concept/proposal to solve the recovery problem that someone is already working towards.

Not saying this is a fully ready to go solution. But hey, it doesn't look too shabby does it?

What would I be missing that makes this virtually impossible with insurmountable odds, like you say? I respect your opinion, I'm just trying to figure out what these insurmountable odds are. Legal problems spring to mind first. Is that the reason?
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Re: Rockoon

Postby jase » Mon Aug 31, 2015 3:23 pm

Yeah, I dunno :roll:
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Re: Rockoon

Postby citizenspace » Mon Aug 31, 2015 3:57 pm

Ahh okay, so the legal issues...
Hmm, well. I've been doing some research, so far I've found the two main legal issues (if launching from USA or NZ):

1) High kinetic potential of payload
If the payload drops unexpectedly then you have a pretty nasty unguided missile on your hands. Combined with the unpredictable and uncontrollable drift of balloons, this is probably the biggest problem.

2) Recovery of Rocket.
Consequently because of the drift, assuming you launch the rocket correctly, you know have the potential for an even nastier unguided missile :D
You're also essentially launching the rocket without knowing where it is launching from I.E you have no idea where it is launching from until it launches. This means recovery is seriously hard for a traditional system. A glider approach would probably solve this problem, but adds a layer of complexity that most would not want. Still, time is easier to come by then $100,000+.

Now, as far as I can find this seems to be the best answer:
First, the rocket needs to be a controlled glider. Alright, so how do you control it? http://www.airstrato.com This place seems like a good place to start. Best solution would most likely be GSM Communication. However that will require a certain level of automation in case of a blind spot or laggy response. But that's a software problem, and the only cost for solving software problems is ultimately red bull and brain strain. Still, that adds complexity.

I'm going to use http://predict.habhub.org/#!/uuid=aff31 ... c682cf1a8a this thing to calculate the drift.
So assuming this thing is right, the rocket glider launches out at 162km. If the glider can average a glide ratio of 4, starting at 15km, we can glide 75km. So we're 87km out from our launch site. Not great, but that puts us inland. Just.
This is assuming an ascent rate of 5m/s. At 12m/s the drift is only 71km according to my calculator. But let's go with 7m/s. At 7m/s ascent rate we're 120km away from the launch site at launch but well within glide distance.
So that (should) solve problem Number 2. Of course keep in mind I'm just breezing through the overarching ideas, not going too far into the nitty gritty details.


Now, problem number one. Well I think launching from NZ would be the best choice. Cheaper then US, and the density of the country is only 15 per square kilometre on average. Secondly, it is surrounded by a lot of ocean so if it drifts far everyone can just chill because most likely it'll be out in the ocean. Good for the paperwork, bad for us though. This would make things easier legally, but how much I am not sure. I believe that the best thing to do in order to assure the authorities you know what you are doing (and hopefully you do :P ) is to launch small scale tests first, like they did with the V2. Start with 1/3 scale, then 1/2 scale then full version, The electronics would be able to be carried from experiment to experiment, and if you are creative then maybe some other things too. Launching offshore by 1-2km would be the best thing to do probably, as winds in NZ are most likely to carry the balloon further out, and that'll let the authorities get a few extra hours of sleep at night.
Beyond that, you're still at the mercy of the troubles with launching to space regardless of Rockoon or not. This, as many people have pointed out is most likely the biggest issue, not the rocket itself.



In total, my method is far from perfect and my mostly just cobbled it together just then. But it does raise a good point: Rockoons are complex, but doable. Cheaper even then a ground launch when talking about a space launch. If project time is not important (2-3 years to get to launch day) then Rockoons are probably your best bet. I can imagine that the project, including R&D would be somewhere around $60-90,000. Compared to the several hundreds of thousands the go fast team spent before they flew it sounds much better!

Any thoughts guys? Suggestions? Any are welcomed. Here are a few links below that might help anyone interested in Rockoons, certainly helped me:
http://www.astronautix.com/lvs/rockoon.htm
http://www.rocketryforum.com/archive/in ... 30437.html
http://www.jpaerospace.com
http://predict.habhub.org/#!/uuid=7ae12 ... cf3b727274
http://www.airstrato.com
http://worldviewexperience.com
http://wotzup.com/2015/02/cad-composite ... uck-images
Not all are straight up Rockoons, but many have valuable insights into possible solutions to problems
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NASA does it all the time with simulators :D
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Re: Rockoon

Postby joeman » Mon Sep 14, 2015 8:54 am

A Rockoon Launch is extremely complex as I'm finding out. However, I don't think it is out of the question for some 'amateurs' (whatever that means to the reader) to produce some potentially good results. It just requires a lot of effort, good thought, ingenuity, considerable testing and a lot of patience.

I'm up for the challenge. In any case, a LOT is going to be learnt and gained from atleast giving it a try, rather than just conceding defeat before even starting.

Yes, I've talked to the folks behind wotzup.com. They provide some inspiration/encouragement and assistance for my HAB flight.


I'll have a stew over those comments and links you sent previous. Thanks guys. Happy rocketing.
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L2 - March Fly (1633K940) - 18-Mar-2018

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Re: Rockoon

Postby joeman » Sat Dec 05, 2015 7:22 pm

Well, I finally managed to get the impetus to look into spin stabilisation. To spin stabilise the rocket, a considerable amount of energy needs to be imparted to give the rocket the spin (Angular momentum) it requires.

I initiallty considered a spinning wheel of some kind witm a motor/battery. This all seems very inefficient...you need large (heavy) batteries/motors.

So then I thought, well why not use some motors to start spinning the rocket (motors have a significant amount of energy in them). Tricky,but maybe doable?

Anyhow, decided to write a program (Java) to see the effect of some D-Engines (just chosen at random) on a cylinder. The program allows one to test various 'imperfect' scenarios where motors are mis-aligned, rockets light one after the other ...etc. Then one can see how the whole arrangement turns and moves. One can see some fairly violent motion.

I tried adding some additional mass along the axis of the tube to increase stability. This does seem to work fairly well...by changing the moment of inertia for various modes of rotation.


https://www.youtube.com/edit?o=U&video_id=uP3UqA0hx5I

What do you guys think?

Cheers

Joe
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L2 - March Fly (1633K940) - 18-Mar-2018

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Re: Rockoon

Postby SpaceManMat » Tue Dec 08, 2015 1:35 pm

You should be able to cant fins in OR and see the effect on altitude. I didn't think the loss was as big as you think it is. Once the spin rate is established the amount of energy required to keep it going isn't terribly large.
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Re: Rockoon

Postby joeman » Wed Dec 09, 2015 3:12 pm

My concern is not loss of altitude due to the fin cant, but with the stability during the first few moments of the launch.

Relying solely on fin cant to generate the spin in reduced air density environment I suspect might be problematic because the lift forces on the fins will be considerably less....Which means there isn't much keeping the rocket 'stable' while it is building up velocity/spin. I'll run a few OR simulations to check this out.

Thanks
Joseph
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Re: Rockoon

Postby Lister » Wed Dec 09, 2015 4:53 pm

Ithe best soloution I came across while researching spin stabilisation was to make a launcher that rotates to impart spin on the rocket without increasing drag from canting fins.. or make a launch tower that has a twist to it.. like a gun barrel, so as the rocket launches it the twist in the launcher will induce spin on the rocket.. have also though of adding a small motor pointingbout the side of the rocket to induce spin during for a couple of seconds.

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Re: Rockoon

Postby SpaceManMat » Wed Dec 09, 2015 5:16 pm

Fair point get the launcher to spin the rocket initially, also means even loss of energy getting the rocket up to spin speed. Don't think I'd go with rifling option, this is going to have additional friction.
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