Altitude Measurement

Home Forum 3DLabGANG projects Water Rocket Launch System Altitude Measurement

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    AvatarDonald Wright

    Hey, Guys – one of the first questions we’re asked is, “how high did it go?”

    There are several tools to help us answer that question. From the simplest “alti trak” device from Estes, to modern digital units. And as with most things in our hobby, price is usually a factor in our decisions.

    Devices like the alti trak from estes work by determining the angle between the ground plane and apogee, and then through geometry (or using the supplied tables) deducting how high the rocket flew. These devices have a few drawbacks. Firstly, the operator needs to be quite a distance from the launch spot, which means at least two people will be involved. Also, it can be hard to accurately activate the device at apogee, an angled launch reduces geometric accuracy, and if it works correctly, altitude is all the information you will get. But, they are cheap and not outside of being able to create one yourself – on the printer. About $22.00 USD

    Our best options cost a little more and range from @ $40.00 to $100.00 USD. These are little lightweight digital units that ride along as payload. The simplest give altitude reading and can log several flights, the top models record many parameters, including max altitude, top speed, engine thrust duration, peak acceleration, ejection timing, and total flight time among other. And the most expensive communicate with your smart device to show graphs and data. All fun stuff.

    Please share your findings or the devices that you are using. Here are some links.


    All the best, Don

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