Warning

 

Close

Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
PSA
Member Login

Site Notices
Posted: 6/18/2017 4:02:52 PM EDT
People, I'm at a teaching conference for model rocketry, held by NASA at their Wallops Island Flight Facility. I just saw the Blue Angels take off from the base (there's an A-10 here as well - who let the AF in?!?).

I'll post pics of this experience over the next 5 days - lots of history was made here.

Subscribe and watch!
Link Posted: 6/23/2017 11:34:00 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/23/2017 11:34:54 PM EDT by FOGeologist]


NASA has a Sherpa, for what purpose I do not know.
Link Posted: 6/23/2017 11:42:28 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By FOGeologist:
http://i1382.photobucket.com/albums/ah268/nhorianopoulos/IMG_5533_zpsbhfb8ckb.jpg

NASA has a Sherpa, for what purpose I do not know.
View Quote
Drop testing.
Link Posted: 6/23/2017 11:54:43 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/24/2017 12:05:42 AM EDT by FOGeologist]

E2 quals for carrier deployment. Navy pays NASA Wallops FF to practice "carrier deck quals for fleet replacement squadron before they go out to sea.



Aerobee 150.
Link Posted: 6/24/2017 12:01:48 AM EDT
Ha, I'm in a hotel on Assateague, we're going over to the visitor's center tomorrow morning. Was hoping to see the launch tomorrow night, but no dice.
Link Posted: 6/24/2017 12:11:07 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/24/2017 12:22:43 AM EDT by FOGeologist]
After the booster deployed, the sustainer would fire off, but there was no staging. The sustainer would hang on to the booster and the cone would deflect the gasses comiong out of the second-stage
Aerobee sustainer nozzle.



Close up of the booster with the odd angled head.

Link Posted: 6/24/2017 12:25:26 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/24/2017 12:29:13 AM EDT by FOGeologist]

Astrobee F. Cousin to Aerobee. Made by Aerojet, Inc. Flew higher, IIRC.
Link Posted: 6/24/2017 12:31:02 AM EDT
Fin can detail on Astrobee.

Link Posted: 6/24/2017 12:33:16 AM EDT
Upper fin can detail on sustainer of Nike-Cajun. I'll probably build a scale two-stager of this guy with a PerfectFlite in it to get it to stage well under high-power. I will, of course, need a dual deploy to get the bird back.
Link Posted: 6/24/2017 12:34:47 AM EDT
Nike booster, lower fin can detail.
Link Posted: 6/24/2017 12:36:38 AM EDT
I used to build stuff that launched from Wallops. Fun times.
Link Posted: 6/24/2017 12:37:58 AM EDT
Nike-Cajun. Simple to model. Have some 3" blue tube and some 3:1 Ogive nose cones with which I can assemble this two-stage bird. Might break 5,000 feet!

Link Posted: 6/24/2017 12:42:08 AM EDT
Neat, thanks
Link Posted: 6/24/2017 12:43:01 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/24/2017 7:50:04 AM EDT by FOGeologist]
Tired. Long day of missed air travel due to weather problems. Staying in the shittiest Red Roof in Jersey, going to bed now. Many more to post.
Link Posted: 6/24/2017 7:53:44 AM EDT
Wallops Island is awash in turkey buzzards. They're big birds!

Link Posted: 6/24/2017 8:00:18 AM EDT
Took a tour of the machine shop. The machine shop sports a completely automated CAD/CAM facility. Here, a technician monitors a computer-controlled milling device; the piece is under a constant stream of oil/water batch to lubricate and carry away chips.

Link Posted: 6/24/2017 8:01:28 AM EDT
More CAM equipment.

Link Posted: 6/24/2017 8:05:03 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/24/2017 8:07:12 AM EDT by FOGeologist]
6061 aluminum rings used to make fuselage sections, before milling.





A pair of transitions, after machining.

Link Posted: 6/24/2017 8:06:21 AM EDT
Waste shavings from the process.

Link Posted: 6/24/2017 8:12:10 AM EDT
Sunrise on the VA shoreline - this was taken Thursday, right after the launch of the RockOn Terrier Improved-Orion to 72 miles. Launch was entirely successful. Student projects were gotten back and analyzed Friday.



This was the student payload portion. All of the universities put their experiments into flat sections of circles that were stacked up inside. The whole works is sealed up before the flight, unseals after reaching space, then re-seals for re-entry into the atmosphere to prevent contamination or lost data when the payload parachutes into the ocean.
Link Posted: 6/24/2017 9:12:45 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/24/2017 9:14:55 AM EDT by FOGeologist]
Photo of the Assembly Facility's director, Rob, explaining how the rockets are placed upon this machine which subjects them to a variety of vibrations, from just a few hertz to 2000 hertz The amplifier required to produce the low frequency noise is 190,000 watts, and requires workers to wear hearing protection. There are 3 such machines, one for each axis.

These rockets are fin and spin-stabilized; they rotate at radial velocities that vary from 3 revolutions per second to 5 revolutions per second. I will upload a video of the launch - they really leap off the pad. The booster rockets are former air-defense artillery missile motors, now deactivated by DOD, and sold for their shipping cost to NASA for science research. It has been this way since the end of WWII.

Link Posted: 6/24/2017 9:33:00 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/24/2017 9:40:43 AM EDT by FOGeologist]
A facebooked video of the launch, go to 12:29 seconds for the countdown. Whoever shot this did a better job than the official NASA photography team.

https://www.facebook.com/NASAWFF/videos/1698758656820895/

My version:

RockOn Terrier Improved Orion Launch
Link Posted: 6/24/2017 4:17:59 PM EDT
Still have more to post - just toured Battleship U.S.S. New Jersey and walked through downtown Camden, N.J. to take public transportation to the airport. It was a pretty crummy neighborhood and I would have called for a Lyft car and I f there hadn't been literally 1-2 cops constantly in sight over all 20 blocks I walked.

I made the train, getting charged only a dollar. I took a look at the ticket when I got onboard... Senior Citizen discount. Fucking Millennials.
Link Posted: 6/26/2017 8:52:29 AM EDT
An A-10 that was hanging out at WFF for a couple of days last week:

Link Posted: 6/26/2017 8:54:51 AM EDT
There was aircrew from an MH-60 Seahawk serving as SAR (Search And Rescue), I think they were covering the Western Atlantic for the F-35 project, which was being tested over the ocean, at least according to WFF's TV channel. The T-Bolt II was not flying out of WFF, it was flying from somewhere else.
Link Posted: 6/26/2017 8:59:29 AM EDT
A little rig to test the impulse of a model rocket engine - a "D" series. It's clipped into housing, which is attached to a sensor hooked to a Vernier computer that senses small forces, commonly used in physics labs. If you've taught physics and used the Vernier equipment, it's a real help.


Link Posted: 6/26/2017 9:02:06 AM EDT
How much force did the "D" put out?
Link Posted: 6/26/2017 9:07:38 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/26/2017 9:14:42 AM EDT by Frank_B]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By FOGeologist:
Photo of the Assembly Facility's director, Rob, explaining how the rockets are placed upon this machine which subjects them to a variety of vibrations, from just a few hertz to 2000 hertz The amplifier required to produce the low frequency noise is 190,000 watts, and requires workers to wear hearing protection. There are 3 such machines, one for each axis.

These rockets are fin and spin-stabilized; they rotate at radial velocities that vary from 3 revolutions per second to 5 revolutions per second. I will upload a video of the launch - they really leap off the pad. The booster rockets are former air-defense artillery missile motors, now deactivated by DOD, and sold for their shipping cost to NASA for science research. It has been this way since the end of WWII.

http://i1382.photobucket.com/albums/ah268/nhorianopoulos/IMG_5518_zps4wgqd8cc.jpg
View Quote
Interesting conference. Good to see such hands-on interest in rocketry these days. Thanks for posting.

Is that a Ling-Timco-Vought transducer? I built a vacuum tube 10 KW driver for one during graduate school back in the early '60s. It was awesome to play with, vibrating devices until they self-destricted.
Link Posted: 6/26/2017 9:22:09 AM EDT
Not such a good photo of the machine that weighs the rocket prior to launch.


Payload of a future rocket.

Link Posted: 6/26/2017 9:24:53 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By digitalebola:
How much force did the "D" put out?
View Quote
Idiotically, I didn't record the output. Here's the reported output from some folks who test these motors independent from the manufacturer:

Average Thrust:10.2N
Maximum Thrust:29.7N
Total impulse:16.8Ns
Burn Time:1.7s
Link Posted: 6/26/2017 9:33:45 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/26/2017 10:28:24 AM EDT by FOGeologist]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Frank_B:

Interesting conference. Good to see such hands-on interest in rocketry these days. Thanks for posting.

Is that a Ling-Timco-Vought transducer? I built a vacuum tube 10 KW driver for one during graduate school back in the early '60s. It was awesome to play with, vibrating devices until they self-destricted.
View Quote
I think they're made by Team Corporation.




Here's a Space Electronics Moment-Of-Inertia "spinner," this machine tells you the exact center of gravity of a completed rocket or payload or anything you want to put on it. It runs on an nitrogen-bearing and is incredibly expensive. It was recently rebuilt with digital components; the update was a couple-hundred thousand bucks, and a new unit would run $700,000.
Link Posted: 6/26/2017 9:56:53 AM EDT
A Black Brant (don't remember the Mark) on display in the shop. They're the "go to" sounding rocket for a long time, but Bristol Aerospace is located in Canada, and ITAR rules prevents their primary customer, NASA, from asking for accommodations or from making requests to meet NASA's needs. NASA tried to develop its own sounding rocket sustainer, spending 10 million dollars... but failed. Work continues, but the team at Wallops isn't particularly expectant of success anytime soon.
Link Posted: 6/26/2017 10:14:50 AM EDT
On the last day at Wallops Island, the class got to tour the Orbital ATK facility on the island at the launch facility, seeing the Antares with its new RD-181 Russian booster engines. They recently had a failure on the old engines (A-26), which crashed the bird near the pad. The new RD-181 engines are far more powerful. In order to attend the tour, we had to remove every piece of electronics from our pockets, including key-fobs, so I got no pictures inside. One was taken by the Orbital ATK staff with the class and I will post it here when I get access to it.

The Antares is HUGE. Launches of the two birds I saw are in September and January.
Link Posted: 6/26/2017 10:42:09 AM EDT
Went to the Wallops Island Flight Facility Visitor Center. I guess NACA (National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, the precursor to NASA) first flew this bird, called Tiamat, as a radio-controlled rocket in Spring, 1945, months before the war was to end.
Link Posted: 6/26/2017 10:52:27 AM EDT
Little Joe. Used to test the LES (Launch Escape System) of the Mercury project; a companion (Little Joe II) was used to do the same thing on Apollo about 5-7 years later. These also launched the chimps Ham and Enos into space. The LJ system used 4 solid rocket boosters to achieve altitudes into the 100 + km range.
Link Posted: 6/26/2017 11:01:57 AM EDT
Nice pics, thanks!

Never got to go to Wallops, despite the time I spent on the Shore.
Link Posted: 6/26/2017 11:30:56 AM EDT
thanks for sharing!
Link Posted: 6/26/2017 11:33:19 AM EDT
Phil Eberspeak, director of the whole facility and program, spent days with us - imparting his 30 years of knowledge. This guy runs the whole show, yet he felt this program was important enough not to delegate it to his highly-capable staff. He's a superb guy! Here he talks about the principal of ejecting mass at high velocity to gain that Newtonian reaction that propels a rocket forward.


This bumper sticker on a Honda at WFF seems to capture the ethic of the place:


These folks are serious rocketeers.
Link Posted: 6/26/2017 11:37:29 AM EDT
Last post:

In back of the Visitor's Center, I found two objects they've left on the ground - I'm pretty sure they're wreckage from a target drone F6F Hellcat, as these were painted red and used as targets for a SAM project in the late 40s or early 50s.







I'm going to call it here. Hope you folks enjoyed.
Top Top