Launch Pad One….

During the launches on December 26th,  I was testing my new microprocessor based launch controller.  The goal of the Dec 26th test was to confirm that all the safety systems, and the automatic “pulsed” firing system operated as planned.  All went fine, besides a very minor bug with the arming of the launch system.  Sometimes the arming key needed to be re-inserted to arm the pad.  The bug was found, and has since been fixed.

The launch control system is designed  around the Aerotech Copperhead igniters.  My thought is this: Get those to ignite reliably, and you’re set with just about anything.  LOL.

As I said earlier, besides for the small bug, all systems performed well. Currently, I am designing the automatic countdown sequence for the system, which will not be ready until sometime this spring.  Lots of safety tests & reviews to do before I “go live” with that feature.  An engineering buddy of mine and I have discusd various safety systems to include in the design of the automatic countdown system. More information on that as things come together!

The next series of launches from the controller (basically, any and all launches from Launch Pad #1 from now until the countdown function goes live) will further test the basic launch & safety software on the controller system.

This same software will be used for the controller system for Launch Pad #2 once it is done.  Launch Pad #2 will be a high power rail launch pad for Nesaru booster based rockets as wall as other high power rockets that will join my fleet in the future.

The final controller system that will emerge from these basic controllers will be one that can control both launch pads from a single control point.  This new system will more than likely be a wireless system.  THAT system is a ways into the future, though!

Launch Pad #1 was placed into service July 31, 2010, and has had a couple of hardware upgrades since then, most notably a new blast deflector system based around a masonry cutting wheel.

((( )))