Air Command
Water Rockets

Latest Update: - 5th September 2017 - Day 190 - Polaron G3 and Drone Mods

Day 187 - Skittles in Microgravity - Part 1

Date: 29th April 2017
Location: Whalan Reserve, Australia
Conditions: Mostly Sunny, light breeze, 25C
Members: Paul K, and GK

Introduction

Following on from the liquids in near zero-G experiment this week we did a fun experiment to see what skittles would do in the same situation. We tried this experiment almost 10 years ago with m&m's but found that they heat up in the sun and melt, so skittles offered a more solid payload.

For video of the experiment please see Day 188.

Experiment Setup

Because we knew the skittles would just want to stick to the top of the payload bay after burnout, we decided to add an agitator at the top to try to get the skittles to bounce back into the payload space. The agitator was 3D printed a rotated by a modified servo for continuos rotation.

The camera was mounted again on the bracket looking back at the experiment.

Flight #1

We again used the Axion G6 rocket to boost this experiment as the payload with the parachute mechanism is fairly heavy. The deployment timer delay was set to release the parachute well after apogee so that we could watch the skittles through apogee and a little after. We launched the rocket at 210psi with 1.5L of water and no foam to get maximum acceleration off the pad.

The rocket flew well though angled off the pad a little bit. The parachute deployed on time but the rocket landed nose first because the shock cord was tied too far back down the rocket. There was some minor damage to the nosecone, but it was easily repaired for the next flight.

Flight #2

Flight #2 was very similar to flight #1 in terms of setup and performance. This time we had pressurised the rocket to 220psi. Here are the combined images of the payload bay for both flights.

Results

We could see from the onboard footage that the skittles were floating freely right near apogee, but the agitator wasn't spinning fast enough to get them moving back more into the payload bay more. We will repeat this experiment with a faster agitator to see if it makes a difference.

Flight Details

Launch Details
1
Rocket   Axion G6
Pressure   210psi
Nozzle   9mm
Water   1500mL
Flight Computer   STII
Payload   HD Cam #16
Altitude / Time   ? feet / ? s
Notes   Good flight, although angled over a little bit due to experiment, Parachute deployed after apogee as planned. Came down nose first, some payload damage, but easily repairable.
2
Rocket   Axion G6
Pressure   220psi
Nozzle   9mm
Water   1500mL
Flight Computer   STII
Payload   HD Cam #16
Altitude / Time   ? feet / ? s
Notes   Good flight, Parachute deployed after apogee as planned. Came down nose first again but bush softened landing. No new damage done.
3
Rocket   Fireflight
Motor   B6-4
Payload   None
Altitude / Time   ?' / ? seconds
Notes   Good launch, and good recovery. .