Recovery Node

Posted on Feb 6, 2014

The `recovery node` is the pyrotechnic controller board designed for LV2. LV2 uses two different parachutes during its descent. The drogue chute opens first. The drouge is a small parachute that stabilizes the rocket but allows it to fall at a fairly high speed in order to minimize the distance the rocket drifts with the wind during descent. For r

Recovery Node
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ecovery it is desirable that the rocket land close to the launch point. The descent rate on the drouge chute is too fast for a damage-free landing, so about 500 meters above ground level the drogue chute pulls out the larger main parachute. The deployment of the parachutes is achieved by pyrotechnic actuators. which are in turn initiated by "Electric Matches". (On LV2 these are Oxral electric matches. ) The electric match heads are about the same size as those of ordinary kitchen matches and burn with only slightly more vigor. Their electrical firing energy threshold is about 2mJ. The two towering goals of the recovery system are reliability and safety. Parachute failure probably means complete destruction of our vehicle. At least as significantly, the pyrotechnic actuators are potentially dangerous to our people. To minimize the danger to people we have firstly designed to minimize the inherent danger in the actuators themselves. Secondly we always handle the devices in such a way as to avoid injury should an accidental activation occur. Our third line of defense involves a system of interlocks in the recovery node. Reliability is attained by good design. This means good overall design practice, and also minimizing the number of critical components, thorough testing, and some redundancy for low reliability components. These desirable properties are constrained by the typical PSAS projects goals which seek to minimize the...

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