Joe Barnard of BPS.space has flown his 1/48 scale Falcon Heavy model demonstrating the ability of the Signal flight computer to control a 3 core rocket. Each core was equipped with its own Signal FC and TVC (Thrust Vector Control) mount, by firing the two core boosters at liftoff the combined TVC control allows the rocket to pitch, yaw and roll about its axis.
As is demonstrated in the video below, the rocket executes a 20° roll program after liftoff and holds this until burn out before the centre core takes over and flys away.
The model even has a second stage fully equipped as well, lets hope we see an all up test soon!
A pretty awesome feat!
I’ll let the video do the rest of the talking!
BPS recently tested out a new experimental rocket motor from Aerotech, a G8ST. Producing an average thrust of 8.3N for 17.7s, this was the perfect motor for testing the in-house designed and built Signal avionics TVC package.
Revision 2 of the avionics is now available to buy, so if you are wanting to take your rocketry to the next level, you’ll need this package to guide you!
A quick note: While the motor did melt the PLA tube holding it, the rest of the TVC assembly(outer/inner gimbal, servos, linkages) were unaffected. Since the heat of the motor was so intense, it’s unlikely we’ll be able to mitigate it using more liners than were already there. The same goes for using most other plastic FDM materials. For now, we’ll probably cut the burn time down a bit and make sure users have access to extra motor mount tubes, should one of them melt. The motor tubes are incredibly easy to manufacture and replace, and the priority right now is ensuring Signal’s software and UX are top notch.
Signal Alpha is now available from BPS (albeit you will have to wait till the new year for the next shipment). Not sure what Signal Alpha is? Well, in short, it is a thrust vectoring kit for model rockets and has a huge cool factor! (Read more about it here) To go along with your purchased kit, Joe of BPS has made the below instructional videos to help you set up and fly your first guided (finless) rocket. Unfortunately, it is not available outside of the USA (yet!), but if you are there I suggest jumping on the next batch and take your model rocket flying to the next level!
Watch the video’s below, it looks like a lot of fun to be had, kinda jealous until I can grab one!