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Open Source for Model Rocket Design

My son and I continue to enjoy building and flying high-power model rockets. Our biggest project this year is "YikStik", a custom rocket with which we hope to certify "level 3", gaining the right to buy and fly the biggest motors currently available. True to form, we've tried to use open source software for as many of the design, simulation, and construction tasks as possible.

Also this year, my daughter and I have begun to experiment with making our own rocket motors. Our initial efforts are based on potassium nitrate and erythritol. Again, we're using mostly open source software to design and simulate motors, and then to capture and analyze data from static motor tests.

This talk will describe the various tools we're using to design rockets and rocket motors, highlighting things we've written like a Python library that emits G-code for cutting custom centering rings on a 3-axis CNC milling machine. It will also include an update on the open-source avionics project described in last year's "Peace, Love, and Rockets" presentation.

Bdale Garbee

Bdale first contributed to Free Software in 1979, has a long history of
involvement in the Debian distribution, and is Chief Technologist for Open Source and Linux at HP. His primary hobby seems to be turning all of his other hobbies in to open source projects...