back to article Vulture 2 spaceplane autopilot brain surgery a total success

We're pleased to report that following four days of intense graft, including some hair-pulling over our Vulture 2 spaceplane's cantankerous Raspberry Pi rig, we've finally got some custom Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) mission parameters loaded into our rocket ship's Pixhawk autopilot. Linus Penzlien flew into …

  1. This post has been deleted by its author

  2. SRMoll

    What happens?...

    What happens if the rocket happens to fire when the servos have been 'wiggled' to one end of full travel?

    Or is the firing sequence held until the control surfaces are in a trimmed position?

    Or is there enough time for the detection of acceleration and for the control surfaces to be neutralised before they become aerodynamically effective?

    1. Lester Haines (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

      Re: What happens?...

      The detection is in milliseconds, and the servos should be in the neutral position almost immediately. The wiggle isn't to full defection, although we haven't decided on how much they should travel.

      1. YetAnotherPasswordToRemeber

        Re: What happens?...

        The spec of the canard servos (Futaba S3016) has them taking 0.2 seconds for a 60 degree sweep at 6 volts, which is quite slow, so I'd not make the wiggle too much otherwise the plucky Playmonaut could be in for a bit of a wild all be it short ride!

    2. John Sager

      Re: What happens?...

      Up at the launch altitude, I would think any control surface deflection would have little to no impact until the craft reaches quite a high velocity. In fact, I wonder if you'll have any real control authority until it descends a fair way.

      1. Lester Haines (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

        Re: Re: What happens?...

        "Quite a high velocity" is exactly what we have in mind.

  3. ISYS

    Battery life

    Just a thought - how long is the ascent? Will the batteries have enough life to wiggle the servos all the way up and then all the way back down again?

    Anyway it is Friday so have beer.

    1. Lester Haines (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

      Re: Battery life

      Yup, we've got enough juice for the whole mission. The servos only wiggle a bit and at predetermined intervals.

  4. joeW

    I know you haven't requested an acronym for the wooden testing rig, but in the spirit of Lindsay-related terms thus far...

    Automobile Roof Rack Enhanced Simulation Tester

    1. Martin Budden

      In that case we'll also need a bacronym for the van itself, and in honour of a certain starlet's ankle bracelet I suggest:

      SCRAM - Speedy Carrier for Relocation of Aircraft Mission.

  5. plrndl

    Nice shed.

  6. beast666

    Have you calculated at what speed LOHAN, ARREST and your van will lift-off when travelling along? You need to be careful!

  7. Lyndon Hills 1


    Music business rip-off, I prefer the latin theme. I think i'd have made it Autopimp, which is kinda oxymoronic.

  8. Anakin

    I wish you luck

    It seems you have everything under controll now.

    I'll drink a pint to night with you in my mind.

  9. imanidiot Silver badge

    For once

    I have nothing to complain about. Have a pint!

  10. NoneSuch Silver badge

    I reviewed your source code.


    It should be a 1. :)

  11. A J Stiles

    Andrew Tridgell and Skype ?!

    I hope this particular combination bears fruit.

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