1/100th scale Saturn V, MLP and LUT electronics ideas...
This is going to be a very long post but I'll try to keep it manageably understanding.
So, I'm researching ways to build a 1/100th scale of the Apollo-era Saturn V with its associated Mobile Launch Platform (MLP) and Launch Umbilical Tower (LUT).
Let's start with the MLP.
Measuring ~ 19" x 16" and 5" in height, I believe I can hide quite a lot of electronic components underneath to add realism to actual launches from it including an Arduino Uno, or possibly an Arduino Mega. This part of the project would not be too constrained by weight or size.
I'd like to be able to operate launch condition lights using LEDs (like green for "go", Yellow for "caution" or ready" and RED for failures. and when this model is used as a static display, have smaller LEDs for various lighting simulation of the actual MLP.
I also would need to have a reliable battery system to fire the igniter(s). So, I am thinking of a pair of 6V lantern batteries with relays powered also by an Arduino.
The MLP will also be used as a test stand for future rocket motor tests both solid propellant type (like Estes and Aerotech) as well as another type I am developing incorporating ducted fans in the boosters of other vehicles beside the Saturn V model. This test stand portion would incorporate load cells with strain gauges and data from that system would - or could be transferred via Bluetooth to my laptop or onto an onboard flash drive for later retrieval after the test. For accuracy, I'd like to also add a temperature/humidity sensor as mentioned in these links:
I'd route the electronics around the flame trench that will be insulated so no heat from the motor blast(s) should affect them.
I'd like to also use electronics to power the swing arms of the LUT. THese would be timed to shift away from the rocket just at liftoff. Most of the electronics for the LUT could also be housed underneath the top deck of the MLP and would power servos for retracting and re-deploying the arms just like those of the real thing. There is also the Colby crane at the top level that may incorporate some sort of functionality. I was also thinking of a type of sensor in the LUT to see when the vehicle clears the tower; perhaps a microwave or ultrasonic sensor as discussed in these links:
Then, there is the Saturn V:
I am looking at a lot of stuff here. At the very least, I'd like to incorporate an IMU such as that mentioned here:
And then there has to be a BMP280 in there somewhere and a way to electronically deploy a vehicle recovery system. On board cameras will record the launch and save that data
Oh, and I HAVE started learning about how to incorporate smoke for added realism and that system would be controlled by electronics as well.
Along with cameras throughout, I would like all these devices to communicate with either a flash drive to save the data or a way to send it back to the laptop some distance away. Since this project will sty in the confines of Low Power Rocketry (LPR), I an striving not for altitude so much as for realistic effects of launches but with safe recovery. Then after a day at the field, I'd like to still bring this all home and display it in a corner of my living room as a conversation piece.
I haven't mentioned Raspberry Pi as I know even less of this platform than I do of Arduino but I have not discounted the use of it for this project. As I am just beginning, I have allowed for a possible major shift in direction. This will most certainly be a long-time project.
Sorry for the crazy long post but I figured anyone also interested in specific parts of this project may want to make suggestions as to what components to utilize, what software to write and even what techniques in the actual build. In keeping with the spirit of Bills' site, I would just be happy with our working together in the electronics aspect of this project. Thank for reading all the way to here. Tell me what you think.
(Thank you, Bill for your fantastic videos. You've really inspired me). 🙂
I have moved your post to "Help Wanted" as it seemed better suited to that thread than the "Suggest New Content" thread.
Good luck with the project it looks like a big undertaking but it will also be quite impressive once completed.
Okay, thank you, SteveG.
I may ask a different question more specific to a circuit.
This thread is where you should post that as well unless it's related to a discussion already on another thread.