Black Bird: High Powered Model Rocket (2019)

High Powered Model Rocket"

This project was undertaken during Winter Internship 2019 at Avionics Lab, Space Technology and Rocketry (STAR), Surat, India

Project Mission:

To design and develop a High Powered Model Rocket. This Rocket shall reach a minimum height of 120 meters Propulsively and shall have a Recovery System to land on the ground safely.

A Team comprising 9 interns worked on different aspects of the Rocket, namely 2 interns worked on the Design, 2 interns worked on Avionics, 2 interns worked on Recovery System and 3 interns worked on Propulsion.

My Role:

  • Member of Avionics Team, I was responsible for the developing Avionics system onboard the rocket to trigger recovery system and collect data.
  • Designed General Circuit Board (GCB) based on the dimensions of the rocket, the board had a microcontroller, sensors and data storage devices. The build process included the following steps:
    • Roughly Planning the Positioning of various components on paper based on their proximity to the Microcontroller.
    • Designing the Circuit by Computer-Aid using Eagle software.
    • Realising the actual design on General Circuit Board by Soldering various components on the board and making required connections between the components.
    • Various tests were conducted on the GCB before the actual flight.
  • Developed the software for the GCB.
    • The software was capable of Triggering the Recovery Mechanism based on pre-determined conditions using data from the Inertial Measurement Unit and Altitude Sensor.
    • The software also recorded data from various sensors and in-flight events.
  • Developed Rocket Launch Igniter including the hardware and software.
    • The Igniter provided the ability to remotely trigger the launch sequence to light the Rocket Motor.
    • The Igniter could be used with Bluetooth or Internet to trigger launch countdown and emergency abort of countdown in case of an anomaly.
  • Developed Android Application to communicate with the Rocket Launch Igniter.
    • The application provided the ability to initiate the launch countdown and emergency abort the countdown in case of anomaly.

Start Screen | Launch Pad Igniter :————————-:|:————————-:


Bluetooth Selection Menu | Launch Sequence Starter :————————-:|:————————-:


During Launch Sequence | :————————-:|


  • Developed Static Launch Test Pad to help Propulsion Team test different motors.
    • Static Launch Pad used a load cell to measure the thrust and burn-time of the motor.
    • The data recorded was used by Propulsion Team to analyse different fuel compositions for the rocket motor.

Project Accomplishments:

  • 2 High Powered Model Rockets were successfully developed.
  • A Remote Launch Igniter and a Static Test Pad was also developed.
  • Many integrated tests were conducted of all the Systems:
    • Numerous ground tests were conducted for the main Rocket Avionics Board and Wireless Igniter.
    • 10+ Drop Tests were conducted for the main rocket avionics GCB.
    • 9 Static Tests were conducted and data collected was analysed to determine the composition of fuel for the motor.
    • 2 Rocket launches were conducted with all systems together.