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Carmack Prize Attempts

Posted by: Rob Goldsmith - Sun Oct 09, 2011 8:37 am
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Carmack Prize Attempts 
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Post Carmack Prize Attempts   Posted on: Sun Oct 09, 2011 8:37 am
Guys

Has everyone seen?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rvDqoxMUroA

On September 30, 2011 at 11:08am, Derek Deville's Qu8k (pronounced "Quake") launched from the Black Rock Desert in Nevada to an altitude of 121,000' before returning safely to earth. Above 99% of the atmosphere the sky turns black in the middle of the day and the curvature of the earth is clearly visible.

SHORT VERSION OF VIDEO HERE: http://youtu.be/5HTwbpjBUOk?hd=1

More Pictures and Info -- http://ddeville.com/derek/Qu8k.html

Image

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Post Re: Carmack Prize Attempts   Posted on: Sun Oct 09, 2011 9:51 pm
I have seen it yesterday, but what I don't understand: why did that not claim the Carmack prize? Just because there is not yet a "magazine quality" report about the vehicle and operations or am I missing something here?

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Post Re: Carmack Prize Attempts   Posted on: Mon Oct 10, 2011 6:42 am
The rules
http://www.armadilloaerospace.com/n.x/A ... ews_id=376

include
"The rocket must record a GPS serial log of the flight with at least one report above 100,000ft plus the launch altitude."

Here is some more information that was posted to arocket:

"Derek Deville of eAc, SS1, CSXT Go Fast fame reports that his “Qu8k” rocket
was launched and successfully recovered with an initial RDAS altitude of
117,000 ft. Rogers Computer simulations estimated 120Kft. Launch vehicle
was fully recovered 3 miles from the launch tower with the help of the radio
tracker. On board payload included; 4 GPS’s, 3 HD video cameras, Radio
Tracker & an ERGO Cosmic Ray Detector (
http://www.symbiosis-foundation.org/installation3.html). He reported that 2
of the video cameras melted from the mach 3.5 aero-heating, but the third
camera video is absolutely amazing!! He said on the video you can see black
sky, curve of the earth, non-inflated parachute tumbling in the near vacuum
of space, and the rocket literally stopped vertically at apogee.



Unfortunately none of the 4 GPS’s onboard recorded an altitude over 100,000
Ft. Preliminary reports are that GPS’s were recording data at launch and up
to about 20,000 ft where it was lost, then re-acquired tracking at about
40,000ft on the way down under parachute. Derek suspects the high
acceleration is the cause of the initial loss. More precise details of his
flight will be released at a later date."


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Post Re: Carmack Prize Attempts   Posted on: Mon Oct 10, 2011 7:30 am
Anecdotally, the GPS requirement is the hardest part of the problem! Most GPS units won't allow certain combinations of high acceleration/speed/height as they could then be used for military purposes.


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Post Re: Carmack Prize Attempts   Posted on: Mon Oct 10, 2011 8:00 am
Thank you TranceCode.

I knew about the GPS requirement, but found no information regarding GPS on the Qu8k flight.

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Post Re: Carmack Prize Attempts   Posted on: Tue Oct 11, 2011 1:34 am
Damn nice try guy's

Monroe

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Post Re: Carmack Prize Attempts   Posted on: Wed Oct 12, 2011 6:39 am
Great article

Amateur Rocketeers Chase $10,000 Launch Prize Offered by John Carmack
http://www.space.com/13245-amateur-rock ... prize.html

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Post Re: Carmack Prize Attempts   Posted on: Wed Oct 12, 2011 2:51 pm
I wonder what Mr. Carmack will do now though. I think the point of the challenge was that launching a rocket to 100,000 ft is difficult, not that it's difficult to get around restrictions in the GPS system. So as long as the altitude can be verified to a satisfactory degree of certainty, it shouldn't really matter whether there was a GPS fix. However, that is in the rules, and arguably, bending the rules is what cost AA the Lunar Lander Challenge.

For now, we still have to have that magazine-quality write-up (for sure a page of photographs with barely any text doesn't count) before this becomes an issue, but still. What do you think is the right thing to do here?

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Post Re: Carmack Prize Attempts   Posted on: Wed Oct 12, 2011 4:08 pm
The right thing to do is putting out a price designing a well functioning high speed high altitude low budget GPS for armature use :wink:


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Post Re: Carmack Prize Attempts   Posted on: Thu Oct 13, 2011 8:15 am
Lourens wrote:
I wonder what Mr. Carmack will do now though. I think the point of the challenge was that launching a rocket to 100,000 ft is difficult, not that it's difficult to get around restrictions in the GPS system. So as long as the altitude can be verified to a satisfactory degree of certainty, it shouldn't really matter whether there was a GPS fix. However, that is in the rules, and arguably, bending the rules is what cost AA the Lunar Lander Challenge.


If I remember arocket correctly, the GPS issue was a well known part of the problem, and was perhaps specifically added to the rules because of it, so I would think that he will stick to those rules. I would.


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Post Re: Carmack Prize Attempts   Posted on: Sat Oct 15, 2011 12:58 pm
I've suggested to Paul Breed, and I'll suggest to others here, that the easy way to do GPS for a rocket is to do the GPS tracking on the ground, after the flight.

It would be a simple matter to record the output of the GPS antenna system in such a way that one could, in non-real-time after the flight, recover the position and velocity of the rocket, no matter what the acceleration of the rocket is, or what altitude it flies to.


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Post Re: Carmack Prize Attempts   Posted on: Sat Oct 15, 2011 8:34 pm
Are the GLONASS (supposedly global coverage) and Galileo (next year) positioning systems subject to the same cold war restrictions as GPS in this respect? If not, then it may be worthwhile to source some foreign receivers and get good data that way.

There was even a hack a day article on putting together a GPS/GLONASS receiver.


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Post Re: Carmack Prize Attempts: GPS issues   Posted on: Sun Oct 16, 2011 7:20 pm
I think by far the easiest way to get a GPS log is to do the tracking after the fact.

GPS uses a series of pseudorandom bit pulses at 1575.42 MHz. Build a very simple radio receiver that records the raw data coming into your antenna, and then interpret those data later.

I don't even think that the government would worry about that. They restrict receivers that work over certain altitudes, speeds, and accelerations exactly so people don't build guided missiles, but doing a non-real-time analysis of recorded GPS signals won't help you guide a rocket -- they'll just let you know where it's been once it's been recovered.

Perhaps not as sexy as building a high-dynamic real-time receiver, and I suppose there would be a reasonable debate as to whether this is within the rules. "The rocket must record a GPS serial log of the flight with at least one report above 100,000ft plus the launch altitude."

One issue (and it's an obvious one) is that it's difficult to test a custom GPS in this environment. Getting a custom receiver up to mach 3.5, 15G, and 100,000 feet is hard (that's the whole point!) A GPS frequency logger is trivial though (modulo Doppler effects.)


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Post Re: Carmack Prize Attempts   Posted on: Thu Oct 20, 2011 11:15 am
Well, but if the rules state GPS, then a Galileo or a GLONASS fix won't do you much good I suppose...

I wonder if it would really be much more difficult to do the computation on the rocket. For sure you'd need more compute power on-board, but software defined radio is not new and there's even been some work on applying it to GPS apparently. You'd need a DSP or FPGA to process the data, but those too are available to hobbyists. It seems possible to me. On the other hand, as Thad says, the government is very unlikely to worry about you figuring out where your rocket went after the fact, while building something that can go up to 30 km and know where it is accurately may be a more difficult sell. I'd ask for a clarification of the rules first.

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Post Re: Carmack Prize Attempts   Posted on: Fri Oct 21, 2011 8:15 am
This exact concept has been discussed on arocket recently. Also the concept of re-transmitting the GPS signal to the ground from the rocket and processing on the ground.

I wonder if a project I've been working on , www.raspberrypi.org, has enough power to process the signal?


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