BlackBox2 - crash safe data recorder for sounding rockets

We are the BlackBox 2 Team from the city university of applied sciences Bremen, Germany and part of the REXUS27 mission of the DLR and SNSA sounding rocket experiment. We are schedules to launch our experiment of the REXUS27 from Esrange, Sweden in March 2020.

Our aim is to build a generic crash-safe flight data recorder for the use in sounding rockets. The flight data recorder offers the ability to store data in real-time at a data-rates of up to 1Gbit/s using Ethernet. Up to 64GB of data can be stored during a mission offering large amounts of data storage for video, photo and further high data rate experiment data.

The flight recorder consists of a redundant dual computer and storage solution to ensure safe data storage. As well as an internal battery pack and 4 radio modems to allow localization after an incident. The flight recorder is housed inside a crash-absorbing casing to allow operation even after large forces occur against the flight recorder The flight recorder's postion is found using a GNSS modem. This information is then sent through a redundant satellite communition system via the Irdidium and Globalstar satellite systems as well as VHF Transmitter to allow the later recovery.

To simulate use-case of the flight recorder, the experiment is housed in the nose-cone of the REXUS27 rocket and is ejected at aprox. 55Km. Prior to launch and during the flight data is already being stored from internal sensors (temperature, pressure and IMU) as well as from a place-holder rocket on-board computer to generation large amounts of data. This includes secondary sensors data as well as a high-resolution video stream from inside the nose-cone. Shortly before ejection the video stream begins storing to capture the full ejection of the nose-cone from the rocket. After ejection the experiment will continue storing sensor data and video during free-fall. Shortly before impact the radio modems begin operation and transmits the location of the experiment to our ground station.

A set of redundant antennas ensure that the experiment's location can be determined and transmitted regardless of the orientation of the nose-cone after impact. The internal battery allows the location to be constantly transmitted for many hours after impact to allow the recovery team to locate the experiment and bring it back safely to the launch site.

and identical model of our fight recorder will also launch on a student built sounding rocket, the AquasonicII, also launch in March, 2020.

Due to the complexity involved and large number of PCBs are required to accommodate all our electronics. This is where PCBway would be of great help during our manufacturing phase.

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Nov 06,2019
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