Thursday, April 23, 2009

Rocket video camera

My ward had an activity over the last few weeks building and flying model rockets. A group of 2 or 3 people assembled and painted each small rocket. They were cool, but they were all the same, with the exception of the paint job. A couple of my friends and I decided to do something different.

Scott, Adam, and I are all engineers, and we put our engineering skills to use building a rocket with an on board video camera. The camera was designed for RC planes, not rockets, and the rocket wasn't designed for a camera, so it took a little ingenuity to put it all together. Scott built the rocket body, Adam painted it, and I installed the camera in the rocket. It took two types of epoxy, some hardware from Home Depot, an old shampoo bottle, a bit of Velcro, a little styrofoam, and some balsa wood, but things came together nicely in the end.

We launched the rocket last Saturday at a really cool location: Moffett Field at NASA Ames Research Center. NASA Ames is home to Hangar One, which is one of the world's largest freestanding buildings, as well as the world's largest wind tunnel, which is big enough to put a full-size plane in. A local rocketry club holds a monthly launch event at the airfield, and our ward tagged along.

Here's the finished product:

The launch was a success, unlike my last launch attempt. We had a delayed ejection motor, so we were getting a little worried as the rocket hurtled toward the ground, but the ejection charge fired, and the parachute safely brought our camera back to the ground. Here's the result:

(First photo by Brian Crapo, others by Adam Findley)

Friday, April 10, 2009

Help me decorate my office and apartment

The walls of my office and bedroom are stark naked, and the time has come for some structural modesty.

I'm going to make poster prints of several photos I've taken. You can help me choose which ones to print by voting on your favorites.

Vote here: Percolate

I'll post a followup when all of the votes are in and the winners have been chosen. Thanks for your help!