With the addition of data from a rate gyroscope, a complete picture of the rocket's orientation can be added to the 3D flight trajectory. Because there were no reasonably priced gyroscope sensors adapted to rocket use, I started a project to adapt Arduino based electronics to accomplish this. But, at the end of 2014, RAF Research introduced a Data Logger board that records 3 axis acceleration and rotational rates to onboard memory. It is designed for rocket use, so it has the necessary triggering to detect launch and record the flight. This is exactly what I was looking for!
The RAF AL-016 High Speed Data Logger was originally designed to investigate the forces being seen by the payloads on ARLISS flights. The Data Logger has a three-axis rate gyro and two three-axis accelerometers that are recorded to onboard memory. The Data Logger has an automatic launch detect sequence that initiates the recording of the data. The data can then be analyzed a by post-processing software application available from RAF Research that is focused analyzing the forces payload during the various phases of the flight including payload ejection.
Bob Feretich wrote a two part article that appears in the November/December 2015 and January/February 2016 issues of Spot Rocketry Magazine that describes the Arliss Data Logger Project.
At the end of 2014, I purchased an RAF AL-016 High Speed Data Logger board. I planned to fly the Data Logger at the Tripoli Central Dairy Aire launch in May of 2015, that launch was canceled due to rain, so my first flights of the Data Logger were at Tripoli Central's October Skies launch in October 2015.
What is nice about the RAF Data Logger is it is designed for high power rocketry use. I flew it twice at October Skies, and both times, it worked flawlessly, and I got good data from both flights.
Click here to see flight visualizations using the data from the RAF Data Logger.
RAF Research AL-016 High Speed Data Logger
Photo courtesy of RAF Reasearch