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Ways To Track Your Model Rocket After Launch

  • 25 Aug 2022
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It can be frustrating to lose track of something you spent time and money constructing. A model rocket tends to have a mind of its own when you launch it, so trying to find it can be challenging. But knowing how to track your model rocket after launch will help narrow down its location.

Must-Have Materials

To locate your rocket after a successful launch, you must put your geometry knowledge to the test. But before you start solving any mathematical equations, you'll need some arts and crafts skills first to construct an altitude tracker.

To create an altitude tracker, you must have the following items: poster board, a light string, cellophane tape, a cutting tool, a tiny washer, a tape measure, glue, and an altitude tracker pattern.

Constructing the Altitude Tracker

With the necessary materials, you can start making your altitude tracker. Follow these instructions for the best results:

  1. Trace the altitude tracker design on a different piece of paper. Use your cutting tool and glue to cut and paste the design onto the poster board. Leave the hatched area of the tracker free.
  2. If there is extra space on the poster board, cut off any area the traced tracker isn't covering.
  3. Roll the hatch into a tube and tape it beside the bottom border's dotted lines to create a sighting tube.
  4. Create a small opening at the protractor quadrant's tip.
  5. Make another hole on the tip of the calculator and paste the altitude calculator to the rear of the tracker, lining up the two holes.
  6. Slide the light string between the openings and tie a knot.
  7. Secure the washer on the other end of the thread.

How To Use an Altitude Tracker

Hopefully, you have created the altitude tracker correctly and are ready to use it. To follow the basics of model rocket safety, find a wide-open area for liftoff, clear of residential regions, tree lines, and roadways. Once the rocket is set, measure a tracking station precisely 30 meters (98 feet) away from the rocket.

Once the rocket is airborne, you can follow its flight path with the sighting tube by aiming the tracker at its highest point. It's helpful to have someone nearby to relay the reading of the thread and string, giving you the angle of its path.

Finding the Altitude

You can calculate how far the rocket got by tugging the light string through the tracker hole until the washer comes to a stop. You must yank the string over the protractor quadrant, crossing the vertical scale.

Ideally, the intersection point is the altitude of the flight. After calculating the height of the person aiming for the tracker, you should know where the rocket is.

Keeping It Simple

If making an altitude tracker by hand isn't your forte, you can purchase electronic altimeters to follow your rocket. The cost of the materials used in the hand-crafted one may be less than 10 bucks, whereas an electric altimeter can be triple the price. But it may be worth exploring if you plan to launch several rockets.

Learning how to track your model rocket after launch is half of the fun of this project, considering you want to know how well the rocket soared. For over 60 years, AC Supply has been offering wholesale model kits for rockets, planes, pinewood derbies, and more! AC Supply wants to make learning fun, and our kits provide hours of inquisitive entertainment.

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