ARA Press: New product announcement
June 23, 2010
The rocket hobby lost a valuable resource when Brent McNeely ceased publication of
Extreme Rocketry magazine. Over the eight years of publication, Brent had built up a sizable library of how-to articles
on all phases of the hobby from design to construc-tion to avionics to payloads and post-flight analysis.
Some of these he had published in his Extreme Rocketry series of booklets. To
keep this important resource avail-able for hobbyists, ARA Press has agreed to continue publication of the Extreme
Rocketry booklets. Future titles may become available if there is sufficient demand.
Level One Certification: This booklet is a step-by-step introduction to
the certifica-tion process necessary to advance into High Power Rocketry. It covers not only the mechanics of building
and flying an L1 rocket and the legal process required, but also the importance of joining a rocketry organization.
This booklet has been completely updated to reflect changes in the law the past
few years. This is a new pub-lication, never before published.
Camera Payloads: This booklet is a primer for anyone
who has ever wanted to see rocket flight from the perspective of the rocket it-self! It provides a basic grounding in
the techniques necessary to successfully launch and recover a variety of cameras
Even though the cameras in these projects are mostly film based, the focus is
more in building successful payload bays and optical paths, neither of which is dependent on the image recording
medium. Digital photography is ad-dressed in the last chapter which covers still, recording video and downlink
Staging High Power Rockets: Black powder rockets can
be easily staged by using a special booster motor that has no delay and no ejection charge, and by placing the upper
stage directly over the booster in close proximity. When the front end of the booster motor propellant ruptures due to
combustion pressure, burning particles of black powder are blown forward into the nozzle of the upper stage motor,
igniting the easily lit black powder there. High Power fliers dont have it so easy. Not only are higher-energy
composite propellants harder to light, they must be lit from the very top of the motor core.
In this booklet Ray Dunnakin walks us through techniques that allow air starting
of these high power motors. Once free of the constraint of having to put the upper stage motor directly over the
booster, many other configurations can be used. Ray discusses inline (with large separations), parallel and parasite
staging, all with multiple motors.
Vertical Trajectory Systems: Model
rockets can get by with only simple passive stability (i.e. keeping the CG in front of the CP). While this is
poten-tially true with High Power rockets, it is a waste of a vehicles potential to simply let it wander wherever
it will while burning off those thousands of Newton-seconds of impulse. A straight, vertical flight is essential for
obtaining maximum altitude, a goal not just for the rocketeers bragging rights but sometimes required when flying
Vertical trajectory systems (a term coined by Dave Ketchledge, author of Rocket
Science) are a class of active guid-ance systems whose job it is to keep a rocket going completely vertical regardless
of outside disturbances. In its densely packed pages, Steve Ainsworth covers guidance detection (how to know which way
up is) and control (how to actively change your trajectory). He covers the basics of analytical system
design so you know what needs to be done, and then the iterative hardware design process to build the equipment to do
This is not a book for beginners! A solid understanding of hobby rocket dynamics
of at least the level found in the Stine Handbook is a prerequisite. Then again, you wouldnt be looking for a
book like this if you werent already there.
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