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An Arduino-based rocket motor thrust test stand

January 13, 2019 • Read: 208 • Arduino

If you enjoy model rocketry, you may wonder just what the thrust curve of the motors you’re using looks like. In order to answer that question, YouTuber ElementalMaker decided to construct his own test stand using an Arduino Uno coupled to a 10Kg load cell with an HX711 amplifier board. The test procedure is started with a little red button, and after warning LED blinks away for 10 seconds, it activates a relay and fires the motor under into the stand.
The experimental setup seen in the video yields successful thrust curves for both a ½ inch and ¾ inch motor. As you might expect, the ¾ produces more thrust than its smaller cousin, though at 2,683 grams versus the ½ inch motor’s 658, it’s an impressive difference indeed.
The project is based on a paper archived here if you’d like to examine the design.

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