Vulcan 1 Nosecone and Electronics Bay

We have decided to store the electronics for the recovery portion of the rocket in the nose cone, to better make use of this space.

For the bulkheads in the nose cone, we won't need any aluminum brackets. This is because the bulkheads in the nosecone don't have to hold as much force – they are either only supporting the electronics bay sled or the weight of the nosecone itself, which is significantly less than the bulkheads below, in the main recovery portion, which will be holding the load of the entire rocket upon recovery.  


The drawings above provide a more in depth visualization of what the nosecone might look like. The number of bulkheads can vary depending on the configuration we decide on. In the drawing that I've made, there are two bulkheads just for the electronics sled portion (in addition to the actual mounting surface for the electronics), as well as two bulkheads that center the electronics sled tube in the nose cone. While technically only one bulkhead is needed to center  electronics sled in the nose cone, adding more bulkheads helps to support the fiberglass structure of the nosecone.

For the actual electronics bay sled,  I've included a two layer design in the illustration. This is helpful because it provides more surface area for mounting. Additionally, it allows us to store important components, such as the batteries, that need extra support in between the two layers, ensuring that they will not become dislodged during the flight. Because of the relatively large mass of batteries, they are prone to becoming dislodged by the acceleration of the rocket during lift off (or the jerk of the rocket due to recovery explosive charges). Obviously, this would constitute a destructive scenario for the rocket, because the electronics controlling recovery would cease to operate. Electronic components with less mass, such as circuit boards, terminal blocks, and LEDs can be stored on the outer layers of the electronics sled where they are also more accessible upon removal of the electronics sled. 

We have a great deal of freedom in the design of this nosecone. This is fantastic, because it allows us the liberty of having fun with what we do! If we get ahead of schedule, and have some spare change, there's nothing that can stop us from adding on features that will improve the overall experience of the rocket, such as cameras, or the airspeed sampling pitot tube set up that I included in the drawing.

Of course, there are still several crucial issues that must be tackled, such as how electronics will be armed (turned on) when the rocket is on the launchpad, or how the wiring for triggering the recovery charges will cross the interface between the nosecone shoulder and the recovery bay airframe tube. 

I'm excited to see how the design process continues as we recognize an account for the difficulties we will inevitably encounter in integrating the entire system with the recovery Bay as well as the rest of the rocket.

To a general scale - not all dimensions were known off hand.