After a bit of research, it appears that you folks are probably the most conversant to give advice for a project that’s a bit out of the ordinary.
I fly high powered rockets and we go for speed and altitude with these launches. Our best is altitude of 75,000 feet with a max speed of mach 2.2. This was a three stage rocket. Recovery is by parachute; first a small drogue at high altitude (apogee) and then a main chute at low altitude (1000 feet). The problem is that we have no control over where the rocket lands. We’ve found stages of rockets as close as 1/2 mile and as far away as 12 miles.
We want to deploy a parafoil at reasonable altitude for each stage to fly the rocket (fin can, nosecone, body tubes) back to the launch point (or a designated recovery point). We have the mechanical design mostly figured out; the challenge being that we have to get the chute out without tearing it or the rocket apart since we cannot always guarantee low velocity deployment (but that’s figured out).
Our parafoil design is 12 sq ft to recover about a 12 lb load, and the control lines require about a 5 lb pull. To get the required torque we will need to gear down motors, which leads to slower response than you’d find with a plane. I don’t have much experience with the guts of autopilots.
- Can Ardupilot be configured for this sort of control given the slow control and directional response?
- How can Ardupilot be set up as a glider toward a pre-designated landing site?
- What sensors are required in addition to the standard package if we want to compensate for wind deviation to get a straight line back to the landing point? I would seem we need either forward airspeed or a precise compass to figure out the wind vector to allow compensation.
Thanks in advance for thinking about this. Happy to address this to a different category if there’s something more appropriate.