[psas-avionics] Smoke generators...

Doug Ausmus dausmus at gmail.com
Thu Oct 7 20:39:54 PDT 2010

As a licensed pyro, I agree- do NOT use a pyro technique for the smoke. Yes,
Potassium Nitrate and melted sugar ignite... in fact it is a very effective
rocket fuel! And it burns WAY too fast for this application and is quite
hot, but it does make smoke <g>. Smoke compounds have things that make them
burn very slow (I have a very slow burning, non-flaming formula for creating
huge volumes of smoke), and there are easy methods to ignite them 100% with
an e-match using some special ignition formulas, but that's all beside the
point- I highly suggest that you do not use pyro to generate the smoke for
visual air flow in this application.

Smoke fluid (such as castor oil), using a glow plug is a good idea, but
drowning it may not give you the results you actually need- in addition
there is a significant lag between energy and smoke, so controlling it per
velocity (although a good idea) may not perform quickly enough to give you
the smoke you need when you need it.

Another thought occurs to me, however, what about a non-smoke solution?
There are very benign foggers (not actually smoke) for theatrical use that
make non-toxic 'smoke'. Three questions that would need to be answered:

1) can there be a miniature light version?
2) if so, can it produce enough smoke for the velocities that will be
3) Can it be energy efficient?

Last idea:
Will a miniature Ultrasonic atomizer work sufficiently well enough (with
some fluid to simulate a smoke or fog) to provide the "smoke" volumes needed
for the velocities experienced?
If so, same questions as above.


On Thu, Oct 7, 2010 at 5:21 PM, Keith Packard <keithp at keithp.com> wrote:

> On Thu, 7 Oct 2010 15:38:16 -0700, Dave Camarillo <
> dave.camarillo at gmail.com> wrote:
> > It seems like it should be OK to light stuff on fire and/or make smoke
> > electrically anytime after the motor has started up... I hope that
> wouldn't
> > be frowned upon?
> It has been; the concern is in having something burning after the rocket
> lands.
> The desert is dry, and the rocket often lands far from roads which make
> fire fighting difficult. And, yes, rockets have landed and caused
> significant fires.
> --
> keith.packard at intel.com
> _______________________________________________
> psas-avionics mailing list
> psas-avionics at lists.psas.pdx.edu
> http://lists.psas.pdx.edu/mailman/listinfo/psas-avionics
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.psas.pdx.edu/pipermail/psas-avionics/attachments/20101007/aa33f448/attachment.htm>

More information about the psas-avionics mailing list