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
experienced?
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.

Doug

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

> On Thu, 7 Oct 2010 15:38:16 -0700, Dave Camarillo <
> dave.camari...@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.pack...@intel.com
>
> _______________________________________________
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> psas-avionics@lists.psas.pdx.edu
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>
>
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