Joel Cool-Panama, Secretary, RRS.ORG
The Reaction Research Society held its monthly meeting at the Compton/Woodley Airport location, 7:30 PM PST.
Agenda topics of the meeting were:
- Symposium successes
- Restroom operational
- MTA improvements
- Wolfram launch 5/20
- UCLA launch 6/10
It is with great pleasure that the Society declares the Symposium to have been a success. In all, there were 22 presenters present, and approximately 70 to 80 persons in attendance. Likewise, Mary Star High School has told us that they did well on their food service sales, and have already penciled us in to host the Symposium at their location again on April 8th, 2024.
However, there is much room for improvement. For example, we need to have better signage for the presentation room and food service at the next symposium. We could also take advantage of the large screens present in the gymnasium to keep attendees up to date on presentations. It was also noted that we should have a hard deadline for speakers to sign up, probably a few days in advance of the event, to prevent scheduling confusion. The older members of the Society are also in agreement that we should hire some of the students to help us setup and break down the Symposium. We could also Mary Star’s WiFi password, and maybe make it available upon request.
The Society was also pleased to receive a donation of eletrical match blanks from long-time RRS member, Steve Majdali. Our treasurer, Larry Hoffing, is to write a receipt for them.
Prior to the meeting, Society President Dave Nordling had new keys made for the newly opened MTA restrooms. Six pairs of keys were made, the gold one being to open the restroom proper, and the silver to open the container door to the valves and switches.
In regards to the restroom, it was mentioned that the society should probably hire someone to clean the restroom. In the past, society members have graciously handled cleaning and supplies themselves with the porta-potties, but there is a desire to have the restrooms taken care of by someone else. The main problem seems to be the cost of doing so, and how we might extract compensatory fees from anyone who uses the MTA and doesn’t clean up after themselves. A deposit was suggested, but Frank noted that getting such from a school would likely be a hassle.
Thanks to the Society’s generous donors, we are pleased to announce that a 60-foot launch rail for launching liquid rockets, and prefabbed containers for the MTA, have been funded. Polaris has a design for such a launch rail, and the Society is considering hiring them to build it. Also, in light of the struggles around building numerous projects at the MTA, it is expected that the Society will pay contractors to make improvements to the site mifor the forseeable future.
It’s also been recommended that the Society should have portable launch rails at the MTA. Being portable means that they can be moved away when might be necessary, such as if a group’s view of another launch rail is obstructed. Wolfram in particular has requested 1515 launch rails, but others, such as members of ROC, might appreciate these as well, due to the difference between our height waivers.
Steve Majdali mentioned at the meeting that he has 1,000 ft of duplex wire, 18 gauge solid core, which he might donate to the Society for our use. He also apparently has multi-strand, fine gauge wire, and might even have some sulfur to dispose of as well.
In other news, Society Treasurer Larry has received 3 lbs of 400-mesh zinc powder from a supplier in India. The zinc isn’t of the fineness typically used for micrograin rockets, but Larry will test its use regardless. It should be noted that the zinc was bought at $4 per pound, which is a very good deal, and we might consider sourcing from this supplier in the future. US-based suppliers are not as common today as they have been in decades past.
UCLA is currently scheduled to hold their Capstone project launch event at the MTA on June 10th. Likewise, Frank and Larry will simultaeneously be holding launch classes at the site. They will be having two launches, B and C motor model rockets, as well as Baby Bertha.
The Aerospace Corporation is also scheduled to use the MTA for their intern rocket launch event. As of now, there is no conflict on the MTA schedule with their event.
The Society is also receiving more requests for Vice-President Frank to teach more classes. Among past locations requesting his services is Nickerson Gardens.
Also, it has been noted that having underground cable runs between the launch rails and the Garboden Observation Bunker at the MTA would be very valuable. A pull string should be installed along with whatever conduit is put in place, and CAT9 wire should definitely be installed as a good starting point. This facility improvement needs further definition.
The next society meeting will be on June 9th, 2023, at the Compton/Woodley Airport location. Contact the secretary for details.
A low cost but potentially important infrastructure addition would be a camera station located parallel to the flight line and at the North property line: a concrete slab and a four foot high retaining wall should be sufficient.
Such an addition would allow high speed video tracking of the first several hundred feet of flight, providing a backup (or primary) measure of determining height, velocity, and acceleration.