PSAS/ news/ 1999-09-13 - Rolleron Test


Rollerons are a simple yet ingenious way to counter the roll experienced by a rocket. The idea was originally used in the design of the sidewinder missile and has had some limited us in the area of amateur rocketry. We are planning on implementing rollerons on our next rocket LV-2 and decided that the upcoming flight of our LV-1 rocket with upgraded payload, (GPS, onboard data logging, 900Mhz 19.2K down link, and improved onboard data processing), would be a good place to field test a rolleron prototype.

Today we had our first successful rolleron spin-up test. The heart of the rolleron is a spinning mass made from a commercial slot cutter and high speed bearing. The unit is spun-up via an air tube that enters the rolleron body with 130 psi compressed air we are drawing from our launch towers pneumatic system.

There is not a lot of information out there on rolleron fabrication we relied mostly on the previous work done by David Crisalli, the information he provided us and the articles he has wrote on the topic of rollerons and amateur rocketry were invaluable, Thanks Dave!

The test went well. We made a quick and dirty fin section mock up just to hold the rollerons, the final product that will go in LV-1 will have a reduced drag mounting method and a damping system to keep vibration and flutter under control. This prototype is rather bulky and thick. It is made of an aluminum -fiberglass sandwich and is bolted together. We noticed alot of oscillation in the rolleron due to not having any damping. The rollerons came up to speed fairly quickly and made a very cool turbine engine noise. With the flight less than a week away we are all getting pretty excited around here! Be sure to check back soon to see how the rollerons worked out.


Footage of rolleron spin-up
Run time : 19 seconds