Carbon Edge 54
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The "Carbon Edge 54/38" rocket

The "Carbon Edge 54/38" rocket is a combination of two seperate rockets to form a two-stage configuration. The lower half of the "
Carbon Edge 54" served as the booster stage. The smaller "Carbon Edge 38" was added to serve as the upper stage. A custom coupler was made to join the two stages together (and also house some electronics).

The upper stage was originally made of all carbon fiber. However, the top half was replaced with fiberglass in order to allow a radio tracking beacon to be placed inside (carbon fiber blocks radio signals, but fiberglass does not).

The coupler between the two stages held the following electronics:
Black Sky Research "AltAcc" accelerometer for data recording and booster parachute ejection
Black Sky Research "Timer2" for booster parachute ejection (emergency backup) and upper stage ignition
Olsen Engineering "EZTimer" for upper stage ignition (emergency backup)

The upper stage payload section held the following electronics:
Adept Electronics "RAS2" altimeter for data recording
Black Sky Research "AltAcc" accelerometer for redundant data recording and upper stage parachute ejection
Black Sky Research "Timer2" for upper stage parachute ejection (emergency backup)
Walston Retrieval Systems radio beacon transmitter operating at 213Mhz

Here is the Carbon Edge 54/38 being launched out of a launch tower. The rocket began to spiral slightly as it climbed upwards. This probably reduced the overall altitude of the flight by at least 1,000 ft. After the upper stage ignited, however, the flight path straightened out. The spiralling was probably due to the extra-slender profile of the rocket, which actually causes a rocket to become too stable for it's own good.

Here we are wondering where the rocket went. Altitude attempts often go, literally, out of sight. This is why the radio tracking beacon was used. The antenna is picking up the "blip" of the rocket, so we can tell where it is, even though we cannot actually see it.

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