Rocketduino, for high-G, high altitude logging


Although the thrill of launching rockets is usually found in their safe decent back to Earth, eventually you’re going to want some data from your flight. Everything from barometric pressure, GPS logging, and acceleration data is a useful thing to have, especially if you’re trying to perfect your craft. [zortness] over on reddit created a data logging board created especially for amateur rocketry, a fabulous piece of work that stands up to the rigors of going very fast and very high.

The design of the board is a shield for the Arduino Mega and Due, and comes with enough sensors for over-analyzing any rocket flight. The GPS logs location and altitude at 66Hz, two accelerometers measure up to 55 G. Barometric, temperature, and compass sensors tell the ground station all the data they would need to know over a ZigBee 900MHz radio link.

Because this is an Arduino, setting up flight events such as deploying the main and drogue chutes are as easy as uploading a bit of code. [zortness] built this for a 4″ diameter rocket, but he says it might fit in a 3″ rocket. We just can’t wait to see some videos of it in action.


  1. biozz says:

    i have made somthing similar on a standalone platform … its not easy to get right and to take the G forces!
    good job!

  2. Dax says:

    I thought GPS modules lock out at high altitudes and speeds because the US military doesn’t want them to be used on diy cruise missiles?

  3. tz2026 says:

    The GPS is 10Hz, 66 channel, not 66Hz. It is a pa6h. A SkyTraq ( has the breakout) can do 20Hz. I’ve not found any faster

  4. Phil says:

    A very nice idea, but there’s a simpler approach. Just put an Android phone in the rocket – you’ve got accelerometers and assorted other sensors. With a IOIO board you can control external triggers.

    And as a bonus the rocket can take images, transmit data via 3G or 4G, and even tweet its progress.

  5. somun says:

    55Gs? I wonder if that sd-card will stay put, take that beating :)

  6. Robot says:

    First PCB? Well done!

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