April 20, 2020

Over the past couple of months, I’ve been writing up a theory to express the thrust of our water bottle rocket. While I work on the theoretical side, Molly has been working on the new cap design of the SRETB. Check out Molly’s page or the Aerodynamics page for the schematics of these designs. As both Molly and I are wrapping up our senior years and moving on to the next stage in our lives, I wanted to spend the next couple of weeks reflecting on our years working in WISRD. For this post, let me go over the engineering side of our lab during our 2019-2020 school year.

In the beginning of 2020, we were struggling to keep a seal with the cap and the bottle (i.e. not letting the air escape). The O-ring that we had was too big, so we cut it down to make it fit better around the grove of the cap. However, this still didn’t solve the problem. We tried plumber’s glue around the outside of the cap and inside of the bottle, but that didn’t work. We tried duct taping the cap to the bottle, and though the cap stayed on, it didn’t create a good enough seal. So, with the newly cut O-ring in the grove of the cap, we wrapped the grove with several layers of electrical tape, which created a successful seal with the bottle. Now, the next problem we had was keeping the cap attached to the bottle. We tried a duct taping method, but it was unable to withstand the pressure in the bottle. Then we tried using aluminum strips, hose clamps, and a rivet gun to secure the cap, but this method hasn’t been successful yet. Currently, we are still trying to find a way to securely fasten the cap.

November 6, 2019

I’ve just presented my current research in the Fluid Dynamics lab at the WISRD Fall Poster Presentations. Recently, I’ve developed a theory to describe the impulse of the bottle using pressure and temperature probes. I’m using the Ideal Gas Law and Bernoulli’s Principal to explain the force on the water. Here is the theory: Fluid Dynamics Theory. I’m now working with Molly to finish the cap design of our new SRETB 4.0.

May 15, 2019

A week ago, I was appointed by the WISRD board as the new Programs Director for WISRD, taking Aidan’s role. Remy, the new Director, is taking over Josie’s role. We both are very excited to continue all of the hard work that both Josie and Aidan have put into WISRD. As Programs Director, my future plans are to elevate the research being conducted here at WISRD, as well as getting more involvement with the Wildwood’s elementary school and the middle school.

As for the Aerodynamics Lab, we had a poster presentation last month on our work over the year. We are on our third model of the SRETB, which is now two force plates in parallel to be able to measure the force of the water bottle rocket without maxing out. We are currently working on assembling the metal force plate that will attach the two force plates together and figuring out how to attach the force plates to the SRETB. We need to finish the SRETB 3.0 in order to get the impulse (area under the curve) of the force vs. time graph. With past data, I’ve been doing some video analysis on the launch. Using our video, I am able to measure the change of volume in respects to time. Using the ideal gas law, I am able to create a calculated (theoretical) model of the change in pressure assuming that the temperature is constant.

November 12, 2018

For the past couple of months, I have been working on the theoretical part of the Aerodynamics Lab. It has been quite interesting and fun, yet challenging due to the complexity of rocket sciences. However, we have made great headway into solving our abstract. We are working with Jeremy Brightbill, a graduate at UCLA Department of Mathematics. He sent Molly and I some math on finding the maximum height of a water bottle rocket: Water Rocket Physics Analysis. Even though this isn’t really what our abstract is on, we were still able to use some of the equations that pertain to the thrust and velocity of the bottle. I am currently working on finding a new version of some of his equation that makes the velocity to be zero at time zero. Currently, the thrust of the bottle does not start at zero, but rather decreases from a high potential starting point (shown in Figure 1).

Figure 1: Using Brightbill’s Theoretical  Equations, plotting Thrust (N) vs. Time (s). The parameters is a 2 liter bottle dimensions, with 1000 mL of water at 30 PSI.

Figure 2: Experimental Data using SRETB 2.0, plotting Thrust (N) vs. Time (s). This is a 2 liter bottle with 1000 mL of water at 30 PSI.

August 23, 2018

It’s my third year in WISRD, and my third year continuing working on the Aerodynamics Lab. With all the work done last year, I feel very confident that this year we will be able to publish our work. We have added a couple of new people to our group, one being Jeremy, who is helping me with the math/physics of the problem. So far, we are working on determining the theoretical water/air ratio that will have the longest burnout time. This will then be tested using the SRETB 2.0 using different ratios and comparing their burnout time. We then will use this knowledge of which ratio has the longest burnout time, and compare it with another theoretical water/air ratio for the maximum average force to determine which ratio produces the largest impulse.

In addition, I will be modifying the SRETB 2.0’s dropper launch mechanism. I am currently designing a new 3d model that will create a better laminar flow of the propellent as it is being expelled out of the bottle.

February 5, 2018

Last Wednesday, Molly and I finished our first draft of our article, “The Engineering Design Process of Constructing a Static Rocket Engine Test Bed”! We got some edits from Molly’s grandfather who is a retired mechanical engineer. I spoke to Josie, who is the head editor of both the magazine and the research journal, and she told me that they will start the editing process in the next couple months becasue they usually publish the WISRD journal in the middle of Spring.

Currently, Molly and I are working on our new problem in the Aerodynamics Lab which involves the calibration of the PASCO force plate. We have collected a good amount of data using the SRETB 2.0 and have been able to graph it, but there seems to be some kind of error indicated in the graph. The data is not remotely following the outline of a bell curve, which is what should happen in theory. We have realized that the error may be due to the different calibrations of the force plate before doing our tests. Becasue the force plate is oriented vertically (facing downwards), it is very hard to calibrate it. The current method that we have been doing for all of the tests are slightly different each time. The sensor is calibrated by making the slope between two points; one that is (0,0) and the other at (1, x).  The “x” is a value read from the force plate. When the force plate is oriented upward, it is quite easy to calibrate it becasue you just simply put one kilogram of weight on the force plate, and call that one Newton. But when the force plate is oriented downwards, it is hard to tell the sensor what one Newton is. By using simple machines (either a pulley or a lever), we theorizes that this method will accurately calibrate the force plate so that the sensor knows what a true Newton of force is. The significance of this slight difference could make the difference from having a random spread of data to a more focused collection of data that could be graphed using a bell curve.

January 25, 2018

On this past Monday, I did a virtual reality meeting with Aidan who is a PI on the Weather Balloon project. Even though there were some difficulties with the meeting, I was able to have my first experience and communicate with other people in a virtual reality world. After a while, wearing all of the VR equipment and being in this virtual reality does make me have some motion sickness, but nevertheless, I was able to understand and cooperate in this queasy setting. There are still some problems with virtual reality meetings becasue of how new this technology is, but I am glad that I can be apart of this process of developing this new technology.

January 18, 2018

If you haven’t checked the Aerodynamics Page Molly and I are currently writing one out of the three research papers that we will be publishing on this lab. We are more than half way done with “The Engineering Design Process of Constructing a Static Rocket Engine Test Bed” article. This article is solely on the engineering of the SRETB, and the learning outcomes and challenges that were faced during the process.

On a different subject, I am apart of the Weather Balloon project. With many collaborators, the project is based around doing a cosmic ray experiment. I wanted to be apart of this great lab, and I have done research of creating a small cosmic ray detector that we could attach to the weather balloon. It is not official yet, but I will be in charge of creating the cosmic ray detector and help assemble the scientific instruments that will be launched. There will hopefully be several publications of this lab at the end, which I hope to be apart of.

January 8, 2018

I have been informed that an article that I wrote about on Zero will be published in the first edition of the WISRD Inquiry Magazine of 2018!!! My article talks about the historical journey of Zero, who and how it became a number, and the philosophical struggles with the idea of nothing. This will be my second officially published article in WISRD, so look out for the first edition of the magazine this year!!!

October 7, 2017

I apologize for the lack of journalling. I have been really busy with the Aerodynamics lab.  Molly and I have collected more data and are fitting a curve to the data. However, we ran into a problem with the tests with SRETB 2.0. We tested a ratio that we had already previously tested before twice, yet when we did it this week, we got poor results. The pressure in the bottle doesn’t seem to be at 30 PSI (which is the set pressure for every test). Because of this, the bottle is not expelling the water fast enough, so it gurgles out with the help of gravity and the little pressure in the bottle. We are trying to locate and solve the problem, so we can fix it for InnovatedLA on October 14, 2017 (next Saturday). We may also have to retest some of the data point that we got becasue of this problem of pressure could have changed the results of the impulses, giving us an inaccurate data sample. I will try and submit all of the things I talked about in the previous journal entry, but with the goal (in the previous journal entry) of trying to complete this lab by the end of 2017, my main focus is for completing all of the math, writing the research article and solving any other problem that may occur during this period. I will try to post stuff during the next two months, but I will definitely post a lot of content explaining the lab in the span of two years and all of the obstacles that were faced once I have some free time to do so.

August 27, 2017

It’s my second year of being a WISRD member, and I am ready to continue all of the great work I did last year! Here are my goals for this year:

  • Having a Role on the WISRD Board
  • Finish Aerodynamics Lab
    • Graph Data/Analyze Data
    • Create Theory
    • Test Theory with SRETB 2.0
    • Get Drag Coefficient from Wind Tunnel
    • Write a Research Paper (maybe publish it in the WISRD Research Journal, AAPT or other Scientific/Mathematic Journals)

If I finish the Aerodynamics Lab this year, I plan on doing the following:

  • Investigate Mathematical Ideas and Theories
  • Help Work on the Cancer Research Lab with Will B. and Cameron

Right now, I am currently working on graphing and analyzing the data from our tests with the SRETB 2.0. Hopefully I can be able to come up with a theory in the next couple of months. In the next couple of weeks, I will write a long journal entry, updating everyone with all of the new things and accomplishments of the Aerodynamics lab. For example: making a SRETB 2.0 that gets rid of the “bounce” effect in the data, showing data collected from the SRETB 2.0 and video of it during testing, my 3d printed quick release valve that was used to make a drop launcher (which I designed and made on TinkerCad) and the installment of the fans for the Wind Tunnel. All of this information and more will be posted in a future journal entry.

January 26, 2017

It is half way through the year, and Molly and I have been making significant progress. We are beginning our Test #1 next weak. The delay was due to several problems in the experiment such as; water leaking, securing the guide rail to the bottle, readjusting the height from the pressure plate to the launcher, securing the force plate so it doesn’t jolt from the impact of the collision and reinforcing the structure of the SRETB (static rocket engine test bed). We have done a couple of mini tests to see if our SRETB 1.0 works.

Here is a photo of the set up of the experiment:

Set up for Experiment

And here is a video on the test of the SRETB 1.0:

The wind tunnel is nearly complete. The Arduino Team (Cameron and Kai) is working on the fans and is collaborating with the 3d Printing Team (Lea and Grace) to print out the propellers. They have printed some prototypes. The wind tunnel should be done in a week or two.

Since we are very close to getting some data, I have been studying and doing some research on the physics of rocketry as well as finding equations that will help us develop a theoretical thrust. Of course, nothing can be done until we have the empirical data, so I am preparing myself for the advance math and physics that will be used in the lab. We are also going to collaborate with the Calculus 1 and 2 classes at Wildwood. They will be helping us with some problems, which will both help our lab and will educate and test their Calculus and problem solving skills.

Here are our goals for the next couple of months:

• to get accurate empirical data and to analyze it before spring break (March 24)

• to start to write up a theory for the thrust before spring break (March 24)

• to have the wind tunnel complete and to start to do tests on the aerodynamics of the 2 liter bottle in order to get its drag coefficient for our equations

November 19, 2016

Molly and I finished our poster presentation at Wildwood a week ago. It was a really fun night, and the lectures were really amazing. Here is our poster: Wind Tunnel Poster. We will be having another poster presentation in the Spring.

The wind tunnel is almost done, we are waiting for the Engineering team, Cameron and Kai, to setup and install the fans for the wind tunnel. We will also be installing a smoke generator after the fans are assembled to the tunnel.

Right now, Molly and I are getting ready to do Test #1 , where we will be collecting data on the thrust of different ratios of water to air. In Test #2, we will be testing different PSI pressures to find the best pressure to use for future tests and experiments. Before doing Test #2, I will be using the data in Test #1 to create a theory. Using the theory in Test #3, I will see if my hypothesis and theory matches the data that was collected. There are two parts in Test #3: the first part is going to be doing Test #1 again, and the second part is going to be doing Test #1 but with different ratios of water to air and using the selected PSI pressure in Test #2.

November 3, 2016

It has now been two months into the aerodynamics lab, and Molly and I are almost done with the wind tunnel. For the past month and a half, we have been tirelessly unravelling 790 straws, cutting approximately 2,000 straws, gluing approximately 4,000 straws and then assembling those 4,000 glued straws so it fits in the wind tunnel doorway. The ending result is in Figure 1. Its purpose is to create laminar flow, so our data for the drag and streamline of a bottle rocket is accurate. We are in the process of testing wether or not the straws do create laminar flow, by using yarn indicators and a smoke machine, which we will also be using to see the streamline of a bottle rocket. Here are some pictures of the process and what it looks like so far:

Figure 1

Figure 1

Figure 2

Figure 2

Figure 3

Figure 3

 Figure 4

Figure 4

Figure 5

Figure 5

My next goal is to make, or get, a bottle rocket launcher so I can start doing the math side of the lab. I will be doing a test to collect data on the thrust of different water to air ratios. After getting some data, I will make an equation using the data, and then test it again to see if it is true.

September 14, 2016

It has been two weeks into the aerodynamics lab and it’s off to a great start. Molly and I have been planning our lab and designing the wind tunnel that we will use to help design our rocket and nosecone. We are currently making a few adjustments to the door of the wind tunnel, before we attach it to the actual body of the wind tunnel. On the math and rocket science part of the lab, I have talked to Manfredo, a math teacher at Wildwood that is wiling to help me understand some of the advance math that is involved in the lab. He says to go on Khan Academy to learn trigonometry and pre calculus before starting. I have been studying trigonometry for a little over a week, and I have just started to learn pre calculus. I plan to just get a brief understanding on these two subjects, so I won’t be totally confused when understanding the calculus and rocket science in this lab. 

August 31, 2016

Today Molly and I are taking over the aerodynamics lab that was originally started by Jacob R., Nanak K. and Declan J. I am doing this lab becasue I love math, and I want to explore solving and creating mathematical theories, as well as exploring the aerodynamics and physics of rocket propulsion. I am also curious about what types of liquids and gases (concerning their densities) would emit the maximum thrust possible. I am thrilled I have this opportunity to conduct this lab and I can’t wait to begin!

August 24, 2016

Learning Outcomes 2016-2017

Topics I’m Interested In:

• Astronomy

• Aerodynamics

• Electronics

• Computer Science

• Math Theories

I plan to learn the important skills of engineering in order to better prepare myself for a STEM type job in the future. I am excited to work, experience and learn important techniques that is not always taught at school. My main goal is to help the WISRD institute to the best of my ability and skill level while having fun.