Lisa I – This vehicle was designed as part of summer research over the 2009-2010 University holiday break. This particular launch was used to test out the airframe, solid fuel motors and parachute recovery system. It was launched from an Amberley farm on February 2010 and was the official beginning of the UC rocketry research. It flew very successfully and provided confidence for the next roll controlled launch.
Lisa II – This vehicle was the first set of launches in the postgraduate Masters research of Malcolm Snowdon and Avinash Rao, supervised by Dr Chris Hann with industry sponsor Rocket Lab, in 2011. A much faster burning aerotech solid fuel motor was tested along with the parachute recovery system, an onboard camera and a 4 m launch guide. The first two launches successfully proved the new systems and provided the foundation for a third and final roll controlled launch. This last launch used a different concept of actuation with canards at the front. In this test two fins were held constant and the other two were used for roll control. Some good roll rate data was logged and analysed as well as some pitch and yaw data. The controller was again PD control, however one of the gains was chosen a little too high and there was also quite a bit of time lag in the sensors and actuators and some oscillation of about +/-45 degrees was observed. However, this data set provided an excellent retrospective validation of minimal mathematical models for roll dynamics and proved that it was possible to predict the rocket roll response from low speed wind tunnel tests.
Lisa III – A significantly faster avionics and actuation system was implemented in this vehicle which reduced the time delay significantly. It was based on many wind tunnel tests and was the first vehicle that implemented a real-time disturbance identification and rejection algorithm. This disturbance rejection method consistently gave very tight roll control so provided the first validation of the model-based control goals of this PhD research. It was also valuable for gaining further insight into pitch and yaw response and gave some initial data for developing the 6DOF models.