We’ve all seen in the movies rockets being launched, but how exactly does this work? The secret is called Ignition Box and it’s something that you all have seen. Our Rocketry team, beside being responsible for the design of rocket Hyperion, needs to create its own Ignition Box. It is formed by a key operated switch, a display screen for the countdown, LEDs, a safety switch and a launch button. But how do all these things work?
The Launch Control Box is equipped with two batteries. The firstbattery of lead acid (12V) supplies power for the engine igniter, whilst the other battery (9V) provides energy for the control circuit. Next to every switch there is one LED showing when it is activated. There is one more LED which is lighted when there is voltage at the output.
The user can only have access to three switches. These are the key operated switch, the safety switch and the launch button. There are also two switches inside the Ignition Box. Once the safety interlock key is inserted in the key switch, the electricity can flow. Now, the LED next to it is lighted.
Next, the user has to turn on the safety switch, whilst the corresponding bulb is lighted and after that he presses the launch button (FIRE). That is the moment when the countdown begins! After we hear the buzzer, the red bulb at the top right of the Ignition Box is turned on and the internal switches close.
When the control procedures are finished, the Ignition Box provides electric current to cause engine ignition. The battery is providing high power to a resistive Wire, in order to cause the ignition of the Black Powder, which produces enough heat to cause the solid propellant to ignite.
In an overcurrent situation, the Safety Circuit stops the electricity’s flow by opening the circuit. The team defines the maximum current depending on the materials that they use. The lack of a Safety Circuit can cause damage to parts where the current flows or even to the battery.