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ERIC Number: EJ912903
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Dec
Pages: 3
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 7
ISSN: ISSN-0031-921X
Measuring Model Rocket Engine Thrust Curves
Penn, Kim; Slaton, William V.
Physics Teacher, v48 n9 p591-593 Dec 2010
This paper describes a method and setup to quickly and easily measure a model rocket engine's thrust curve using a computer data logger and force probe. Horst describes using Vernier's LabPro and force probe to measure the rocket engine's thrust curve; however, the method of attaching the rocket to the force probe is not discussed. We show how a simple engine holder can be constructed and used with Vernier's LabPro and force probe to record data that students can use to compare to sample data from the rocket manufacturer or the National Association of Rocketry's engine certification sheets, calculate total impulse, and make predictions for model rocket launches. PASCO markets a rocket engine test bracket that mounts to its PASPORT force sensor for similar measurements. The engine holder described here is very economical, and all the parts can be obtained from a local hardware store or home center.
American Association of Physics Teachers. One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740. Tel: 301-209-3300; Fax: 301-209-0845; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A