System Applications


The Flight Management Systems, both Standard and High Performance, are designed to provide Active Stabilization (Vertical Flight Control) and Hybrid Motor Control (based on the BMMW Flow Control Valve).  The user may choose one or both of these functions, or may even decide to repurpose the module to perform some other custom function such as opening and closing a fairing for Sounding Rocket systems.  A complete set of programming tools are supplied with each system for customization.

The basic architecture consists of:

  • Cypress PSoC 5 Processor System on Chip Cypress CY8C58LP PSoC
    • 256KB Program Memory (on-chip Flash)
    • 64KB RAM (on-chip SRAM)
    • 2KB Non-Volatile Memory (EEPROM)
    • 24 Universal Digital Blocks (8-bits wide)
    • Multiple ADCs, DACs, OpAmps and Comparators
    • DMA, Interrupts, etc.
  • 128MB Serial Flash (Flight Log)
  • High Performance Factory Calibrated, Temperature Compensated Altimeter
  • Five Programmable Stepper Motor Controllers
  • Several Programmable Gain Amplifiers
  • Inertial Navigation Unit (IMU) options:

A complete toolchain is included to program the PSoC program memory, logic blocks and analog matrix allowing great flexibility.

The module communicates with the Base Module to provide commands and access to Telemetry.

The built-in functions can be used as is, modified or discarded and replaced as the user sees fit.


Active Stabilization

Included functions with each system include an implementation of Active Stabilization utilizing four Stepper Motors to drive aerodynamic surfaces (i.e., canards) based on a closed loop control system driven by the IMU.  An inner control loop utilizes position encoders, either embedded in the motor or further along the drive chain, to assure accurate positioning.  An extensive list of user defined parameters allows free selection of motor specifications (drive current, motor/encoder pulses per revolution, drive ratio, pulse rate, etc.).  In addition the control loop is bounded by loop gain, roll dampening factor, maximum deflection, overshoot allowance, etc.  Logging of stepper position, state and IMU data is accomplished both on-board and available through the Base Module to Telemetry.

Source code is provided so the user can customize the implementation, or do it from scratch.  Other Stabilization/Guidance schemes are possible utilizing the Driver Module for cold gas jets and/or GPS.

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Hybrid Motor Control

The Black Magic developed Hybrid Motor Flow Control Valve (see Hybrid Motor System) provides a low cost, simplified method of precise control over thrust curve for optimal operation and is particularly suited fororbital insertion.  The valve design is available to purchasers and is simple to fabricate using any competent machine shop using readily available materials.

As with Active Stabilization, the standard functions provided allow extensive control over motor parameters, control loop (either open or Combustion Chamber pressure feedback) and data logging.  Several buffered analog inputs are provided to monitor Combustion Chamber pressure, NOS Tank pressure and an optional load cell input for Static Test Stand Thrust measurement.  The later can also be used in a launch system to monitor NOS loading.  In the High Performance FMS additional support for NOS temperature and a NOS Heater control output provide for preheating NOS for optimal pressure (>1,000 psi).

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