More and more flights are featuring electronics of some sort, once considered extreme and highly unique, they are becoming more and more commonplace. More fliers are also attempting to get their HPR Level 4 Certification. In response, CAR/ACF has developed the Electronics Endorsement Program.
The CAR/ACF Electronics Endorsement Program is not mandatory or required for any flight other than starting the HPR Level 4 Certification process. For Model Rocketry and HPR up to L impulse, the Electronics Endorsement is an official recognition of achievement and a demonstration of the skills and knowledge required to integrate and use electronics in rocket flights.
It's possible for F and G impulse flights to be used for Electronics Endorsement certification flights. As long as the rockets and the recovery systems meet the requirements below, even Mid-Power Rocketry enthusiasts can earn their Electronics Endorsement.
The CAR/ACF Electronics Endorsement is a prerequisite for CAR/ACF Level 4 Certification. Any HPR Level 3 certified flier wishing to fly an HPR Level 4 Certification flight must already have his or her Electronics Endorsement. This requirement is not new. The HPR Level 4 Certification has always required the flier to have flown two electronics-equipped flights prior to their certification flight. The Electronics Endorsement is the formal process for demonstrating compliance with this requirement.
The CAR/ACF Electronics Endorsement is also a requirement to be considered for L4 Certification Committee (L4CC) membership. The CAR/ACF Electronics Endorsement is also a requirement for attaining the Rocket Inspector Level 2 designation.
There are no age restrictions in the Electronics Endorsement Program. Any current CAR/ACF member, senior or junior, can earn the Electronics Endorsement.
The program is very simple. just fly two flights on two different rockets, both in dual deployment configurations, with electronics controlling the deployment, (for HPR flights, have the RI performing the pre-flight inspection initial the certification form), and then have 2 Senior CAR/ACF members sign the form after each successful flight. Then submit to CAR/ACF HQ along with the processing fee. CAR/ACF HQ will then update the database and issue the flier a certificate and a new Membership Card indicating that they have the Electronics Endorsement.
Use the Electronics Endorsement Certification Form above.
The requirements to obtain a CAR/ACF Electronics Endorsement are:
- Two (2) flights, each on a different rocket.
- The Electronics Endorsement certification flights cannot be HPR Level 1, 2, or 3 Certification flights.
- Both flights must be successful flights using much the same standards as for an HPR certification flight . the flight must be stable, recovery system must deploy as designed and the rocket must be recovered with minimal landing damage and substantially ready to be reflown.
- Both flights must be flown to apogees where the apogee deployment event can be seen to have occurred from the ground.
- Both rockets must utilize a dual deployment configuration, in that an event must occur at apogee that will retard the descent of the rocket and another event before landing to deploy a parachute or similar device.
- Two (2) Senior CAR/ACF Members in good standing must witness each flight and sign the Electronics Endorsement Certification Form.
- For HPR flights, the Rocket Inspector who inspected the rocket prior to flight must inspect the rocket after the flight and indicate so on the Electronics Endorsement Certification Form;
- Fully completed Electronics Endorsement Certification Form, submitted to CAR/ACF HQ.
The detailed process has a number of steps as outlined below.
- When the flier decides to make a particular flight an endorsement flight, he or she would fill out the Electronics Endorsement Certification Form and for HPR impulse flights, submit it to the Rocket Inspector during the pre-flight inspection of their rocket.
- The Rocket Inspector will initial in the area provided to indicate that he has inspected the rocket prior to flight and knows it's a certification flight. A heads-up announcement is not required, unless one is called for by the RI or LCO for other reasons. (Note: not required for Model Rocket flights)
- The flier then flies and retrieves the rocket and brings it back to the Launch Table for the RI Canadian Association of Rocketry / Association canadienne de fuséonautique Electronics Endorsement Program to sign off or to two witnesses to inspect. The flight must be successful and the dual deployment recovery system must function as indicated during the pre-flight inspections and be activated by on-board electronics in order to be considered a successful flight for the purposes of endorsement. (Note: not required for Model Rocket flights)
- The flier will have two (2) senior CAR/ACF Members in good standing who witnessed the flight sign off on the Electronics Endorsement Certification Form (two for each flight).
- The flier then repeats the above process for their second flight, keeping in mind the requirement that a different rocket be used for the second flight.
- With two successful flights and a completed Electronics Endorsement Certification Form, the flier submits the Form and the $5 processing fee to CAR/ACF HQ.
- CAR/ACF HQ will review the Electronics Endorsement Certification Form and approve it or contact the flier for clarification if required.
- Once approved, the Electronics Endorsement Certification Form data is entered into the CAR/ACF Database.
- With the data in the database, the Secretary will print out the Electronics Endorsement Certificate for the CAR/ACF President to sign, produce a new CAR/ACF Membership Card indicating the holder has the Electronics Endorsement, and mail both out to the member.
There are a number of benefits to getting the Electronics Endorsement, including:
- An official CAR/ACF Certificate indicating the holder has the Electronics Endorsement;
- A Membership Card indicating that the holder has the Electronics Endorsement;
- The ability to use [E] after their Membership number to indicate that they have the Electronics Endorsement (for example in email signatures and other correspondence);
- Meeting a prerequisite for starting the HPR Level 4 Certification process;
- Meeting a prerequisite for acceptance as a CAR/ACF Level 4 Certification Committee Member;
- Meeting a prerequisite for granting of Rocket Inspector Level 2.