Re: NAR President's TARC 2004 Report - Fun Stuff

pull a team together to do this stuff, and I stand in awe of the

> organizational display Trip and his team put on at Great Meadow. > Personal aside: I had way too much fun at this event. I go there, I > do nothing but schmoze, and everyone who meets me is interested in the > hobby, the kids, our mission and our organization. By far and away, > it's turned into the absolutely the best perk of being NAR president > (grin).

Kudos sir. TARC is far and away an unqualified success for NAR and model rocketry generally.


Reply to
Jerry Irvine
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Wow... we never get celebs at METRA launches... except a triennial visit from Neil Tarasoff. Alas and alack...

Reply to

I'm sure the weather, the motor rule change, and the fact that 38/102 teams were veterans vs. the all rookie field in 2003 were all contributing factors.

38 sounds good, but only 12 of those 102 qualifying teams managed to score below 40 in the finals. I'd guess the ability to take a Mulligan in qualifying really skews the comparative results. OTOH, half the finalists scored within 145, and 46 within 10% of the desired altitude. It looks like maybe 40% had problems, e.g. low performance from non vertical flight, or cluster ignition failure, or broken egg, unstable, etc.

The spinning rocket issue is one that interests me. Were more models spun this year simply because more clusters were flown? Were more models spun because the veteran teams remembered flying in bad weather in TARC 2003? Where did they get the idea to spin models? Was it from individual research and experience, or on-line open discussion lists, or taught from the mentors and coaches? They certainly did not learn it from running Rocsim. More generally, I'd like to read articles written by student participants about the technical, operational, and tactical lessons learned.

There was also a quiet discursion of flights on RMR about non vertical flights due to a cluster motor failing to ignite. I thought about doing an R&D project to determine optimal fins size and fin cant angle for a TARC like model with one cluster motor ignition failure. However, this is project best left to the TARCians and NARAM B division competitors.

The team winning the Honeywell control award was DQ'd. Ouch! I wonder what they did to earn the award?

While I was looking that up, I noticed that Clayton High from MO had three teams, all with closely grouped low scores. I'm wondering if they functioned independently, or more like a motor sports team fielding three cars in the same race, sharing knowledge. Did they all use the same batch of under performing motors? Did the third team to fly not think that maybe they should remove some ballast or something? I'm sure that there are at least 100 good stories and lessons learned coming out of TARC 2004. I hope we get to read about some of them?


Reply to
Alan Jones



the Most

High, and

The award write-up allows DQs to win (best laid plans....)

They eliminated a lot of variability by using a nice tower launcher, and had a fairly sophisticated weight adjustment system based on a simulator-derived table that took into account temperature, humidity, etc.

I think the DQ was because they didn't get a motor lit...


Reply to
Ted Cochran

Like yeah... Wasn't the team a group of freshman? :-)

I see what you're probing at (if I got it right) with TARC is more in-line with the NCAA basketball tourney where every year is fairly wide open.

I've got this database of some NAR/FAI contest flights and did some comparisons...

1/2ASRA 27% DQ Rate BELA 28% CELD 28% BHD 28% BSD 28% 1/4ASRD 28% 1/4ASD 32% FSD 33% 1/4ARG 33% 1/2AFW 33% DBG 33%

The DQ percent of this years TARC was what, about 29%? Looking at the Cumulative Distribution of scores, the shape of the curve looks very similar to FAI B-PD and maybe FAI A-PD where they were going for Maxes. Good stuff...

Regards, Andy

Reply to
Andy Eng

I don't follow NCAA basketball, but are you suggesting that high performing teams make it to the NCAA tourney, but few of them display that same high perfomance in the pressure if a NCAA tourney, and that TARCians just crack under the pressure of the finals competition? I'm not probing at anything. I'm just musing the posted results and Mark's commemts. I'm sure people who were actualy there can provide a better assement. Bunny suggested that the competitors were MUCH better this year because the average qualifying score went from 99 to

38 in an easier contest. I'm suggesting that the real improvement in contestant skill may not be as great as Mark and his chosen metric suggests.


Reply to
Alan Jones

March Madness is an interesting time of the year. It's a single elimination tournament and in the end, everybody but one school will suffer a loss.

It would be too obvious to say that some teams handle the distractions of being on the road better than others. For all I know, some may prefer the distractions (?!?)

Based on simply two years of watching , I'm happy to claim that the DQ rate from our area teams is about half of the national average yet puzzled that for two years in a row, have consistently flown to lower altitudes than expected. This year, their models were flying straight as a laser so I'm wondering if it's either the local weather or motor variability. Oh well... I understand everybody had a good time.

Ahhh... Cut him some slack. After all, he's hobnobbin with the big boys now and may have lost touch for the moment... :-)

When I inspected the cumulative performance distribution (CPD) curves from the two years, I see two distributions within each year. Those in the pack and the other pack of those who were probably like me in college. Last year, the curves indicate 30% of the teams were in the hunt and this year 56%. For discussion, NAR contests typically has only a fraction of contestants in the head pack. As I mentioned in the prior post, the shape of the TARC CPD's resememble that of the FAI B-PD events. Whatever, I guess the gist is if the event coordinators wants a tightly contested event or one where the pack gets spread out.

Just yapping, Andy

Reply to
Andy Eng

I don't think Mark has lost touch. He is doing a great job, along with Trip, the volunteers and contestants. I'd rather keep him engaged than let him slack off...

I agree that that is a better metric. However, EVERY team in the finals is qualified and should be in competitive pack. The altitude is lower, and the weather was much nicer, which certainly helped, but I don't know how much. The fact that 38 teams returned from the first year also allows for more statistical analysis. Did the verteran teams do significantly better in thier second year, or did they randomly rise and fall in relative demonstrated skill? The allowable motors also chnged, in a way that should be expected to show better results.

Agreed. While interesting, I don't see the relevance to comparison with FAI B-PD, or even NAR contests.

I'd guess they like to see every team make a qualified flight within

15% or so of the desired altitude. But the fact is randomness dominates the determination of the top money winners. Requiring teams to say make three flights and average the altitudes would help reduce the randomness, helping the highest skilled teams to actualy finish in the prize money. Likewise, making the event more difficult, would help insure that the highest skilled teams actualy finish higher in the rankings than lower skilled teams. Of course the other idea is to not pay out the prise money based solely on rank, but on actual performance. Say, $100 - $1/foot of error. Of course you would still have to make it worthwile to participate. And yes, like T ball, they are all winners.

Exactly. We should talk this up more, but I'd like to hold off until more reports are written and published.


Reply to
Alan Jones

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