Interim Report

Team Number: 052
School Name: Des Moines High School
Area of Science: Physics
Project Title: Calculating the Drop of a Projectile at Various Distances
Project Abstract: http://mode.lanl.k12.nm.us/97.98/abstracts/052.html
Interim Report: http://mode.lanl.k12.nm.us/97.98/interims/052.html
Final Report: http://mode.lanl.k12.nm.us/97.98/finalreports/052/finalreport.html

The purpose of our project is to find out how far projectiles shot from a rifle will travel before it hits the ground or a target. We want to be able to take the data that we find and make a program that will show the drop of the different projectile weights. We think that after getting information we will be able to write a program that will figure the ballistics using the distance from the rifle to the target. We plan to take into account the weight of the bullet needed for different distances to that target.

In our original abstract the bullet weight was a variable, as well as the distance. We have gathered a large quantity of ballistics data from various reloading manuals and shooters bibles. In reading the ballistics manuals we have come to realize that the amount of powder has to be changed when the bullet weight is changed. If both the bullet weight and the amount of powder are variables we feel we would have to many variables. In order to have only one variable we are going to limit ourselves to just figuring distance leaving all other variables constant. This will make our results more manageable. After the basic program is working we plan to expand the program to use different rifles, bullet weights and different amounts of powder. We also will account for different distances from the target, movement of the target, and wind speed.

We have agreed on assignments of team members as follows: Drew Kennedy and Brian Wolfe will be in charge of completing the programming. Matt Doherty will be organizing the ballistics data. Rhyan Daugherty and Chelsea Davis are responsible for any html work that needs to be done. We have a ballistics program supplied by New Mexico State University, in Las Cruces via David Graham that was very useful to our team. This program was very valuable in the analysis of data. After putting in the type of rifle, the weight of the projectiles, and the distance to the target we have found the information needed to be able to write our program.

As we are a young team this year, we have had a few brief programming classes that basically taught us the concept of programming. In the near future (Chris Karr) will be planning to have classes after school to help Drew Kennedy, Brian Wolfe, and other students with the math they need to complete the C++ program. With this help we should be able to write our program. Understanding that it will be very basic as we are all beginning programmers. In the program we have to use the initial velocity of the bullet, force of gravity, elevation of the barrel, and weight of the bullet. The program should show a curve that we can plot to measure height from the ground at specific distances.

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New Mexico High School Supercomputing Challenge