Encyclopedia Astronautica

American sounding rocket. Rooster was a variant of the Arcas sounding rocket. Instead of a temperature transmitter, it used a ROBIN (Rocket Balloon Instrument) inflatable falling sphere as its payload.

Historical Essay © Andreas Parsch

Atlantic Research PWN-7 Rooster

The PWN-7A Rooster was a variant of the PWN-6 Kitty (Arcas) sounding rocket. Instead of a temperature transmitter, it used a ROBIN (Rocket Balloon Instrument) inflatable falling sphere as its payload. At the apogee of the probe's trajectory, a metalized balloon was released and inflated. While it was slowly descending back to earth, the balloon was tracked by a high-precision radar on the ground. Using the balloon's known mass and volume, the radar track could be used to calculate atmospheric data like wind speed-direction and air density. The latter could then be used to calculate air pressure and temperature.

Other than the PWN-6 radiosonde-equipped Arcas, the PWN-7A Arcas-ROBIN required a high-precision radar to get air temperature data. However, its altitude and temperature measurement ranges were somewhat greater than that of the PWN-6's instrument. The PWN-7A was replaced in the 1970s by the PWN-12A, the ROBIN variant of the Super Loki-Dart sounding rocket family.


Note: Data given by several sources show slight variations. Figures given below may therefore be inaccurate!

Data for PWN-7A:

Length 2.30 m (7 ft 6.6 in)
Diameter 11.4 cm (4.5 in)
Finspan 33 cm (13 in)
Weight 33 kg (73 lb)
Speed > 3950 km-h (2455 mph)
Ceiling 65 km (40 miles; 210000 ft)
Propulsion Atlantic Research SR45-AR-1 solid-fuel rocket; 1490 kN (336 lb) for 29 s
Main Sources

[1] Richard B. Morrow, Mitchell S. Pines: "Small Sounding Rockets", Small Rocket Press, 2000
[2] Peter Alway: "Rockets of the World", Saturn Press, 1999
[3] Frederick I. Ordway III, Ronald C. Wakeford: "International Missile and Spacecraft Guide", McGraw-Hill, 1960
[4] "Model Designation of Military Aircraft, Rockets and Guided Missiles", Department of Defense, 1970


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Associated Countries
Associated Engines
  • SR45 Atlantic Research solid rocket engine. Kitty PWN-6, Rooster PWN-7. More...

See also
  • Arcas The Arcas (All-Purpose Rocket for Collecting Atmospheric Soundings) was developed by the Atlantic Research Corporation for the Office of Naval Research (ONR) with the support of the Navy Bureau of Aeronautics and the Air Force Cambridge Research Laboratories. Primarily a meteorological rocket, the Arcas was first fired in July 1959. The single-stage version was designed to lift 5.4 kg to 64 km. For more demanding missions, several versions of boosted Arcas were developed, as well as a stretched Super Arcas motor. More...

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