Our Flight Computer: Catalyst

Welcome to the Avionics Group of the Harlem Launch Alliance! We're a team of innovators dedicated to crafting open-source flight computers, redefining flight data acquisition and high-power rocket recovery. Join us in our journey as we combine technology and passion to push the boundaries of rocketry.


We're constantly developing software to support our projects and the rest of the organization. All of our code is publicly available at github.com/Harlem-Launch-Alliance.


CATALYST 1 (2021)

Initially developed on a protoboard, Catalyst 1 marked the Avionics Group's inaugural venture into hardware designed for flight data logging. Comprised of an IMU 6050, an Adafruit BMP 380, an HW-125 SD Card module, an Arduino Pro Micro, and a switch, this creation served as both a milestone and a functional asset. In 2021, it assumed the role of the club's primary flight computer, serving this function for 1 year.

CATALYST 2 (2022)

Building upon our earlier efforts, Catalyst 2 came to life in the Avionics Group. With a sense of continuous learning, we took strides by incorporating GPS and radio transmission capabilities, deepening our exploration. Through 2022, this upgraded computer shouldered the responsibility of a vital flight computer for our club, embodying our commitment to gradual advancement. However, on June 4th, 2023, our journey hit a setback when the HLA regrettably lost the flight computer in a cornfield.

CATALYST 1 Rev 2 (2023)

Returning to our roots, Catalyst 1 Revision 2 marks a thoughtful reexamination within the Avionics Group. Drawing from the sturdy foundation of Catalyst 1, this revision embraces a proven and dependable code base as we introduce novel electronics. This deliberate approach propels us towards the creation of a certification-ready flight computer, embodying our commitment to meticulous design and steady progress.

CATALYST 2 Rev 2 (2023)

Developed to assist the group build team, Catalyst 2 Revision 2 emerges as a refined testament within the Avionics Group. Building upon the successes of Catalyst 2, this iteration seamlessly integrates its features while introducing a significant enhancement: dedicated Drogue and Main Parachute deployment channels. This careful fusion embodies our dedication to continuous improvement and attention to detail, solidifying our pursuit of a comprehensive and reliable flight computer solution.

The team has been working on a flight computer that is 100% student-researched and developed. This is an R&D-oriented program that we began in August 2019 in preparation for SAC 2020. Due to remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic and leaving the SAC competition, the avionics group decided to solely focus its efforts on developing a flight computer.