Models of a small-scale water rocket are developed as an example of open system modeling by both the bond graph approach and a more classical method. One goal of the development is to determine the benefits of the bond graph approach into affording insight into the system dynamics. Both modeling approaches yield equivalent differential equations as they should, while the bond graph approach yields significantly more insight into the system dynamics. If a modeling goal is to simply find the system equations and predict behavior, the classical approach may be more expeditious. If insight and ease of model modification are desired, the bond graph technique is probably the better choice. But then you have to learn it!

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