In Spring 2020, during IAP, the MIT Rocket team launched multiple rockets at the FAR site in the Mojave desert in California.
The second stage of the staging demonstrator rocket did not deploy parachutes and crashed in the desert. Without parachutes, the rocket dropped unchecked and burried itself 3 meters underground. We got a last GPS position over radio before the impact. We calculated the approximate impact area and the search team found it very close to the calculated area.
The avionics bay was crushed and with it all the electronics. We really wanted to know what happened and needed the data.
We found some boards and some flash chips. Most of them were damaged, however we managed to recover the data.
One of the avionics board was a Raven3. Only half of the board was found, luckily that half had still the SPI flash chip.
After desoldering the chip, I noticed that 2 corners with pads were broken off. The VCC and Data-In/SI pad were missing
Unfortuantly, the bonding wires were not visible. I used needles, but I could not make contact.
I got a little bit desperate and tried something new. I mixed a salt solution by mixing lots of salt with water, until the salt did not dissolve anymore. After placing the needles, I put a drop of the solution on the missing pads (without shorting the other pads).
Suprisingly this worked and I was able to dump the flash memory using my trusty Flashcat USB reader.
Unfortunately, there is no description about the flash format and the software cannot import a flash image. I used another "Raven 3" and have written my dump to it (after creating a backup, of cause). Then I could extract the data over USB.