A typical model rocket launch controller is simply made with copper contacts and 4 AA size batteries.
One problem is pressing the buttons does not provide tactile feedback that the press was effective.
Another problem is 6v does not immediately ignite a typical rocket igniter so again, feedback is slow.
The result is a child is pressing the buttons as hard as they can and not watching their rocket leave the pad.
A different child stabs the buttons with no effect and wonders what is wrong.
This design solves these problems by the following changes:
1) The power source can be 12V (car battery, SLA battery, more AA's etc) so the igniter files more quickly.
2) An MCU monitors the ARM and FIRE buttons and drives the igniter power appropriately. i.e. ARM must be pressed for a minimum time. FIRE will trigger a 1 second firing pulse.
3) 12v lights can be used to clearly indicate the pad status (SAFE, READY, ARMED)
Additionally, the controller could be mounted at the pad to minimize high current losses in the igniter circuit.
For future pad expansion, a serial interface is provided to allow a launch controller to be built and communicate with multiple pads for larger launch days.