Antenna progress

The coupler and antenna designs are ready and the order was placed today for three groundplanes with couplers,
19.5, 22, 25 mm feed, one transmission line with two coax connectors and microstip between them, and six antennas
(D = 47, 47.1 mm, feeds are 19.5, 22, 25 mm).

The coupler was dimensioned in AWR enviroment, very useful for this purpose and and powerful tool. The good news is that I simulated the coupler with these dimensions in CST and the S-parameters looked good! Naturally, further and more thorough investigation in CST is necessary though it will shortly be tested in reality and improving the geometries in the simulations does not guarantee an improvement in the real antenna due to manufacturing tolerances.

The antenna together with coupler will be tested shortly after the order has arrived, that is on Monday 🙂 This is very exciting!

Happy days!



First day of the training week in Kiruna, so far so good!!

The MUSCAT team together with the rest of teams of the REXUS/BEXUS  arrived to Esrange Space Center. We are here for the training week and for the preliminary design review (PDR) of the MUSCAT experiment. So far it has been an awesome time up here in Kiruna 200 km up to the arctic circle.Check where we are!!

We arrived here to the Esrange Space Center pretty late so we ate some dinner, some resting and of curse as it should be done here at this time of the year. We went out to look at the Aurora Borealis. Look to the   Aurora Borealis it is one of those thing that people use to have in the to do list for their lives. The Muscat team in Esrange Space Center can remove Aurora Borealis from to do list of their lives.

But now, everyone is nervous because we believe that maybe tomorrow can be our PDR presentation and we want to show the good job that we have done so far an do our best so is time for rehearsal of the presentation and go through all the results. Personally I am excited about showing all my FEM data to the experts to share the obtained data and get their opinions about the beautiful thing that me and ABAQUS have been having fun with lately, like this compression test of a model of three modules.This all for today, now time for some final preparation work.

MUSCAT Team going to Esrange for Student Training Week

Six members from the MUSCAT team are currently on their way to Kiruna and Esrange to participate in the Student Training Week.
There we will be present a brief overview of the experiment for the other teams that will participate in your REXUS or BEXUS campaign.

A presentation of the preliminary design for the PDR Review Panel will also be made, this will take place in a private session and be followed by approximately one hour of discussion between the team and the experts. We are also bringing breadboards and models that we have started working on.  This is our chance to get expert advice that will allow us to make a robust and successful final design.

Other elements of the week will include lectures on relevant scientific and engineering topics, detailed explanations of the launch vehicle systems, tours of the SSC Esrange facilities and ‘Ask and expert’ discussion sessions.

Everyone from the team who are going are all looking forward to the week and what may it bring.
More updates will be made during the week, so keep your eyes open.


This week me and Anders have continued working on the power system schematics. But we have also produced three prototype circuit boards for some of our regulators.

Below you can see the LTC3440, LTC1516 and LTC1911 regulators soldered on prototype boards.



LTC3440 and a big coil


We will soon be testing them to see if they are good enough to be implemented in the FFU.




Top to Bottom PCB Connections

Since we use a solution with 2 PCBs, where most of the electronics for the GPS experiment and localization is on the top PCB and the data acquisition and power system is on the bottom, we need a lot of communication between these two boards. All the data from the GPS front-end need to be send down to the memorys, all control signals to the localization system needs to be send up. Add to this all the umbilical connections, driving power, ground connections and you’ve got enough pins for one 20-pin connector and one 16-pin. Not all of them are desided 100% yet, but here are a few one the schematics. Have fun figuring out what they mean ^^.

Fiber Composite Lab

The Mechanical Team had its first laboratory in Fiber Composite. As you may remember we are going to manufacture the two Hemispheres (here for more details) using Fiber Glass.

In the first lab we realized a small Hemisphere by manually laying up Fiber Glass fabric and Epoxy on a 85 mm diameter sphere. As a first try we obtained a good Hemisphere and we are looking forward for the next lab!!


Here there are some Pictures from our lab!

Schematic almost finished

Today we had a schematic review and a few people from the RAIN Experiment joined us and checked our schematics. Some things had to be corrected but most of it seems to be sorted out now. On the PCB we are going to measure some voltages and currents. We found some really cute current sensing chips from MAXIM (MAX4372 and MAX9928) we are going to use. This is a much simpler and more accurate solution than using ordinary opamps and it requires less components => more space on the PCB =>easier to draw:)

Next step is to draw the PCB and order it.