Today and tomorrow are holidays in Sweden. People are gathered at this moment, watching bonfires and in some cases fireworks.
The MUSCAT project is going quite well I must say, of course there are a lot of things that need to be taken care of and that is why we like the to-do list on Basecamp so much, there we can see what we have left to do and before what time. Basecamp even reminds me when I should blog. I could make an essay about antennas or project management and post it here but I’m afraid that it would be tldr for you. But if you are interested to see it posted I can post it the next time I’m supposed to blog.
Anyways, I found some pictures from PDR training week. Hope you like them.
Have a great evening!
The drop test results are being analyzed and we will publish a thorough report on the test once all the results are in. In the meantime, let me paint you a picture of the next few weeks in the MUSCAT project.
As it turns out, some of our FFU systems did not perform at full capacity during the drop test. This is both due to design/manufacturing errors and due to time shortage before the test. We are currently working on getting all FFU systems to full operational capacity, as we want to have fully functional prototypes before CDR.
Alongside this work, we are also turning our attention to the RMU design. In the following three weeks we will finalize our RMU in time for the next SED hand-in. The new SED is being updated and is to be handed in late-May. The bulk of this works involves test reports from our FFU development. We will then move on to CDR preparations, which is scheduled for July 3rd-5th.
Keep your eyes open for a detailed post on the drop test results next week!
It was a really hard day, a lot of tension many thing that did not work as they were supposed and many other things that Murphy’s laws involved in every drop test preparation. However these malfunctioning components that were found were nothing else but a source of learning outcomes about how some procedures should not be done and how others should be done. But not everything went wrong there were plenty of systems that worked properly and provided useful data.
Anyway it was a great experience for the MUSCAT team and now we have much more information about what should be improved and how. So now it is time to implement the improvements that we think that can be done.
From the part of the mechanical time we are thinking about the design of the probes. Firstly about how to make the ribs more durable by co-curing the ribs when we are manufacturing then or adding then lately in the process by curing with the same epoxy. Secondly we are trying to figure out why our hemispheres do not keep the shape and hot discussions have been held about this topic but not clear solution has come to this problem so far. Therefore we are trying to design the lay up in a way that force the hemisphere to keep it shape by co-curing a inner ring to the hemisphere. As you can see co-curing is an option that is coming to us so here you are an illustration of what is it. It is basically to cure two components made composite by curing then together so they get a perfect fit.
After a looooong day of drop test we finally stumble into bed. As you know we intended to do several drops of our FFUs to test almost all the electrical and mechanical parts in a live environment. Well today we dropped things, exploded things, short circuited things, glued, coded, compiled, debugged, crashed, burned, smashed and flashed! But we also fixed a lot! Learned a lot. Tested a lot. And most of all had a whole lot of fun!
More details will arrive as we let it all sink in and debrief what really happened on this action packed day at the Arboga airfield. Here is a teaser:
Hej! As you might have noticed tomorrow we are going to perform the Drop tests using an inflatable balloon that will help us to drop for the FFU (Free Falling Unit) from approximatively 500 meters.
The two prototypes of FFU are almost ready. Let me introduce you the last components manufactured: the Battery Cage and the Thermal Cutter.
The Battery Cage as you can imagine is a simple cage that will keep the battery attached to to Bottom PCB.
The Thermal Cutter is a small device that will cut a small wire that will deploy the parachute.
Here you can see the Thermal Cutter in action, this was the very first test performed.
Here you can see other pictures of the components and how we manufactured them.
On thursday we will have a droptest and we have a lot of things to work on until then.
The FFUs (free falling units) will be dropped from a balloon from 500m altitude and the data acqusition system, parachute deployment, localisation system and mechanical system will be tested.
Yesterday we got the sattelite modem working and also a zero g detector that we will use in the droptest. When the FFUs are released from a remote controlled mechanism under
the balloon they will fall down and accelerometers detect zero g. This will trigger the parachute deployment and start the localisation and data acquisition system.
Here is a video of the zero G detector that lit a blue LED:
The excitement for the drop test is increasing day by day. We have achieved many things in the past few days and almost everything is ready. No time to write more.