Here is a short video from our second droptest.




Hot stuff

Yesterday the MUSCAT got the needed equipment to manufacture composites at 200 degrees. Now we can start the manufacturing of the spheres that should be similar to the final ones. This means that we will have 200 degrees resistant composite spheres. Here you can see our new toy set


Here we have all that we were missing release agent for 200 degrees, breather for 200 degrees, copper pipes that can stand 200 degrees also. Actually the copper pipes are quite cute as you can see hereImage

in the new toy set we also got the sealing tape for 200 degrees. This one is easier to use than the typical low temperature sealing tape because it is not so sticky. Furthermore, it has a nicer color than the black of the low temperature sealing tape. Here is one of the rolls that we got in the new toy set


we also got these two guys in the toy set


these sprays are the release agent that will allow us to get the difficult smooth outer surface in the spheres.

Me and Tito are willing to finish the exam period to put our hands on this stuff and see the results.

Experiment status

Exams are getting close now, and everyone’s busy finishing off REXUS work before the exam period. Turns out there is a lot to do 😛
First off, we have our second SED hand-in in June. For this hand-in, the complete experiment design shall be included, along with any verification that we have done. The document is rapidly growing and is now a 150 pages, I expect that the final SED v.2 will be somewhat closer to 250 pages when all the appendixes have been turned in.

My main work these days is centered around two things: RMU mechanical design and SED management. The RMU, I am happy to report, is very near completion, and I have already started technical drawings of the main components which we will source next week. I’ll include a sneak preview of the Ejectors below, and give a more thorough presentation once the design is finalized.

Good news for the Upper Hemisphere


I have good news! Two weeks ago I told you that we were looking for some new reinforcement for the Upper Hemisphere (Link). Today we finally assembled the first of those reinforcements to one of the FFU and we tested the deployment system of the parachute. So far it is working very well and we are really happy about this!

Here you can find some CAD model of the reinforcement and some pictures that we took today while we were gluing the reinforcement and a metal ring to the Hemispheres.v

New composite stuff

The structural section of the MUSCAT team keeps working in the development of the composites for the manufacturing of the spheres. In the last set of composites that we prepared for the curing process all the elements had some new concept that had to be tested for the further application to the project.

The first one was to test the epoxy that we are using for the manufacturing of the spheres as an adhesive for bonding two plates made with the composite material of the spheres. The aim was to test the quality of the bonding of the composite when the same matrix is used as adhesive. As it could be expected the result we fairly good.Here you can see couple of pictures of the resulting bonded material.


The next component that we wanted to test was a thick plate which it would be used as a raw material to cut parts that will be integrated in the spheres by using the epoxy that we are using as a matrix. Now we know that the bonding will be good thanks to the previous test mentioned above. Here you cam see a picture of our plate.


Isn’t beautiful?

The last but not least important composite parts that we manufactured were two hemispheres with a new layup in the composite reinforcement. We have not post-processed  then yet, but tomorrow the laser cut will help us to see the result of this new layup. Until then you can enjoy your time with this pictures of the brand new hemispheres of the MUSCAT team.

Image  Image

Beacon antenna project started

The time has come to start up the beacon antenna project. The aim is to end up with a working recovery system comprising a transmitting antenna inside the FFUs and arranging a system operated inside the helicopter of the recovery team.

Before the design work of transmitting antenna can be done, several decisions have to be made. These include what frequencies can be used. We have several options:

1. Use the RAIN frequencies. The benefit of this is that the
  helicopter can distinguish between these frequencies, although the
  switching will have to be implemented.
  2. Use two other frequencies. This is necessary if there are others
  using the same frequency. We of course need to check that out. Also,
  for this option we’ll need to check the frequency range the
  helicopter can distinguish two separate frequencies.
  3. Use four different frequencies and have four different receivers.
  This does not require any synchronisation as the previous options but
  does but may require constructing our own receiver devices.

  The choice of antenna has to be made as well. As we are sending on a low frequency (compared to GPS) of 150 – 170 MHz, the antenna will be quite large, 1 m or so long. Here  are a few possiblities we need to do a research on:

  1. Monopole, wire antenna
  2. J-pole antenna
  3. Folded dipole
  4. Quadrifilar helix antenna
  5. Helical dipole and monopole antenna (p.780 in Kraus)
  6. (Minkowsky second iteration)

  Of course a plan should be made of the entire system, not the
  transmitting antenna alone: transmission schedule, modulation, message
  content, the receiving antenna, receiver (demodulator/computer
  connection), etc. These will affect early design choices of
  transmitting antenna.