Deployment and Stabilisation of a Space Web in Micro-Gravity

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Suaineadh preparing for Integration Week in Bremen

The Suaineadh team is currently getting the experiment ready for the Integration Week in Bremen from the 12th till the 16th of December. In early November Mark Uitendaal from SSC visited the team in Glasgow for the Experiment Acceptance Review (EAR) to see if the experiment is ready to be shipped to DLR/SSC/ESA. Unfortunately, an hour before the EAR the entire electronic stopped working. The Suaineadh team therefore only could show the mechanics. Based on that, the team decided to spend night and day in the workshop and finish the mechanical part of the experiment in order to be able to ship it to KTH in Stockholm asap, so that Adam, Jerker and Fredrik could search for the error and test the electronics thoroughly. The mistake was found to be just a short circuit on one of the modems as a result of changing to metal spacers. With this problem fixed, the KTH team put all their energy into Suaineadh to get it ready for the 12th of December. Adam and Malcolm will head to the Integration Week in Bremen on Sunday, the 11th of December, a vibration test in ZARM Bremen of Suaineadh is scheduled for Monday, the 12th.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Long days for the Suaineadh team

Due to the fact that the Experiment Acceptance Review (EAR) of Suaineadh on the 7th of November is getting closer, the Suaineadh team is spending a lot of time in the workshop and lab these days. During the last couple of days the 915MHz antennas have been manufactured at KTH. The picture on the left shows the radiation pattern testing of the small 915 MHz antenna. The antenna is generating a signal with the frequency of 945 MHz which results in a received signal as can be seen on the spectrum analyzer. The picture on the right shows CHAD with some of the cameras already mounted. In the meantime the team members at KTH are working hard to assemble and test the entire electronics in order to ship them to Glasgow next week Monday. After that the final assembly and testing will be carried out in Glasgow.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Let's go for a spin

The spinning test rig for the Suaineadh experiment is now finished. The test rig should validate the functionality of the experiment after yo-yo despin when the entire REXUS rocket will be despun from 4Hz to 0Hz in a fraction of a second. First tests without the electronics showed no problems.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Let’s freeze Suaineadh

On Monday and Tuesday this week, Johannes and Thomas took the electronics to the Electrical Engineering Department of the University of Glasgow to perform the first thermal test of the experiment. Malcolm joined for a couple of hours for support as well. REXUS/BEXUS requires thermal tests that should validate Suaineadh’s performance for the environmental conditions that the experiment has to withstand in Kiruna and on its way to space. The minimum temperature required by REXUS/BEXUS is -10C and the highest is +45C, the experiment has to work without a problem for at least 15 minutes.

The fist thermal test performed included the mechanical parts that could experience problems at lower or higher temperatures. Therefore the reaction wheel, the linear guide rails, the release spine, the web and the wave spring got tested. All the components worked nominal after the freezing and heating.

The second thermal test included the electronics of Suaineadh. The electronics were booted up at room temperature and then the chamber was cooled down to -10C and the temperature was held for 15 minutes without any problem, everything worked nominal. In the next test the entire electronic was turned off and let cool down until all the components had ambient temperature (-10C). During the cold start, all the electronics turned on but the ground support software didn’t get any readings. The Suaineadh team is looking into this error at the moment in Stockholm and Glasgow to eliminate the source. Another thermal test of the entire experiment is planned for mid October anyways. The following test, where the components were heated up to +45C, was carried out without any problem. Even a hot restart at these temperatures didn’t showed any problems or anomalies.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Suaineadh’s first vacuum test

Suaineadh’s first vacuum test was scheduled for Thursday last week in the physics department of the University of Strathclyde. Johannes and Thomas started on Wednesday preparing the electronics for the upcoming test. The electronics were checked for their functionality and thermocouples were attached to components that were prone to overheating. Due to the nonexistence of convective cooling (cooling by air) in a vacuum, especially the CPU can heat up quickly and get damaged. The work continued until the late evening hours on Wednesday with the support from Adam and Jerker via Skype from Stockholm.

On the test day, all the components had to be brought over to the physics department that was luckily just across a small park from the mechanical & aerospace department. The set up of the vacuum experiment took until after lunch. The first vacuum test was undertaken with the FPGA board, the two different cameras and one IMU. The test was successful, the FPGA worked fine over the 10 minute test time and the cameras and IMUs had no indication of damage. The set-up for the second test, that inherent almost the entire electronics took longer than expected. At closing time, the Suaineadh team arranged the electronics in the vacuum chamber but the measurements taken showed unusual readings even without applied vacuum. At the end of the day, the team had to postpone the test because the workshop was closing.

The Suaineadh team is hopeful that for Monday’s thermal test, the mistake will be found and it can be preceded as planned. The next vacuum test is scheduled in three weeks from now. The Suaineadh team wants to thank Robert Dawson and Tom McCanny of the physics department for their help and advice during the vacuum test; it would have not been possible without them.

Separation Springs arrived in Strathclyde

On Wednesday, two wave springs arrived from the Swiss company Baumann Springs Ltd. . Baumann Springs Ltd. manufactured to wave springs for Suaineadh’s ejection system from the REXUS rocket for free. The Suaineadh team wants to thank Baumann Springs Ltd. for their generous contribution. Johannes, Malcolm and Thomas will meet on Monday to discuss how the springs can be integrated in the Magic Head, Suaineadh’s ejection barrel.

Monday, 5 September 2011

Successfull Daughter Release Test during IPR

The Suaineadh team successfully tested the daughter release mechanism inside CHAD with the daughter ejection during Fridays Interim Progress Review (IPR)

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Suaineadh passed their IPR!

For the Interim Progress Review (IPR), Mark Uitendaal from SCC Esrange and Mark Fittock from DLR Bremen visited the Suaineadh team in Glasgow on the 2nd of September 2011. The IPR was scheduled for 11am. Thomas started the IPR with a presentation summarising the work undertaken during last week’s Integration Week and gave an overview about what the REXUS experts can expect from Suaineadh’s IPR. In the following Jerker showed the experts how the FPGA works and Adam walked them trough the electronic components and the ground support software. A full test run with all signals was undertaken after the explanation of the electronic components, Adam even showed the experts how to record images with five of Suaineadh’s cameras. Another test run of the software was done to show that the software can trigger a pyro cutter that releases the daughters inside CHAD, this test was undertaken successfully. An overview about the mechanical progress was given by Malcolm after the daughter release test. A vibration test on the prototype structure was also performed. The experts were quite pleased with the progress so far and announced, after a nice lunch in Ashton Lane where Mark Uitendaal received a birthday surprise, that the Suaineadh team passed the IPR. :)

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Release Spine Test

Another productive Integration Week day is coming to a close for the Suaineadh team, todays work was primarily focused on obtaining measurements from the Inertial Measurment Units with the FPGA board and work on the CPU board. New brackets were also designed which will be mounted in CHAD for a vibration test possibly tomorrow.

A first test of the daughter release mechanism with the spring-pyro cutter assembly was carried out as well (see video below). Everything worked exceptionally well at this test.

Monday, 29 August 2011

Let the work begin ...

At 8am on Sunday morning, Adam and Jerker arrived at Edinburgh airport for the Integration Week in Glasgow. Malcolm, Johannes and Thomas picked them up to give the two from KTH a tour around Edinburgh and the Fringe festival afterwards. After arriving in Glasgow, Jerker and Adam moved into their hostel and the work on Suaineadh started in the afternoon with a meeting where the schedule of the following week was discussed. The evening was spent in the city centre of Glasgow after strolling through the movie set of Brad Pitt's new movie 'World War Z' which is shot in Glasgow at the moment.

Today began early when Thomas picked up Jerker and Adam from the hostel to show them their way to the University of Glasgow. The whole morning was then spend to figure out the best set-up to arrange the different electronic components in CHAD (Central Hub And Daughters). After this was established, Adam and Jerker where working on assembling the electronics for a first functionality test while Malcolm, Johannes and Thomas where dealing with the issue on how to mount the electronic components inside CHAD. At the end of the day we even managed it to take a picture with one of the cameras :). For tomorrow, it is planned to manufacture the cables between the different subsystems and fabricate the brackets to mount the components inside CHAD.

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Integration Week and IPR coming up next week

Adam and Jerker are preparing to fly over from Stockholm to Glasgow tomorrow morning at 7am for Suaineadh's Integration Week and Interim Progress Review (IPR) which will take place the entire next week. During the Integration Week at the University of Glasgow and University of Strathclyde the Suaineadh team will integrate most of the electronic components in the mechanical structure to test their fitting and functionality. Adam and Jerker will be supported by Malcolm, Andrew, John, Johannes and Thomas from the UK site of the experiment. The Interim Progress Review where two experts from DLR, SSNB and ESA are coming to have a look at the progress of our experiment will happen on Friday the 2nd of September. This blog will be updated almost daily for the next couple of days with stories and pictures of the Integration Week. Let the work begin...

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Electronic components getting built and validated

The Suaineadh team members at KTH in Stockholm are working hard to build and validate the electronic components in order to ship them to Glasgow before the Interim Progress Review (IPR) on the 2nd of September in Glasgow. The integration of the electronics in the structure will happen one week before the IPR in the so called Integration Week. The fabrication of the Power Distribution Board (PDB) has been finished today, first test show that the PBP works well. PDB on both pictures; left for CHAD (Central Hub And Daughter sections), right for DSM (Data Storage Module)

Monday, 1 August 2011

The work on Suaineadh is progressing as scheduled, the manufacturing of CHAD is almost complete and also the electronics are shipped out from Stockholm to Glasgow. Fredrik Rogberg from KTH spend the last month at the University of Glasgow designing the antennas for the wireless connection between CHAD and the REXUS rocket. Last Friday Fredrik gave a compehensive presentation on the antenna design at the University of Strathclyde.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Suaineadh passed their CDR

The Suaineadh team is at the DLR in Oberpfaffenhofen at the moment for the Critical Design Review (CDR). Malcolm, Adam, Jerker and Thomas arrived in Munich on Monday morning at lovely sunny weather. The Suaineadh spend the whole afternoon and evening to prepare for the Suaineadh’s CDR presentation the next day. On Wednesday at 10:45am we had our presentation and it went quite well. Our team received a lot of good comments on the SED and experiment design. Just a few minor improvements were suggested for Suaineadh at the CDR. In the afternoon all REXUS 12 teams had a discussion about interfaces and possible interferences between the different experiments. At the REXUS CDR dinner in the evening, the Suaineadh team won the 3rd place in the REXUS User Manual Pub Quiz, woohoo J. We all got GSOC(ks) as a price. This morning we had some more presentation on pre- and post-delivery testing and an ask-the-expert session. At the moment the whole team is sitting together to discuss some of the minor issues that came up during the CDR which still need to be solved.