15. September 2019 – Munich, Germany —
We are back at the desk from a little summer break. The exam period is over and most of the team members are back from vacation.
Fittingly we have received the PCB’s for our electrical system and partially already equipped them. The PCB’s contain various electrical components and are, depending on the application and task, different sizes. The largest sits directly on the board of our microcontroller, the Nucleoboard. There the connections for the D-Sub-connector to the service module of the REXUS rocket are located. Accordingly, the communication of our experiment with the rocket runs over this board. In addition, the various sensors are controlled from there and their sensor data is stored on an SD card attached to the board.
We have also received the board for powering the UV LED’s and are just about to order the PCB’s which will house LED’s. The larger PCB’s sit in the so-called E-Box, a shielded aluminum housing that is located on the bottom plate of the experiment. From there, the cables run to the individual consumers within the REXUS module.
Besides the electrical hardware, the software also plays an important role in the control of our experiment. The program tells the microcontroller what to do and when and provides redundancy and the necessary process security. Patricio has been the main developer of the software so far, but recently he is supported by a new team member: Dariusz Oleksy.
Like the rest of the team, Dariusz is studying aerospace engineering at the University of Applied Sciences Munich and is about to complete his bachelor’s degree. As a freelance computer scientist, however, he has a lot of expertise in software at his disposal and is thus a great asset to our team. Therefore, also at this point:
Welcome to the team, Darek!
There is also some movement with the mechanical components. The production of aluminum parts has started, the first blanks have already been processed. After a long preparation time and the tireless efforts of Chris U. we are lucky to have the first Resin containers in our hands by the end of the month.
It is therefore progressing in the project AIMIS and just in time! On Monday we received a visit from ZARM and DLR MORABA staff for the so-called Integration Progress Review (IPR). On behalf of the DLR, the ZARM manages the German REXUS/BEXUS teams and gets an overview of the working methods of the respective teams on site.
The purpose of the IPR is to review the state of development of the experiment and, if necessary, to optimize it at an early stage. For this purpose, we presented the current status of our project in a short presentation and then discussed the individual points in detail. After the design of our experiment is largely completed at that time, the conversation turned mainly to the physical implementation of our design in electrics and mechanics. The development of the software was also discussed in detail as well as the preparation for the Launch Campaign in Kiruna in March, above all our requirements for workplaces and equipment as well as the planned handling of our experiment during the start preparations.
Finally, we were able to test the communication of the electrical system of our experiment with the Service Module Simulator of the REXUS rocket. Unfortunately, the result of the test was not satisfactory, which is why we will carry out this test again soon with revised electrics and software.
The next appointment with the REXUS/BEXUS organizers will be in December, again in Munich.
In addition to further developing our experiment, we are beginning to prepare for the IAC 2019 in Washington DC. It is one of the world’s largest astronautical congresses, bringing together renowned manufacturers, institutes and space agencies. Our team was invited to two lectures and will attend the conference almost in full. In advance, however, a paper must be published for each lecture, which we are currently preparing. The congress will take place at the end of October, of course we will report live on Twitter!
And if you want to see more pictures, have a look on our Instagram page!
That’s it from our side. We screw, solder and program here still diligently and wish you some nice late summer days. And for the people living in Munich among you: Have fun on the Oktoberfest!