Thursday, 27 September 2007

Adelaide University Sub-controller Work

The University of Adelaide Team has produced a prototype board based on the STR710. This was necessary to test tooling at the university and basic hardware concepts.

The PCB was manufactured at the University by the technical staff and loaded by a student team member. During testing some minor errors were noted. The PCB was modified and a fully functional circuit was yielded.

As the prototype has been tested successfully, the PC104 Recovery Controller can now be manufactured confidently knowing the basic hardware has been validated.
When the Recovery Controller is completed it will undergo initial testing with a PC, followed by integration to the central Flight Computer (FC).

The Linux based flight computer code is being developed, for use on the Arcom Vulcan XScale board. Integration and testing of a wireless telemetry using 900Mhz spread spectrum transmitters, will be conducted using Aerocomm data modems supplied by Tekdis.
To help speed implementation the team decided to use a PC104 carrier card from embedded arm to interface the Aerocomm modem directly to the Vulcan PC104 data bus.

Friday, 14 September 2007

Flinders University IMU update

The Electronics for the payload unit being developed at Flinders University are now 90% built. The inertial sensor and GPS board is shown mounted on top of the PC104 single board computer. This configuration will form the payload module from Flinders University.

The build was mostly successful although a few complications occurred in the process. The gyros used are ADXRS300 parts which are only available in a 32 ball BGA part which is difficult to mount by hand without the necessary equipment. 2 of 3 were successfully placed on the first attempt using a hot air tool, the third was a failure. Another gyro is being sourced as a replacement.

The board is currently being tested and programmed to interface to the Vulcan single board computer. The single board computer is running an extended kalman filter under the eCos operating system to estimate the rockets position and attitude from the inertial data and GPS.