Friday, 29 April 2016

Finishing our CDR

During the last time, we were quite stressed out working on our CDR, a report that has to be sent to ESA by Sunday, 1 May.
To give those of you who aren't familiar with the various procedures during the CanSat-competition a little insight, here comes an overview on the reports that each individual team has to deliver. 

Before the Launch Campaign, there are two reports: the CDR (Critical Design Review) and the FDR (Final Design Review). Both of them include the actual Progress Report as well a Design Document.

In the Progress Report, the team has to deliver a short Progress Statement about how things are going on that will later be published on ESA's website. In addition to this, there is a rather detailed Project Status, explaining problems, plans and current tasks about their mission's individual components as well as a Task List.

The Design Document includes specific descriptions and explanation about each task that has to be fulfilled. There is a Team Introduction explaining the team's structure and goals,  a CanSat Description including for example the mechanical, electrical and software design, a Project Plannig section stating for example a time schedule as well as a test plan and, finally, the Outreach Programme.

In addition to the text, there can be pictures, logos, short videos etc.

Given that these reports are an important part of the jury's basis for evaluation, we spent multiple hours writing the individual texts, searching for pictures and coordinating our teamwork. Up to now, we have managed to set up a preliminary result. During the two days to come, it will be revised and corrected before sending it to ESA .

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Improving our triggering mechanism

During the last few weeks, we've made some progress concerning our triggering mechanism. We perfected our idea of a mechanism with a servomotor and created a preproduction model. 

Therefore, our current triggering mechanism is composed of a servomotor whose rotation is converted into a linear vertical movement of the vacuette, which is guided through a mounting. It is then to be broached by the cannula. In order to seal the vacuette, the servomotor rotates in the counter direction. To ensure the stability of the system, the cannula is fixed in both vertical directions. A sufficient force exerted by the servomotor is necessary as the membrane is quite hard to be punctured (as described in the previous post). The following graphic shows the development of our triggering mechanisms:

The preproduction model that is currently being finished is necessary to prove whether this mechanism is the most suitable and has got the least potential difficulties. It allows us to pre-identify problematic areas and to improve whatever does not work perfectly. In addition to that, it is a great display item and can be used within the framework of our outreach programme for exhibitions as well as for concrete explanations during the presentations of the Launch Campaign. 

As soon as possible, we will test our triggering mechanism using the preproduction model. We are confident that this (or a slightly modified procedure) will be our final triggering mechanism and we hope that the tests will be as successful as we expect.