The more productive wednesday
January 24, 2011 Leave a comment
Today was the first day of the REXUS 10 bench test. The day started off with all the teams arriving and unpacking their experiments. For SQUID all looked good, experiment checked out in the REXUS simulator and the riggin for test ejection of the FFU during the hot bench test was ready so we proceeded to mounting the FFU onto the RMU. Of course at this point things have gone too smoothly for us so a failure or problem did not suprise us at all when it now happened. As the FFU was being mounted and the wire tensioned the end of the wire held by the clamp inside the FFU somehow got released. This meant that we had to reinstall a new wire which in turn meant disasemblying the experiment because the wire clamp is of course placed on one of the more unreachable places in the FFU. However a bit after lunch the SQUID experiment was ready and we could proceed to connecting it with the rocket service module. Then the bench-test started.
We performed two successful soft runs, soft being that no pyros were fired and some experiments did not fully deploy but communications and signals worked as the should. The bench-test procedure was carried out as a simulation of the actual mission with countdown starting at t-10 minutes, confirming experiments got power and recieved signals. At zero the launch signal for rocket takeoff was issued, about 60 seconds later nose-cone ejection was announced and after that at t+73 SQUID ejection was announced, the rocket despun and onboard experiments activated. Mission was completed at t+10 minutes with experiments power off. Thats a brief walkthrough of the mission and bench-test procedure.
One strange anomality could was noted during the runs which was that when SQUID recieved the SOE signal, which switches on the experiment, the Lift off signal was recieved at the same moment. This should not happen but somehow a glitch occurs and makes the system think it has recieved LO. However this does not introduce any real problems into the experiment as the only thing relying on LO is the RMU mounted camera but we will still need to investigate this a bit.
It was a bit nervous as one could get a feeling for how the real launch would then feel. Tomorrow the hot bench test will take place where the FFU will actually be ejected for real. This is gonna be nervwrecking to experience but oooooh so much fun =D also a television team is coming so we hope that everything really turns out well.
Upon returning to the hotel in the evening the boss commanded that we continue working before getting food and drink (schnitzel and beer :p ) so as soon as this blog post was written we set out to do what we usually do in the evenings.