SQUID consist of two parts:

* Free-Flying unit (FFU) that will be ejected to deploy a set of 4 spheres and measure the of electric and magnetic fields in the ionosphere

The FFU with wire booms deployed, spherical probes at the ends

* Rocket Mounted Unit (RMU ) that will remain in the rocket with a wide angle camera to record the deployment process. The following picture show an early design.

RMU of an early design

An early design of the RMU

For the FFU we need to be able to control the electrical motors to deploy the spheres, to take measurements with the diverse sensors, no only magnetic and electric fields need to be sensed but also other parameters such as acceleration, the angular rate , the altitude and strain. Also, we need to be able to save the collected data so a non-volatile memory is used on board. Furthermore, the landing system to protect the experiment also needs to be controlled, and finally the localization system, such as GPS, satellite transmitter and radio beacon are essentials to recover SQUID. The brain of SQUID is an FPGA.

For the RMU, is needed to control the turning on and off of the camera. This unit is also in charge of provide power to the FFU while conected to the rocket.

In order to control these units, the selection of components is crucial, the size and the characteristics of the components must be highlighted. We want that they work in the ionosphere conditions. We definitely deal with both digital and analog devices. Once we have decided which components to use, we continue with the the design of the circuits,the manufacturing and soldering of the boards, and the testing.

In SQUID team we have covered all the areas

Mark: Electric field measurements and a fluxgate  magnetometer

Vira: Induction magnetometer

Jacob: Camera

Gustav: Motor Driver, Power, Analog part

Monica:  Main control, Sensors, Digital part.

At this moment we are working in the design of the electronics of the spheres, how to put the sensors in a very small place?? The diameter of the sphere is just 29 mm!!!

Here with the help of Jiangwei we can

see our possible solutions ….

Possible options to elaborate the circuits of the gyroscopes inside the spheres

Notice that we have not mention Software at all….. 🙂


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