SCALE systems and further tests

So the launch campaign continues here at Erange. It is now Friday night and the testing continues. Today another three bench tests have been performed and they all went well. Our experiment is working fine with the other experiments and the rocket module.

This morning, hopefully, we made the final tests with the wire boom, SCALE, systems and they are mounted and prepared for the hot bench test where all the scale systems will be tested one final time. During the hot bench test the pyrocutter will be activated and that will test the mechanism for the FFU deployment.

The testing of the wire boom mechanism has continued during this week and we’ve had both success and setbacks. We are working hard at testing the different systems and the GPS and wire booms have given us some extra challenges. The four wire booms have to work at the same time deploying the same amount of wire. The systems are supposed to deploy about 90 cm of cable but for some of them it only deploys about 60 cm before the motor stats to stalling. We have been testing and testing and now feel we have reached some results. The friction in the system has always been a point for improvement but we are now confident we have made some progress. The result so far on the wire boom systems are that they work more than half of the time and we will pray and keep our fingers crossed that the systems will work at launch.

It is now after midnight and we are working hard to make sure the experiment will be ready for the payload assembly tomorrow morning. The hot flight simulation earlier this evening went o but we still have some work to get ready for launch.

Cross your fingers for us and read the blog for the coming week.

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Arriving in Bremen

So after a very busy and chaotic night it was time to leave for Germany and DLR in Bremen. We had decided to drive here and we had to leave on saturday if we were going to make it. The plan was to finish all the packing friday night and leave early saturday morning… However, it did’t go exactly like planed on friday, as you may have read. So at 1.30am we decided I wold go home to sleep so we could have one driver who had gotten some hours of sleep. It proved to be a good decision since the others got no, or almost no sleep that night. But we managed to pack almost everything and get going after lunch on saturday.


We drove down to Helsingborg, where we spent the night at Gustav’s grand parents. They were really nice having food ready for us when we arrived. Sunday we spent in the car  driving from Sweden, through Denmark and finally arriving in Bremen, Germany. We was quite tired by that time but managed to find our hotel, members of one of the other teams (M-beam) and our contact from DLR and ESA. After a nice dinner and some beers, we are after all in Germany, we went to bed sleeping like logs.
Yesterday: Monday morning. Still the same tasks but another lab in another country. Continue the work we did not manage to get done before leaving SPP. This means fitting the batteries and mounting all the boards in the E-box. So far we have managed to fit it all almost together and breaking about five screws doing so. It feels a little bit taking three steps forwards and two back, but slowly we where getting there.
So finally, at about six, we had goth all the parts together and everything seemed to work fine. First we tried to connect directly to the eBox it self to make sure that we could communicate to it which worked fine but then when we had assembled the complete FFU and placed it on the RMU we where not able to communicate with the experiment through the umbilical. So we started to try to find the problem and we soon realized that the signal pins needs to go further in to the experiment in order to get the signals through. To solve this we re soldered the pins and then everything went fine. So after some long hours we succeeded with the communication which made it possible to proceed with the Electrical interface test which went perfect. This continued with a test together with the M-beam team, which are placed below us in the nosecone. This also went fine and we finally could round of for the day, which where about time since the clock where closing 9 pm fast.

 

We rounded of the evening together with some of the other teams and some of the ESA, DLR and SSC personnel at a restaurant in town.

Screws and Logistics

Alongside all the manufacturing and testing we have to sort out things like ordering standard components, like screws. It was easier said than done to get a hold of screws for this project. The small size, specific material and low number made it harder to get a hold of. So we got some help from the staff here to find a company that could deliver all of this. When we talked to the suppliers here in Sweden they told us they only deliver orders by the pallet and so we had to go elsewhere. In the end we had to order from Switzerland. However, they were nice and fast in the delivery so in less than a week we had our longed for screws. It ends up being about 30 variations and about 100 to 400 of each so to manage this we decided to keep it well organized. See some pictures below.

The Scale System – progress

For the last couple of weeks I have been, amongst other things, working on the scale system. We have received some more parts from the manufacturer, but there is still a lot to be done before we finally can assemble the whole system. The good thing is that we actually start to see what it will look like and get a feel for the different parts. I have added some pictures of the scale system as it looks so far.  We are still waiting for some parts to be manufactured and some of the parts we will manufacture ourselves in our workshop.

So far I have made one of the cylinders in the workshop. Some smaller adjustments had to be made afterwards to be able to assemble the scale system but it was all within reasons. It was quite some time since I worked in a workshop so it always takes a day or two to get adjusted and to learn where all the tools are. I look forward to continuing the work when I get back from my vacation.

Team SQUID Del 11 – Malin Paulson

Hello Malin! How old are you, and where are you originally from?
I am 28 years old and I’m from Stockholm

What is your role in the SQUID project?
My role will be qualification of and completing the scale system. I will also help manufacturing some of the last parts for the scale system.

What did you study at your previous college, and what are you studying now here at KTH? What made you choose to study here?
Here at KTH I’m studying Mechanical Engineering with Mechatronics as my major. I will be doing my master’s thesis on the SQUID project. Since I wanted to stay in Stockholm KTH was the given choice.

How did you come to join the SQUID team?
One of my friends from Mechatronics told me about the project and asked me if I was interested. After some thinking it seemed like a good idea and a really interesting project. So I contacted Nickolay, our supervisor, and here I am.

Where and with what do you hope to be working in ten years’ time?
I hope I will be working on an interesting but smaller company. I would like to work abroad for some time but I don’t know when that will be.

Worst space movie ever?
I always seem to forget bad movies after I see them. So no good answer here.