The SCALE system is spinning

During the past week we’ve finally done some real progress on the SCALE system . For those of you who are not totally up to date with that the SCALE system is please check out these posts. To make a long story short, the SCALE system is probably the most central part of the whole experiment, it’s a complex mechanical structure which has one task, to deploy and retract the spherical probes which are used to make the measurements of the electromagnetic field. Due to the drastic changes we had to perform on the landing system the SCALE system where somewhat overseen and tasks which should had been performed much earlier during the project still remained when the team gathered after the summer. However due to great efforts performed by mainly Malin and Mario the system is now finally running and we now focus on optimizing the functionality of it. Below are two videos which displays the system and how it works.


busy, busy, busy

I just realized, it seems we were too busy to actually inform you about all our problems and the work that has happened on the structure and especially on the deployment system during the last couple of weeks.

When we started to put the SCALE-system together about six weeks ago we found out, that we actually had some pretty big problems with friction, and where not really able to feed out the cable at all. The main problem here was the feed through mechanism of the main cogwheel where the cable is supposed to glide through easily. Now after a lot of trial and error and some help the system is working and it’s amazing how much better the feed-through works now.  So much about summing up the biggest problem we had recently. However I hope Malin finds some time soon to fill you in on the more detailed progress on the SCALE.

Then more recently we thought about panicking on Friday, because the M-Beam

– Team from Austria called us in order to get some more space. There experiment is going to sit right below ours in the rocket and we had discussed how much space they need, but for some reason it got bigger anyway. After some discussion it seems to be the easiest if we just raise our experiment a bit. Still we got kind of shocked and M-Beam seemed to be pretty desperate at first. I just hope we don’t experience any more problems due to that issue.

Fortunately there is something going according to the plans  (at least almost) and the manufacturing of the flight versions of some different parts has started. The first flight frame is finished, David is working on the first set of walls, which seems to be difficult, but with some training I am sure he will manage to bend them in a way so the fit “perfectly”. Then for next week it is planned, that all parts for the RMU are finished, and with some luck we will even have the outer housing of the first FFU done and finished.

Messages from the workshop

Actually I should have don this post two weeks ago and I do have a bad conscience because I left id undone, but as I am leaving for Munich on Sunday bad conscience is disabled for  next week.

Still I have to bring my excuses up, to assure you, I wasn’t only twiddling my thumbs. While I spent the last week getting familiar with the simulation task and working on the camera box the week before that was taken by redesigning the Rocket interface disk (RID) so we could finally order it.

As you may know from earlier entries we are producing some of the things we are using stuff ourselves. The prototypes for the drop test where manufactured in house, the boxes for the camera and the NSSB are produced here as well as the pusher ring and some other small parts.

I was working down in the workshop during the last week quite a lot in order to get the camerabox ready, and as you can see something has happened. You wouldn’t believe how much much swarf one can produce from 100mmx40mmx40mm block when you have to make a box of it. Unfortunately it’s not finished yet, but it’s on a good way! At the same time the battery clamp had to be bent and using a hammer and some tape I produced one that works, in order to make a flight one however there will be some more practice involved.

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.

Finally! The SCALE System is Ready

Jiangwei writes

After several weeks’ struggle, the scale system is finally hammered out, hahaha :D, at least it shows what the scale system is and how it works.

Here are two pictures showing the inner structure and the profile.

The Scale System Explosion View

This explosion view shows a lot of details inside the a single scale system, hopefully you could figure out how it works 😀

The Scale System Outprofile

Now it looks really cute~ Exactly a cube of 60×60×60

During the design, quite many engineering and modelling challenges bothered me a lot, as well as other mechanical guys, but eventually, after meetings and discussions, things become clear as if we saw the dawn. For instance, how to mount the scale system? Originally it was supposed to be mounted on the side surface of electrical components box, but now there’s no space for that.Hence, our final decision is simply mounting these scale systems onto the buttom disk, pretty good for saving the limited space. In addition, how to discard the protective door? Due to its “one-way trip”, we shouldn’t make it complex, otherwise, we are more like going to discard a bunch of money in the sky. So a “double-locker” solution was unveiled, which only uses two lockers to constrain the door, and releases the door after lockers activated, thus, the door could be manufactured simply as a disk, no hinge any more.

Here is a brief assembling of the Squid main structure, including the E-box (electrical components box), four scale systems, and the lower disk.

The Brief Assembling

This assembling includes the E-box, four scale systems, and the lower disk.(To me, it looks like a space battle carrier, ready to deploy fighters,yahhhh)

Lots of problems were solved and finally the design come into details, now when I am looking back to these old versions once modelled before, I can easily feel promotions in the current version, and satisfied a lot.

SQUID army

Frame and top cover

There is something happening down in the basement, but what is really going on in the workshop?

Well, as the drag test is coming up it would be cool to have two fully functional prototypes in order to prepare one while the other on is being tested. So I started to produce another prototype and be sure, there are more coming.

However, as the prototypes need to have a functioning cover they will get a top frame and a cover according to a design from Mario.

More SQUID prototypes

Unfortunately the manufacturing of the frame doesn’t seem to be as easy as everyone thought. At first cutting the inner part out just using a jigsaw felt right, but cutting aluminium with a jigsaw is no fun.  So I am back to milling again. I just hope this works out without any incidents this time.

The mockup of the FFU is coming together

Soon we will be starting to do tests on the parachute deployment. Therefore the production of mockups of the FFU have begun. George, the team’s new member, is working like crazy down in the workshops to manufacture the models. Great job George!!

Our parachutes that we ordered also arrived a while ago. The parts are starting to come together, at leas a bit 😛 We chose a cross-chute type due to its favorable characteristics such as stability and less drifting with wind than a regular umbrella shaped one.

Before we do the actual test the parachute folding has to be tested and developed. This has proven to be a quite intriguing task due to that we actually have no idea of how to fold it correctly into the FFU. But one thing at least can be concluded, it seems to at least be possible to fit it into the compartments that we have 😛

The test day is set for the towing test. On May 19:th we will head to the airfield in Tierp to conduct the towing test on the parachute deployment. For now we will work hard to plan for this event because we really need to get as much data and results from this day as possible.

We all look forward to this and hopefully it will go well 😀

Workshop stories

Georg writes

Getting involved in the team doesn’t take long, especially as the CDR is inevitably coming closer and closer.

The first day I spend on the team David and me where sent to the deep dungeons in the basement where we should manufacture the first mock-up. The main idea is to have a model of the experiment to test the folding of the parachutes and the ejection mechanism for those.

So we got introduced to the machines and started milling the bottom plate. First everything went alright. However after some time, when we actually didn’t even mean to mill anything but wanted to change the position of the milling tool, we cut a deep hole into the rotary table the part was fixed on. I am still thankful and impressed how calm Lasse stayed, because I somehow expected him to lose it. Anyhow, lesson learnt, do never interfere with each other when working on a machine.

The next day we went even deeper into the basement and bent some sheet of aluminium to get the walls. Nothing special there except for the really noisy plate shear that sounded like a small gas turbine.

Some days later I drilled and threaded a couple of holes to set the whole thing together, while David bent some sheet metal as a model for the SCALE-System.
So now we got a preliminary mock-up and it somehow makes proud to produce something for real!

Delar till de sfäriska sonderna / Parts for the spherical probes

We are sorry for the lack of updates the last week, but we’ve been busy investigating an alternative landing solution. We’ve come to the conclusion to use a parachute system instead of the previously mentioned airbags. It hasn’t all been hard work though, we got to visit an astronomy camp at Barnens Ö, where we held a presentation and fired off model rockets! More on that and the new landing system in a later update!

In the meantime, the parts we ordered for the spherical probes at the ends of the SCALE system booms have started to arrive. Here is a picture of one of the freshly made wire boom probes, and one of the circuit boards it will contain. They were both manufactured by external companies from plans made by us.

Hej alla bloggbesökare! Det var ett tag sedan vår sista uppdatering, eftersom vi har behövt lägga allt krut på att hitta en ny landningslösning. Vi har nu bestämt oss för att använda en fallskärm istället för de tidigare luftkuddarna, men detta berättar vi mer om i ett senare i inlägg. Roligast av allt var att vi fick åka och hålla presentation och skicka upp modellraketer för en massa astronomiintresserade högstadieelever vid ett astronomiläger på barnens ö! Så fort vi har redigerat ihop den lägger vi upp en video från uppskjutningarna!

Under tiden kommer här lite bilder på de alldeles nytillverkade sfäriska sonderna som ska sitta längst ut på trådantennerna, och på ett av de kretskort som de kommer innehålla. Båda tillverkades från våra ritningar av företag utanför KTH.

One of the SCALE probes, which will sit on the end of the wire booms and contain accelerometers, gyros, wire tension sensors, and the Uniprobe magnetic field sensor

A circuit board for the spherical probes at the end of the SCALE booms. There are seven boards in total in each one!

The RID (Rocket Interface Disk)

Mario writes

Once the rocket reaches about 60km the FFU or Free Flying Unit of SQUID must be ejected, starting its active phase. The ejection of the FFU is critical, as any kind of perturbation or missalignement with respect to the rotation axis of the rocket would affect its attitude, which would surely ruin the controlled deployment we are trying to test.

It is also important that the FFU is ejected at the correct speed. If the speed is low it can happen that the rocket caches the FFU and collides with it (it has happened before), and if it is ejected too fast, the FFU can collide with the nosecone (which is obviously ejected before the FFU).

The part in charge of carrying the ejection system and serve as an interface between the rocket and the FFU is called RID. It will bring three different components, the wide angle camera, a wire cutter and springs for the ejection system and an umbilical connector to the FFU, which will be used to “listen” to the experiment while it is on the rocket and the NSSB (Not So Smart Box).