We had a little bit of fun at this week’s general meeting. As you may or may not know, we do a little design, team building, or communication activity at the beginning of each meeting. This week, some poor blind individuals had to navigate a minefield (of chairs), verbally directed by someone who could not see the field, who was in turn informed by someone who could not speak. Havoc may or may not have ensued.
Notice the 3 different strategies to avoid bodily harm by the minefield runners (the three whose faces you can see). Chest, groin, none. Brave man, Matt is (Beatles shirt). I will say that some walls were run into. No worries though, everyone’s beautiful faces (and the rest their persons) remained unharmed.
Everyone got through in the end at a blistering pace of about 3 feet per minute, but no one managed to avoid running into the mines. In a situation like ours, where we’re feeling our way around rocketry in the dark, communication can sometimes become just as difficult when everyone is working with new concepts. We had a great conversation afterwards about the importance of precision in communication, practice in the actual situation (test as you fly), and everyone agreeing upon the methods of communication beforehand.
In real news, we will be visiting Orbital ATK this Tuesday for a coordination meeting. With any luck, we will have a test firing set up within the next couple of weeks! If you want to check out the results of our previous testing and see some pretty awesome pictures and video, you can find that here.
Without any further ado, let me cede the stage to the first subteam spotlight of the semester! No member spotlight; that will be back next week.
Happy Lunar New Year, by the way!
Subteam Spotlight: Avionics
We’re back after hibernating during the winter and we’re currently deciding on everyone’s tasks and goals to be accomplished during this semester. This was our white board after brainstorming ideas and mapping out a timeline based on future test flights using solid propellant rockets. We intend to test out each new addition to our system (the ultimate goal being an autonomous system capable of controlling itself) on each of these relatively easy flights to determine their stability and reliability when subjected to extreme conditions.
Lucas, one of our new team members, who’s a Comp Sci grad student has written this wonderful application that would live plot data received over a serial communication bus thus allowing us to monitor data from various parts of the rocket engine. Currently this is just running some predetermined functions, but eventually we would get multiple sensors to be placed around the engine and the rocket body whose data would then be monitored on this application. Lucas is happy to share this application which is on Github, and you can access it here.
More updates to follow as we work on our wireless controls and our goal of developing an autonomous system.
– Gaurav Manda
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