PSAS/ news/ 2000-06-07 - General Meeting in PCAT 103

In attendance: Andrew, Brian, Paul, Tim, Jamey, Jimmy, Todd, Matt, Bart
Special Guests: Dan Berg - AESS Chair from University of Missouri, Rolla

Update on LV1b progress

Getting closer! FCOS - Flight Computer Operating System - is getting closer to completion. Andrew has moved the downlink protocol to using packets where each data type has its own packet. The documentation for the FCOS is growing as well.

Tim has 2 out of 3 parts of the IMU code worked out. The first part is getting the "inertial vector" - the vector of the all of the IMU sensors. The second part is working out how to transform the coordinates of the rocket's inertial vector into the reference frame (the rotating earth). He's just starting to look at the third part, aiding the IMU with the GPS readings for long term drift corrections.

Jimmy found a kick-butt little computer on a DIMM which is a web server with onboard ethernet, CAN and a UART. We may replace the two computers on the launch tower with those. He's also working on making a new launch rail which can be lowered so that we can slide on the rocket horizontally.

Jamie is working on replacing the current ground computer software with a java-based application. That will make things easier to deal with since the LV1b packet idea is getting pretty complicated.

Launch insurance issues

We may be able to get launch insurance through PSU if our launch event is "officially sanctioned" through the PSU ECE Department and we have an official representative from PSU there (i.e., a faculty member like Bart or Lee). Andrew will find out about the details in the next few weeks. This means that with an FAA waiver, and BLM approval (which we already have), we're good to go on having our own independent launches.

Logistical discussion on LV1b launch

Preliminarily scheduled for Saturday and Sunday September 2 & 3 - no promises! (Note: that's Memorial Day Weekend!)
July 10th - drop-dead decision for the 9/2 - 9/3 launch date due to getting FAA waiver 45 days in advance.
Note: Black Rock Desert launches September 9-11. If we do the 9/2&3 launch, we won't launch at Black Rock - we'll just go to have fun!

Update on the ARS (Autonomous Recovery System)

1999-2000 Capstone project done.
Andrew S. taking over CAN bus section.
Looking for volunteer to take over communication between ARS and ground via Linx modems.
Keith B. may be doing parafoil characterization, but there's a lot to do for parafoil characterization.

LV2 Team Updates

Brian completed first 3' section of the fiberglass skin (laying up by hand the airframe aluminum tube). He's currently working towards vacuum bagging a section for better results, but the current section looks great.

Matt built another, beefier propellant fuel test chamber. He'll be back characterizing fuel in a week or so. He's considering moving towards a room-temperature curing binder rather than PBAN.