General Sort of Status
Well, frankly, not a lot has happened since the capstone kids completed the AV2b USB node design back in May. We're finally coming out of it, however, and ramping up to restart the various projects. Here's a list of the various parts of the avionics system, and a brief note on their status.
The FC and nodes are talking USB, so this is the backbone to the new avionics system. But, before we can jump in and build nodes, we should really get a prototype system working first. So Sarah is working on getting the TQM5200 FC to talk to a prototype node (basically just a Olimex LPC2148 development board) in full speed isochrnous mode. Once we've got this working - with a couple of nodes in full speed - we be able to jump straight into the new USB-based system.
- The Host Side (Linux & TQM5200 FC)
- Sarah's working on the USB system in Linux, called usbfs2.
- Provides a nice file-like interface to the end points.
- About 1 month worth of work left (we hope).
- The TQM5200 USB support might work in 2.4, but 2.6 doesn't boot yet. (go Derick go!).
- The Slave Side (eCos & LPC2148 node)
- Sarah got the slave side (the LPC2148) to work on bulk transfers a few weeks ago (hooray!).
- Working on LPC USB library isochronous support (http://sourceforge.net/projects/lpcusb).
- Maybe a month or so to add isochronous support.
Summary: by spring quarter we hope to have end-to-end USB demo at isochonous full speed transfers.
There is a LOT of work to be done on the rocket's sensors that is completely independent of the node microcontroller and communication bus. Luckily this work can be paralleled with the USB work.
- GPS - There's still a LOT of work to do on GPL-GPS... mostly syncing it back to OSGPS, cleaning up the eCos infrastructure, and doing lock code.
- IMU - Markus made some great progress on the IMU, but then got wrapped up in other things. There's a lot of signal+noise DSP-like analysis work to do on the IMU to optimise it for our needs.
- ATM - (atmospheric sensors - temp and pressure) We can get going on this right away - I think our last sensor was pretty crumby, and this time around we can focus on building a true barometric altimeter... with temperature sensor.
- MAG - (magnetometer) Tyler and ANdrew got 1/4? 1/2? way done with a design, but then we dropped it. Needs to be restarted up!
Summary: Lots of work to do upgrading LV2's systems.
The infrastructure work can also be be done independently of the uC/USB stuff.
- REC - (recovery) - pending on new recovery system... not much to do yet until that's chosen.
- APS - (avionics power system) Could be started now, similar to what we had, but Li Pol. batteries.
- ATV - (Amateur TV) Needs camera selected (multiple cameras?), sync between FC LCD output, and new TX circuitry.
Summary: Lots of work to do replicating or upgrading LV2's systems.
We have to rebuilt the comm systems. We'll probably do almost exactly what we did on LV2 since it worked so amazingly well.
- New cylindrical patch antennas - pending on new avionics module and new transmitters, but should be just like LV2's CPAs.
- New telemetry system - probably 802.11 again... so we need a USB to 802.11 converter?
- New emergency system - 2m? or not this time around?
- Local communications on the pad? umbilical?
Summary: Lots of rebuilding the LV2 comm systems.
- The modules are rough cut, and the avionics module is being machined at CCC this quarter (yay)
- We're going to completely revamp the phsycial layout of the system, trying to make it more compact and less weight.