PSAS/ news/ 2008-07-02 - Standalone ATV System discussion and design start

Tonight we launched the first avionics project, a simple, standalone amateur TV (ATV) system that we want for the next launch. It's just for this launch, but in the future it may be useful as a system for tracking and recovering stages.

Here's the plan:

  1. Build GPS and ATV cylindrical patch antennas
    • Get new materials
    • Test new materials (esp. UHMW PE epsilon_r)
      • Build test antenna? flat and curved?
    • Design and have new CPA PCBs build
    • Build antennas and test
  2. Breadboard phase I + II standalone ATV systems: ATV + BOB X + COTS GPS + CPAs
    • Check system connections, assumptions about component behaviours
  3. Do a range test with breadboard + CPAs + actual ground antennas (helical antennas)
    • Q: Do we need a power amp? Or is 1W OK?
    • What other gotchas?
    • Finalize design details
  4. Design power supply
    • Based on n minutes at m watts
    • Use new LTM switchers for those modules that need it.
    • Smallest possible LiPoly battery pack; integrated charger to umbilical cord
    • Probably need a disable switch or shorting bar
    • breadboard and test
  5. Build for rocket
    • Mechanical structure, including mounting of camera and heatsink issues
    • relationship with CPAs
  6. Write launch checklist and operations document
  7. Launch!