Inflatable Structure and Test rig

March 11, 2013

The next stage of the project is to test and validate the concept before finalising the full design. The tests that the inflatable structure will undergo are displacement, thermal and vacuum tests. These tests will validate the design of the inflatable structure before it is launched onboard the BEXUS16/17 high altitude balloon.

 The first stage of testing is to construct single cells using different glues. The glue which works best (strongest and easiest to use for manufacture) will be chosen to be used to manufacture the inflatable structure. The picture below is an initial attempt of an inflatable single cell. The straw is used to inflate the structure.


The next stage is to manufacture multiple cells which can be inflated by straws, before creating a full structure which can also be inflated by straws. Once a full structure has been manufactured the displacement tests will begin. A test frame has been created to test the displacement of the structure. 3 techniques have been proposed for measuring the displacement. The first is a laser or focused LED displacement technique. A mirror will be positioned on the bottom cell and the structure will be inflated. A light beam will be reflected by the mirror onto a photodiode array, when the structure is deflated and inflated. A second technique will use a piece of string attached to the bottom cell with a second measuring board positioned along the bottom of the test frame. The third technique will use a camera filming the structure inflating. Squares marked on perspex will be used as a reference to measure the displacement of the entire structure. Below is the skeleton of the test frame. Measuring boards and full structures will be manufactured shortly.



 

PDR Passed, Presentations and Progress...

February 22, 2013

Post PDR & Training Week

WE PASSED THE PDR!!! With the fantastically interesting and busy week of the PDR in Oberpfaffenhofen in Germany behind us, we look forward to the mountain of design finalisation and implementation ahead. The experts from the PDR have given us great feedback on lots of different aspects of the project. During the PDR, the mechanical interfaces were discussed as length and lectures and discussions have brought up interesting ideas about the electronics and power as well ...
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BEXUS PDR & Training Week - Installment 2

February 11, 2013

Wednesday kicked off with a presentation on Thermal Design by Mark ‘Fitts’ Fittock who managed to keep everyone’s attention with an onslaught of hilariously poor sci-fi related jokes.  The teams then participated in another few sessions regarding data handling and REXUS experiment design before another very meaty lunch!  An eventful afternoon began with the team being taken on a tour of the International Space Station’s Columbus Lab Control Centre where the ground operations team comm...


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BEXUS PDR & Training Week - Installment 1

February 5, 2013

 
The team arrived in in a snowy Steinebach on Sunday evening after a long journey from Edinburgh. It was schnitzels all round at the restaurant across the road, and then off to bed in preparation for the most important day of the training week, as our Preliminary Design Review was scheduled for Monday afternoon.

We were up bright and early on Monday morning to start the week at DLR Oberpfaffenhofen. Throughout the day we attended lectures including how to design a payload, how to implement the...

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Preliminary Design Review & SED v1.0

December 30, 2012

The iSEDE team are now preparing to attend the Preliminary Design Review in Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany. This the design review will be part of a training week at the beginning of February hosted by the German Aerospace Centre (DLR).

Prior to attending the training week, the iSEDE team must submit version 1 of the Student Experimentation Documentation. This document details the scientific background for the experiment and the design calculations for all subsystems and the interfaces with the BEX...


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18 Dec 2012 - Accepted for launch with BEXUS

December 20, 2012
Following our presentation at the selection workshop a ESAs ESTEC, we have been invited, subject to design reviews, to launch iSEDE on the BEXUS 16/17 campaign in September 2013.

We are extremely excited to have this opportunity and are now working hard to produce a detailed preliminary design for review in early February.

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13 Dec 2012 - Selection Workshop Day 3

December 13, 2012

Day 3 of the selection workshop was the “BEXUS day”. 5 teams presented concepts all hoping to be accepted for the BEXUS 2013 launch campaign.

Presentations were made to a panel of more than 10 experts from ESA, SSC, DLR and the SNSB. The experts were from a variety of technical backgrounds and were prepared to question the teams on the more detailed aspects of the presentation.

Now the waiting game begins – we should hopefully here before Christmas if we have been accepted onto the BE...


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12 Dec 2012 - Selection Workshop Day 2

December 12, 2012

The second day of the selection event focused primarily on the REXUS sounding rocket experiment proposal presentations.

There were 6 presentations including projects which measured CO2 concentration in the mesosphere, a novel method for attaching de-orbiting devices to space debris using expandable foam, an analysis of LASER welding in milli-gravity and an experiment to create milli-gravity. All presentations indicated significant research and development for all projects.

The day ended with a ...


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11 Dec 2012 – Selection Workshop Day 1

December 12, 2012

Day one of the selection workshop focused on presentations from the ESA Education Team on how best to approach the management, design, build, test and deployment of a space project.

Teams were present from all over Europe –Italy, Romania, Sweden, Poland – and there were a number of group exercises and activities to generate discussion and explore some of the less obvious challenges. A number of common design challenges were discussed.

There was a significant focus on management – proj...


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REXUS/BEXUS Selection Workshop 2012

December 10, 2012
Tomorrow we begin our time at the European Space Technology Research Centre (ESTEC) in a bid to launch iSEDE on the 2013 BEXUS flight.

We have spent the past month undertaking preliminary design calculations and feasibility studies to ensure we have a project proposal which is both adventurous but realistic. 

On Thursday morning we will present our proposal to experts at ESTEC.

The team are very excited to be part of the selection event and look forward to the workshops, hearing of the other pro...
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