Hi everyone,

There's no official meeting tonight due to the holidays. Happy holidays,
and have a good week off!

I thought I'd just mention a few things going on, so everyone knows the
current state of the rocket:

- We have no official launch date yet; we'll probably arrange for a
March or April launch as the date gets nearer. At the very latest we'll
be launching at OROC's Spring Thunder event in Bend, Oregon, May 22 - 23.

- The roll-control module is mostly done, minus all the fins. Dan and
Dave are still working on that, and as we get closer to launch, they'll
put the finishing touches on it.

- Dave designed the new avionics module framework. It's pretty amazing.
"Like an erector set" is a good description - it's a HUGE step above
LV2's module, and should be flexible enough for us for years. Dan and
Dave have just begun construction on that module, and hope to have it
done "soon", whatever that means :)

- For those who are interested, we'll be taking a tour of the PSU MME
workshop in January. They've got mills and lathes, and a few CNC
machines. After two classes and some shop time, we can get 24 hour
access to the lab, which is just great.

- Marius is working on the 2009 Capstone's Avionics Power System board.
He's going to finish Ken's work on the generic front end, and then lay
out the SPS/HAP/LPC sections.

- The PSAS Capstone 2010 group has met twice now, and will begin
official work the first week in January. They'll be working on the
flight computer carrier board, and possibly the battery sensor board,
with an eye for getting done before the June deadline so we could fly
the board in May or early June.

- Nathan's done some pretty nifty orbital simulations in the last month
or so, and has some killer graphs of our orbital simulation. For some of
his work, see [1].

- For those who haven't seen, we're *very* excited about our search for
the smallest orbital vehicles [2]. The smallest, which is Japan's Lambda
4S, was only 60 ft tall and 3ft in diameter. And that was 10 kg to a
much higher than 100km elliptical orbit. Only inserting 1kg to 100km,
and with modern construction and control techniques, we could get quite
a bit of size reduction. Maybe factor 2? 3? We won't know until the we
get our simulations in better shape.

- On the software side of things, Jamey says: "Most important changes in
the new flight computer code: we removed most of the control states,
instead making decisions using the current output of the Bayesian
Particle Filter plus some hysteresis; and we reduced the flight computer
physics model to dead reckoning, relying on noise in BPF to track more
complicated physical processes. These changes should improve reliability
in unexpected situations. We've been learning how the Global Positioning
System really works: now we can predict the position of a GPS satellite
from the orbital ephemeris data it transmits, and we're about ready to
use that for a fast input to the BPF that can still provide some
information even when too few satellites are locked and no position fix
is possible. We also added a simple model of the gyroscope rotational
velocity sensors in the Inertial Measurement Unit; and Theo made
progress on his detailed model of Earth's magnetic and gravitational
fields, which will support a 3D magnetometer (electronic compass)."

- K and Dave have been working on the LPC firmware bits, and I believe
we have everything we need up and running for using the LPCs as our
avionics nodes, including I2C for the APS to talk to the proposed
battery sensor board.

- Finally, many of us are going for our TRA L1 and L2 certifications
this winter. The kits have been ordered, but haven't arrived yet. We're
hoping for early next year, so we can get our certs before the next launch.

Have I missed anything? Please email the list and let us know!


[1] http://psas.pdx.edu/simplerockets_1d/
[2] http://psas.pdx.edu/orbital_vehicle_comparison/

Andrew Greenberg

Portland State Aerospace Society (http://psas.pdx.edu/)
and...@psas.pdx.edu  P: 503.788.1343  C: 503.708.7711

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