Friday, August 24, 2012

Day 88, 8/24/2012 -- Flight simulations, take 1

We started off today with a discussion of the procedure and goals for our flight simulations, which will take up a majority of the time we have upcoming before we disassemble the gondola. After a roughly 2.5 hour discussion, we came up with a plan -- which, as the best laid plans often do, went awry.

We were stymied by a peculiar failure of our fridge heater channels, which was that they wouldn't heat. After going through the likely culprits on the software and heater power distribution end, we determined the problem was localized to the DC/DC converters that generate the appropriate voltages for the heaters. So, Shaul and I removed the power crate containing said DC/DCs, poked around inside a little bit, pored over schematics, and finally found a solution that works despite it being specifically something that the schematics and what meager documentation exist say explicitly should NOT work. BUT...it actually works in the way that we had wanted it to work in the first place, so we're not complaining. Now at 11:30PM, we just started a fridge cycle so the detectors will be ready to go by the morning's attempt at another flight simulation.

In other news, Michele tested our other solar array, and now both arrays have been disassembled and the panels safely packed into their shipping crates. He and Britt, who arrived back in Palestine today, also swapped out our elevation actuator to our other actuator just to confirm that it works after degreasing with low-temp grease -- and it turns out it works better than the first de/regreased one! We also got some parts back from the powdercoater that we had done at the same time CSBF had some of their parts done.

Pictures from today (just a few powdercoated parts):
https://picasaweb.google.com/104253244018605213307/EBEXInPalestine20120824

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