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It has been another busy month at BLUEsat. Progress has been made with the NUMBAT rover in our Off-World Robotics Team, with work on connector boards, PCBs, the suspension system and a variety of new software features. The old BLUEtongue rover has been fixed and ready for use in rover driving sessions. The Satellite team has been hard at work too, with the recreation of a transmission module for the USRP in the Groundstation Team and new PCB designs for lithium batteries being ready for testing in the Power Team. The ADCS team is finishing the development of the reaction wheel system and shifting focus, and GreenSat has made progress in finalizing the design for the first prototype for a payload environment and establishing communication with BioSphere among other things.

Rover

From the Electrical Team

Connector board array on the NUMBAT roverHaving finished the preliminary testing of the core PCBs, we started marching towards the final stage of the electrical system assembly – building connector board arrays and under-rover wiring. Despite some minor setbacks, we managed to fit the first six connector boards into the front compartment, as well as a pair of side-module boards. Ongoing is the upgrade of the power module and manufacture of more PCBs. Progress has also been made in the science module, with all the sensors collected and member embarking on the circuit design. We look forward to the final appearance of the electrical system as the competition is fast approaching!

Jonathan Wong, Rover Electrical Chapter Lead

From the Mechanical Team

The team has been working hard on finishing the rovers mechanical tasks, in particular finalizing the design for our revised suspension system. Work has also begun on converting the mechanical arm from the BLUEtongue rover to work on our new modular platform. We hope to have this module up and running in the next few weeks for testing so stay tuned.

Thomas Renneberg, Robotics CTO & Mech Chapter Lead

From the Software Team

The exam period always offers a moment of distraction, but the OWR software chapter powered on. A variety of features are entering testing and review before they are merged into the codebase such as a third steering system, ADC library in hardware, software emergency stop on the GUI and the CAN bus implementation that forms the backbone of NUMBAT.

As the competition nears and the university break meets us, we are striving to implement features, train and test to ensure success at the competition. The arrival of new members after the exam period has bolstered our numbers and has helped us begin working on the I²C library in hardware.

Simon Ireland, Rover Software Chapter Lead

From the Chief PilotBLUEtongue rover fixed and running (for the off-world robotics team)

Some members of the Rover team set aside some time to work on the old rover Bluetongue, and they have successfully managed to fix the issues. Just last week, the ERC team practised basic rover driving, setting everything up from scratch and charging the batteries. Weekly rover driving sessions will now take place as the team prepares for the upcoming competition.

Sajid Anower, Rover Chief Pilot

Satellite

From the Satellite CTO

Exams are over and the Satellite team is back in action. We are reviewing our mission plan and getting ready to represent BLUEsat at the upcoming ACSER CubeSat Workshop.

Timothy Guo, Satellite CTO

From the Groundstation Team

Using previous knowledge from the SDR work done last year, we recreated a basic transmission module for the USRP. We can transmit real-time sound data from microphones and sound files stored on the computer. We can then receive this data using a hand-held radio or even another SDR device. However, it is unknown how to get reception and transmission operating simultaneously which will need to be tested and developed for over the coming weeks.

Joerick Aligno, Groundstation Squad Lead

From the Satellite Power Team

Two new PCB designs for lithium chargers have been assembled and are ready for testing. The total number of charging designs being concurrently evaluated is now three, each based on different charging solution chips. They will be compared against each other to determine their performance and suitability to BLUEsat satellite power needs. The MPPT project for solar panels has been temporarily shelved as both members working on it are going on exchange, but we hope to revive it in the near future as the project has been extensively documented so work can be continued upon it in future.

William Chen, Satellite Power Squad Lead

From the ADCS Team

Development of the reaction wheel system is wrapping up, and the ADCS team is now shifting their focus towards developing a magnetorquer-based ADCS. Back in 2015, a proof-of-concept model was constructed back to demonstrate detumbling, but the project was shelved shortly after. This project has now been revived, with efforts focused on developing a CubeSat-ready magnetorquer-based ADCS contained on a single PCB.

Mark Yeo, ADCS Squad Lead

From the GreenSat Team

Due to some mishaps with the biology section of our group we have been working hard on establishing communication with BioSphere and making sure the requirements for the payloads environment variables are still consistent with what we had before. We have made great progress with finishing our design for the first prototype of our payload environment, and have also been working hard on the electrical components, namely the power supply and the control circuits for our sensors.

Rajiv Narayan, Greensat Team Member

Operations & Exec

Secretary’s UpdateAmateur Radio Workshop Presentation at BLUEsat

It’s been another great month for BLUESat, with new members joining our ranks and getting started on tasks in the various teams. Radio workshops have begun to run to help interested BLUEsat members obtain amateur standard and advanced radio licenses. The board games night was a great success as usual, but look out for future events where we’re thinking of mixing things up! Speaking of other events, the end of semester celebration last Saturday went really well and may become a recurring event in the future.

Anita Smirnov, Secretary

President’s Update

June was a fantastic month for BLUEsat, and July has much more exciting events in store for us to look forward to!

A few of our members will be presenting at the CubeSat Innovation Workshop hosted by ACSER in early July. It will be an event with the aim to share results and news of current missions, plans for future missions and other ideas. There will be a multitude of wonderful presentations from current missions, government, academia start-ups as well as student projects to look forward to!

A few members will also be attending the Aerospace Futures 2018 Conference in Canberra hosted by the Australian Youth Aerospace Association in mid-July. It is a 3-day event, with a fantastic schedule consisting of a myriad of prestigious industry speakers and focuses on targeting undergraduates, postgraduates and young professionals to attend and celebrate the Australian aerospace industry. Over the course of three days, there will be a variety of events including presentations from some of the biggest figures within the Australian Space Sector, a showcase of space systems, Ariel and Ground exhibitions, various challenges and many more.

Raghav Hariharan, President

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This has been an eventful month for BLUEsat UNSW, with our previous President and Secretary, Helena Kertesz and Harry J.E Day,  stepping down from their executive positions at BLUEsat. The EGM welcomed Raghav Hariharan as the new President, Anita Smirnov as the new Secretary and Bohan Deng as the new Arc Delegate.

Rover

From the Rover CTOpwm, elec, electrical, rover, red, green

The NUMBAT rover has been accepted to ERC! The rover team has been working hard towards this years competition and being accepted is a very important milestone.

Thomas Renneberg, Robotics CTO & Mech Chapter Lead

From the Electrical Team

It’s been another PCB-focused work cycle. Following the arrival of all the required parts for the Generic PCB at the start of the month, we were able to kick-start our first volume production of it. A total of 3 were made and verified to be working, after some proper debugging work. They not only enabled more comprehensive testing of NUMBAT, but also made up for the PCBs that had been broken during previous testing. We have also seen acceleration in the science module design, with some sensors being tested and more being purchased.

Jonathan Wong, Rover Electrical Chapter Leadbeauty, computer, software

From the Software Team

Exciting things are happening. Our old ground station (computer in a briefcase) has been upgraded to a brand new, proper, more portable case.

We have been continuously testing NUMBAT driving and operation of the CAN bus, with testing for AR tag detection and ROS node abstraction happening very soon. A bunch of GUI features are also being finalized, including visualization for the battery, current driving mode and a nice software E-stop.

Simon Ireland, Rover Software Chapter Lead

From the Mechanical Team

The team has been making great strides in preparing the final rover systems such as the rovers module boxes and side mount handles. This next month will see us complete the mechanical arm and make final changes to our designs.

Thomas Renneberg, Robotics CTO & Mech Chapter Lead

Satellitegroundstation, computer

From the Groundstation Team

After a few problems with the Groundstation computers remote accessibility and GNURadio. We decided to re-image the computer. The Groundstation computer is now remote accessible and GNURadio can be run from home.

On a side-note, Ignatius Rivaldi (Aldi) was able to receive a signal from the weather satellite, NOAA-19, using the Quadrifilar Helicoidal (QFH) Antenna. His setup on the Scientia Building allowed us to receive the image of the Earth at an altitude of 850km.

Joerick Aligno, Groundstation Squad Lead

From the Satellite Power Team

Huge steps in the right direction this month! The MPPT system is progressing nicely, and revision 2 of it should be in the works shortly. One battery charger is being debugged and has partial functionality whilst two other designs have their PCBs on order. After these sub-subsystems are all complete, next step is integrating them into one unified power subsystem!

Harry Price, Satellite Power Squad Lead

From the ADCS TeamADCS, satellite, team, wiring, beautiful

Development on the reaction wheel system is wrapping up, with performance testing showing promising results so far. Several experiments have been run to measure the system’s performance executing tasks such as detumbling and pointing. Further tests and software development are required, but initial results seem to show performance comparable to existing commercial products.

Mark Yeo, ADCS Squad Lead

Operations & Exec

President’s Update

Hello!
My name is Raghav, and following Helena’s decision to step down from her role as president I was elected to take up the role.
I am currently in my second year undertaking a double degree in Mechatronics combined with Computer Science.
I simply adore space, I love learning about all the stars, the countless number of planets out there, black holes, supernovas, as well as the fantastic theories people have put forth!

I joined BLUEsat early last year because of the fact they were an awesome space engineering society filled with amazing people with similar interests. I became Arc Delegate and a member of the OWRS software team soon after and began to spend a great deal of my time with BLUEsat. During this time I learnt a substantial amount about how to run a society by observing all the other executive members. Now that I have the honour and opportunity to be the President of BLUEsat, I will put my best foot forwards to keep BLUEsat progressing and provide an opportunity for all of our members to learn, as well as to improve their academic and professional skills and capabilities.

We’ve got an exciting and busy half an year ahead of us so stay tuned!

Raghav Hariharan, President

Secretary’s Update

Hello, my name is Anita and I’ve been elected as BLUEsat’s new Secretary! I’m also in my second year studying Mechatronics. I joined BLUEsat at the start of this year (joining the Rover Software and the Media Team) and it’s been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made! This is such an amazing society with incredible people, I’m constantly learning from them and being amazed by everyone’s skills and capabilities! Space is so fascinating and meeting people with a similar interest to you and working with them on various space projects is such an awesome experience.  I can’t wait to continue learning at BLUEsat, helping other’s join this incredible society and for all the good times ahead!

This has been a great month for BLUEsat, with new team members joining our various teams, and great success with our board game night last week, with pizza and fantastic games like Scythe and Funemployed completing the night! There’s a lot to look forward to in the coming weeks at BLUEsat, with more new member introductions, another board game night, as well as our end of semester celebration!

Anita Smirnov, Secretary

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It’s been another busy month at BLUEsat UNSW. This month’s major achievements include our breakthrough with the steering module of the NUMBAT rover, the creation of a successful SDR radio player in the groundstation team and progress on a new magnetorquer project in the ADCS team!

Rover

From the Rover CTO

It’s been a fantastic Month for the team and we have reached some major milestones. Earlier this month we received our results for our ERC proposal submission scoring an impressive 24/25. Since then the team have been working hard to put together the preliminary design review document.

We also have been awarded a large grant from the NSW Government of the Chief Scientist and Engineer towards our rover. We hope to put this generous donation to good use.

Thomas Renneberg, Robotics CTO & Mech Chapter Lead

From the Electrical Team

This month we continued our work on a few of the PCBs. After verification of its correct working and some initial configurations last month, the testing of the Generic PCB was handed over to the software members, who have developed working codes for the driving system. In the next phase, bulk production and further testing will be carried out. Progress has also been made in the science module and drive module PCB, which includes finalisation on major design requirements and some research into circuit design. Beyond these, we have also come up with the preliminary wiring scheme of the rover electrical system. Following this, improvements in the power delivery and grounding will be made as the next step.

Jonathan Wong, Rover Electrical Chapter Lead

From the Software Team

Another wonderful month for rover software has seen a breakthrough in testing and operating the new steering module for NUMBAT. In the process, we have also been able to verify other fundamental systems, namely embedded libraries and embedded-CAN implementation.

Elsewhere, progress has been made with altering the ROS library for the Linux-side of our ROS-over-CAN implementation, a lovely collection of GUI widgets/featurettes are in the works and development of the manipulator arm control system has begun!

Simon Ireland, Rover Software Chapter Lead

From the Mechanical Team

The mechanical team has been working on small updates to the rovers suspension system, replacing the old version with our newer, more rigid design. We have also been putting together a prototype of our mechanical manipulator arm and our science module.

Thomas Renneberg, Robotics CTO & Mechanical Chapter Lead

From the Chief Pilot

The older BLUEtongue rover is still under maintenance. We are in the process of debugging the steering system after replacing one of the motors and the arms movement. Some small calibrations to the system are underway to allow us to keep training and testing this coming month.

Sajid Anower, Rover Chief Pilot

Satellite

From the ADCS Team

In the Reaction Wheel System project, the manufacturing and programming of electronics are just wrapping up, ready for integration and testing of the RWS during the following weeks.

We also have a new magnetorquer project that’s just coming out of the research phase and is now looking to implement a magnetorquer-based ADCS on a CubeSat PCB!

Mark Yeo, ADCS Squad Lead

From the Groundstation Team

Progress has been made in implementing the receive subsystem into the new SDR groundstation.

We have successfully created an SDR radio player, capable of receiving FM radio station emissions (commercial radio stations) and playing the audio. This code can be altered to use the data in different ways, for example saving the audio into a .wav file and outputting to a file, which will be used in later stages to process the data.

We will attempt to receive satellite signals using the current code when there is a pass.

Joerick Aligno, Groundstation Squad Lead

From the High Altitude Balloon Team

The HAB team at BLUEsat kicked off April by initiating new members in the workings of a high-altitude balloon mission.

Data and pictures from the recent flight were analysed. Studying the motion data, like in the attached image, will provide an understanding needed to design separation, stabilisation and parachute deployment systems.

The month concluded with a full team meeting, including with our supervisor Elias, where team lead Adithya set out the expected goals and milestones for the next launch.

Adithya Rajendran, Balloon Squad Lead

From the Satellite Power Team

The past month has seen further progress in the power system of the CubeSat.

Within the separate subsystems, there are a few updates since last month. Slow but steady progress is being made to debug the MPPT (Maximum power point tracking) system.

Debugging is continuing for one of the battery charging systems and one of the other competing designs has its PCB ready to print and its components have been ordered. The thermal subsystem is in its infancy and potential components are being researched. A CAD model has also been drawn up and can be seen in the attached photos.

Harry Price, Satellite Power Squad Lead

BLUEsat Operations & Exec

Secretary’s Update

Its been a busy month for the society with progress across all our teams. On the social events side we’ve had more successful board games nights, whilst from an outreach perspective, we have some interesting things planned for next semester. We will also hopefully be organising team merch soon.

We will be holding an EGM in the near future so some roles will be changing hands, including mine as I graduate at the end of the semester. Consequently, this will probably be my last monthly update as secretary. Its been great and I wish good luck to the incoming executive!

Harry  J.E Day, Secretary

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It’s been another busy month at BLUEsat UNSW. This month’s major achievements include our GreenSat team’s success at the EngSoc pitch fair, and completion of the NUMBAT Mars Rover’s core mechanical construction.

Members of BLUEsat's rover software team including Elliot Smith, William Miles and Sajid Ibne Anower testing software designed to drive the new NUMBAT rover in UNSW's Willis Annex Maker Space.

Rover

From the Rover CTO

BLUEsat UNSW has now enrolled in the European Rover Challenge (ERC), commencing in September of this year. The whole team is looking forward to the competition and getting the NUMBAT rover operational in time.

Thomas Renneberg, Robotics CTO & Mech Chapter Lead

From the Software Team

A excellent month for the rover software team has seen us finalising many components of our system. In embedded, we have made progress with testing hardware libraries for the ADC and PWM modules on the robot’s generic PCBs, as well as developing parts of our CAN bus solution. In backend systems, we are implementing a new driving system to take advantage of our transition to 4-wheel steering which will hopefully be finished and testing within the week. Finally, we have also added a nice little widget to the GUI that will let us know where our rover is facing during its tasks.

Simon Ireland, Rover Software Chapter Lead

From the Mechanical Team

William Miles and Thomas Reneberg carrying the NUMBAT rover with its suspension sytem full assembled.

This month saw the rover mechanical team finalise the manufacturing of the core NUMBAT systems.  With the Chassis, suspension, wheels and steering systems all assembled together, we can begin working on some of the rovers smaller modules.

Thomas Renneberg, Robotics CTO & Mechanical Chapter Lead

From the Electrical Team

It’s been a busy month for BLUEsat’s rover electrical team, with a host of different tasks going on. At the conclusion of the on-boarding workshop earlier this month, we were pleased to see the team doubled in size. A couple of new design projects have unfolded: the drive module PCB which interfaces between the generic PCB and motors; and science module PCB, which is aimed to be a high-tech soil analyser. Testing and assembly are also under way for the NUMBAT rover. The Generic PCB, the brain for almost every module, has successfully delivered PWM signal to a wheel motor via an array of connector boards, which means the drive system is ready for integration. A small part of the team have also been focused on maintenance, repair and review for the old rover, where they gain a lot of new engineering experience.

Jonathan Wong, Rover Electrical Chapter Lead

From the Chief Pilot

The NUMBAT Rover's Generic PCB connected to one of its wheel modules on a desk for electrical testing.
After a bit of panic when our old Battery charger failed, our new charger has arrived and with it Rover training has been resumed. Some of the systems on the old Rover are beginning to show their age,so we are working on porting them over to the new NUMBAT rover for testing.

Sajid Anower, Rover Chief Pilot

Satellite

From the ADCS Team

Part of a prototype satellite reaction wheel. It features four spining mental disks.
Development on the satellite Reaction Wheel System (RWS) has been going swimmingly, with all RWS mechanical components being manufactured and assembled (pictured). Also, PCBs for the RWS and supporting circuitry have been ordered and are currently being manufactured.

In other news, the ADCS team is currently also researching magnetorquer systems – more on this next month!

Mark Yeo, ADCS Squad Lead

From the High Altitude Balloon Team

This month kicked off with a resoundingly successful high-altitude balloon mission. The launch of our payload delivered amazing pictures and valuable data from over 23km altitude.

Development for the next launch has commenced, with the telemetry project already showing progress in transmitting data and pictures over radio. Other projects include manufacturing an integrated enclosure, building an Arduino-based separation mechanism and implementing payload-stabilisation techniques.

Adithya Rajendran, Balloon Squad Lead

From the GreenSat Team

Recently, BLUEsat’s GreenSat team was offered the opportunity to pitch our project at the project and pitch fair 2018, where we won Most Innovative pitch. Also, we have finally been approved for PC2 lab space in Biosciences building. Meanwhile, work on the darkbox and hotbox is continuing thanks to our new members

Ben Koschnick accepting the prize for "Most Inovative" on stage at the UNSW Engineering Society Pitch Fair.

Ben Koschnick, Greensat Squad Lead

From the Satellite Power Team

This month has been busy for the Satellite Power team, with multiple parts of the system being developed. New members have been inducted and are working on some projects as an intro to BLUEsat and electrical engineering on satellites. The main power system has been making steady progress.

The dummy load is operational. There are 3 competing battery chargers in the works all in different stages: one is in the debugging phase, one’s PCB is being designed in Altium, and one is still in its infancy. The Maximum Power Point Tracking PCB is also slowly being debugged.

There has also been some preliminary work on a thermal system, with some fantastic hand drawn engineering drawings being produced. (see photos)A hand-drawn engineering drawing for a thermal system.

Harry Price, Satellite Power Squad Lead

From the Groundstation Team

The Groundstation team has had slow progress for the past month. Mostly trouble installing GNURadio onto to Macbooks, however we have moved past that stage. We have successfully used the USB dongles to receive and plan to move towards using the USRP over the coming weeks.

Joerick Aligno, Groundstation Squad Lead

BLUEsat Operations & Exec

Secretary’s UpdateBLUEsat UNSW members relax after a busy workday to play board games at one our regular social events.

After a resoundingly successful orientation day the focus for this month has been on settling in our new members. We even had a few newbies interested in joining our media and events team and are hopping to revitalise our school outreach program! (Watch this space for more details).

Our social events have continued to be a resounding success with a massive turn out at our most recent board games night! A massive shout-out to Joshua Khan and Taofiq Huq for making these such a big success. Our social events bring together members from all parts of the society and help foster the exchange of ideas and contacts.

Harry  J.E Day, Secretary

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Welcome to our February monthly update, its been another busy month at BLUEsat UNSW. As well as an amazing o-week, our teams have made massive progress across the board. Highlights include our Balloon Team’s launch on the 3rd of March, and major progress in the construction of the NUMBAT Mars Rover.

RoverNewly constructed chassis of the NUMBAT Mars Rover.

From the Mechanical Team

The mechanical team has been busy this Month assembling the chassis and drive systems of our rover.  We have also been conducting training of our new members, teaching them how to use different CAD packages as well as manufacturing techniques such as laser cutting, 3d printing and CNC routing.

Thomas Renneberg, Robotics CTO & Mech Chapter Lead

From the Software Team

The rover software team have been preparing for BLUEsat’s orientation day. We have an Arduino workshop prepared for the day. The weeks following will also contain some introductory workshops to how we operate, including a seminar or two on the Robotic Operating System (ROS).

Meanwhile, we have continuing development on a number of key rover systems including the GUI and embedded ROS. In addition, we received two new members (Yubai & Daigo) and are looking forward to even more with the start of the new semester!Altium render of the NUMBAT Rover side module board

Simon Ireland, Rover Software Chapter Lead

From the Electrical Team

The electrical team has made progress in a few projects. We received two new members and introduced them to the society. With their help we’ve also fixed some components on our old Mars Rover BLUEtongue 2.0 so that it can be driven properly. The last major PCBs for the NUMBAT Rover – the side module board – has been designed and is being reviewed. Assembly is scheduled to take place in around 2 weeks.

We’re also starting the work on testing and programming the generic PCB, which will be an priority task this semester. After the electronics induction, we expect to get more of the members working on it.

Jonathan Wong, Rover Electrical Chapter Lead

Rover Electrical Team Lead Jonathan Wong with a new member and the BLUEtongue 2.0 rover, conducting repairs.

From the Chief Pilot

The rover was run each week. Some range testing was attempted, but no conclusive derivation was possible. The team has started debugging the arm. The schedule for the rover training and testing is in the works and is expected to come out soon.

Sajid Anower, Rover Chief Pilot

Satellite

From the CTO (Satellites)

The satellite team this month have been busy crafting an exciting program for the new 2018 BLUESat member Intro Day. With activities spanning across the fields of engineering, science, and operations, the satellite team should be proud of themselves.

Timothy Guo, Chief Technical Officer – Satellites

From the High Altitude Balloon TeamDisassembled High Altitude Balloon Payload on a desk in UNSW's Willis Annex.

February was a fairly busy month for the HAB team. Rigging and parachute configurations were finalised. Tracking systems were tested and found to be working perfectly with some tweaking. An APRS transmitter, which updates GPS location over the amateur radio network, a commercial SPOT GPS tracker, as well as an old mobile phone, running a live GPS tracking application, are all being used on the launch. A launch date has been set for the 3rd and 4th of March, and final preparations, as well as integration testing, are currently taking place. Stay tuned for the outcome of the mission in the next update!

Adithya Rajendran, Balloon Squad Lead

From the Green Sat Team

GreenSat is moving forward, designing an temperature-controlled incubator for biological samples. We are also building a sensor suite prototype to test the electrical system. The biology team is aiming to get into the labs soon to begin working on cynobacteria samples.

Ben Koschnick, Greensat Squad Lead

From the Satellite Power TeamA dumy load used by our Satellite Power Team to test their designs.

Satellite power team has recently finished work on an electronic dummy load. We are planning to use it to test a battery charging design and a maximum power point tracker also developed by the team in the coming semester.

We also prepared for orientation day, with a complete introduction to electronics planned. New members will get a taste for electronics design by making a range finder. They will prototype the circuit, design the PCB and then manufacture it all over two weekends.

Declan Walsh, Satellite Power Squad Lead

From the Groundstation Team

Groundstation has opted to shift towards Software Defined Radio (SDR), which employs the use of USRP receivers and software demodulation. The original setup consists of radio transceivers and the various equipment needed to operate them.

This new setup offers the following advantages:

  • Better control of the demodulation stages
  • More options for processing of data
  • Easier to interface with computers

The use of SDR has been explored by some current members in the past. However it is a foreign concept to the majority of our team. We plan to place a greater focus on SDR starting with the training of new and existing members.

Joerick Aligno, Groundstation Squad Lead

From the ADCS Team

The ADCS team has been working on finalising the designs of the support PCBs to be manufactured in the next few weeks. Initial electrical and mechanical designs for the reaction wheel PCB are also in the works.

Mark Yeo, ADCS Squad Lead

BLUEsat Operations & Exec

The BLUEsat UNSW o-week stall, you can see a mars rover wheel and a satellite reaction wheel on the table.

Secretary’s Update

February has certainly been a busy month for the society. O-Week was a massive success with over a 150 new sign ups, many of whom will hopefully be attending our orientation day on the 3rd of March! A big thank you to everyone who helped at our o-week stall. All of the teams have also been preparing workshops for our orientation day.

In other news our last social event was a big success with many people attending and our regular blog posts have been going well! I’m looking forward to expanding the media team in 2018, and am looking for people to help with our outreach program and website.

Harry  J.E Day, Secretary

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Welcome to our monthly updates, we are going to trial one of these each month to keep you updated on what’s going on at BLUEsat! January has certainly been a busy time for all of our teams here.

Rover

From the Mechanical Team

Its been a fantastic month of development. Our team finalised the rovers suspension system, a component that we anticipate will provide a great deal of stability to the platform (see image). Additionally our laser cut Chassis parts have arrived, and after a bit of post machining will be ready for fitment tests and total chassis construction. Looking ahead, the team plans to have the top and base plate of the chassis manufactured in the next few weeks.

Thomas Renneberg, Robotics CTO & Mech Chapter Lead

A screenshot of a serial terminal displaying output from BLUEsat's ROS over CAN system. Succesfully transmitting a message. The text reads "Recived Full Message. Join 'Hello CAN', pwm 100"

From the Software Team

Steady progress is being made across the team. We’ve had a few key developments in the CAN bus network, with our embedded system for publishing ROS messages now sending and the on-board computer receiving and routing the packets (the latter part in final testing). Rover Software still has a few members filtering back from holiday and with the addition of some new members (Oliver and Saksham) joining, we should have a interesting year ahead.

Simon Ireland, Rover Software Chapter Lead

A collage of images. Top left is a wooden prototype of the NUMBAT Rover with Bus PCBs laid out, right is a PCB, bottom left is testing a DC-DC converter for the BLUEtounge Rover and bottom right is a range of DC-DC converters.

From the Electrical Team

Its been a good start of the year. Altium training is on the way, and a few design projects have been proposed for the coming semester, including a pair of side module circuit boards and some optional ones such as power line filter and arm module boards. Work on power module and connector boards should be resumed shortly. There has also been a focus on DC-DC converters testing and renewal, both for BLUEtongue droving and NUMBAT construction.

Jonathan Wong, Rover Electrical Chapter Lead

From the Chief Pilot

Rover Droving has finally started again after a hiatus, and we’ve have had a number people interested in Droving. Over the last few weeks, it has been particularly difficult to get the Rover to get started, and on 27 January, the step-up transformer from the power supply to the NUC was found to be busted. A new transformer has since been ordered and arrived, and if things go according to plan, we will start full-fledged from this month. Also, I plan to start breaking down the ERC rules into smaller tasks so we can practise them.

Sajid Anower, Rover Chief Pilot

SatelliteThe Stratospheric Balloon Payload, complete with sensor loggers, etc in an insulating container.

From the Stratospheric Balloon Team

This month was very productive for balloon team. All our subsystems, including a Raspberry Pi-based data-logger and radio-controlled separation mechanism, were completed and integrated. Ultra-low-temperature testing was conducted in a laboratory fridge set to -70C over the period of 30th-31st January in order to simulate stratospheric temperature conditions that will be experienced on a flight. This testing highlighted some weaknesses in our payload construction, such as power supplies not operating at low temperatures, and measures will be taken to remedy them. We had planned a launch for early February, but that has been pushed back to late February due to unforeseen circumstances not pertaining to our development.

Adithya Rajendran, Balloon Squad Lead

 

From the Green Sat Team

Steady progress has been made on designing experiments for the biology team. With help from our friends at Flinders University we designed a incubator capable of controlling the intensity and wavelength of light available for a sample. This will give us valuable information about the on-board conditions required on the GreenSat and minimise the energy requirements of the payload.

Ben Koschnick, Greensat Squad LeadDeclan Walsh working on the dummy load.

From the Satellite Power Team

The satellite power team focussed on completing several prototype designs this month. The designs for a variable test load were finalised and the components ordered. Prototype designs of a Lithium battery charger were also completed with testing of the design to occur next month. Finally, testing of the teams power regulators in low temperatures was also undertaken in conjunction with balloon team.

Declan Walsh, Satellite Power Squad Lead

From the Groundstation Team

Laser Communication

We have achieved transmission of:

  • Serial Data: Laser on/off is used to send binary data (1’s and 0’s). By reading the voltage across a photoresistor, we can obtain the binary data.
  • Audio Data: By controlling the voltage through the laser, we can control the intensity of the laser, which we can obtain analogue data.

We plan to improve on both systems to a point where we can implement either into a PCB.

Balloon Telemetry

Recently, the Groundstation team has partnered with the Balloon team to implement telemetry. We have decided to use a ‘Pi in the Sky’ telemetry board to send data from the payload which is received and processed by a ‘USRP SDR’. We will research how to use the ‘Pi in the Sky’ board over the coming weeks.

Joerick Aligno, Groundstation Squad LeadCAD rendering of a PCB for BLUEsat's ADCS v3

From the ADCS Team

Development of Reaction Wheel v3 is underway with 5 PCBs already designed. These boards contain the supporting hardware for the reaction wheel board, including power supply and regulation, an on-board computer (OBC), a data logging sensor board, an ADCS central hub and a mini groundstation for communicating to and commanding the reaction wheel while the experiment is in motion.

Mark Yeo, ADCS Squad Lead

Operations & Exec

Secretary’s Update

Its certainly been a busy start to the year. The main focus of the media and events team has been ramping up to o-week, and we have a lot planned for that with more to be finalised in the coming weeks!

We’ve also been trailing a new on-boarding approach where we will be running a structured session every three weeks rather than accepting new members every week. This came as a result of a survey we did last year on onboarding and our recruitment process and aims to help improve member retention in the first few months. It should also give our team leads more time to focus on their projects in between. A big thanks you to Taofiq for spearheading that project!

Our regular social evenings are going well, and we had a very successful “Jackbox Games” night a few weeks back after our Saturday workday.

Finally I’m very pleased to see the first release of our monthly updates and our email news letter! These should help improve awareness of the societies projects, recruit new members, and improve our internal communication between teams. I’m looking forward to seeing them in the following months.

Harry  J.E Day, Secretary

A CAD rendering of the NUMBAT Mars Rover in "space"

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We held our new agm today, and voted for our new executive. A big thank you to our outgoing executives Tom Dixon (Pres), Denis Wang (COO), Helena Kertesz (CTO – Off World Robotics), and Sam Wardhaugh(CTO Satellite), who have done a brilliant job this year leading the society this year. We have gone to ERC, establishing radio contact with the International Space Station through our groundstation and much more, and we look forward to another brilliant year of space engineering!

Congratulations to our new executive:

  • President: Helena Kertesz
  • COO: Kawai Leung
  • CTO – Satellite: Taofiq Huq
  • CTO – Off World Robotics: Nuno Das Neves

The BLUEsat team 2016-2017, on the globe lawn. Features Taofiq Huq, Helena Kertesz, Kawai Leung and Nuno Das Neves (LTR) on top of the globe.


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BLUEsat UNSW’s rover team has achieved 9th place in the European Rover Challenge (ERC)!
We competed against 44 other qualifying teams from across the world, with 22 of those teams making it to Poland for the finals.
A big thank you to all the new and old friends we have made at the competition, as well as to our sponsors and everyone else who has helped us during the competition. We will be posting more information shortly.

The BLUEsat OWR team stands with their rover at ERC 2016. From left to right photo features Jim Gray, Timothy Chin, Denis Wang, Simon Ireland, Harry J.E Day, Nuno Das Neves, Sebastian Holzapfel , and Helena Kertesz