March 2019 Monthly Update

Off-World Robotics

From the Rover Electrical Team

During the past month, the team has made decent headway in designing the incorporation of the drill component for the science module. With the arrival of the new Power Module and Science Module PCB’s we are looking forward during the coming month to setting them up for testing and integrating them with the rover.

Jason Love, Rover Electrical Team Lead

From the Rover Software Team

Rover Software has been focused on training this month; with the influx of new members from the intro-day, we’ve been running weekly seminars to get people introduced to our development stack. These have included introductions to several industry standard tools such as Git, Jira, and ROS (Robotics Operating System). We’ve also seen the localisation and autonomous navigation team start to take shape, with many interesting plans seeing initial work, though somewhat slowed due to the academic obligations of many members.

William Miles, Rover Software Chapter Lead

From the Rover Mechanical Team

The Team has been busy with multiple systems improvement and design. With new members joining, the rover is now expected to be perfect.

Our senior member Jerry Lu has made substantial progress with the suspension, making sure the rover can run on all terrains without the fear of tipping over. The arm team has decided on key methods. The wheels team has made huge progress. Hopefully in next month, the arm will be fully manufactured.

Quoc Trung (Alex) Vo, Rover Mech Team Lead

From the Drone Team

Two people crouch beside a drone on grass

The drone team has continued its recruitment streak into March with the addition of another two members. This month the team crossed one of its major milestones and completed the development of the Mark 1 Drone. After a prolonged troubleshooting period, the drone was finally deemed flight ready and was flown by our resident pilot, Lachlan Chow. Although we did have a (minor) crash, the drone was quickly repaired and flown again to acquire some experimental sample data for our software team. Speaking of which, the software team has been steadily researching and implementing SLAM methodology and interfacing as part of the Mark 3 Drone’s (Codename: BATDRONE) image recognition technology. Looking into the next month, the team hopes to refine its SLAM and interfacing technology, which will bring the team one step closer to bringing the Mark 3 Drone to life.

Lexman Palanirajan, Drone Squad Lead


From the Groundstation Team

This month, Groundstation has made good progress on the backend software of the portable groundstation project, having developed early working software to decode APRS signals, encode DTMF signals, and automate control of the Yaesu-FT847 via a computer. Our new members have gotten themselves involved with learning amateur radio operation and generating some further momentum with the UI design. Although work has currently stalled with finalising our choice of antenna, we anticipate it will speed up again next month as we begin to centre more focus into the radiation pattern measurements of our current antennas. Some further meetings with ASCER will help to provide any necessary facilities and guidance.

Steffany Synge and Victor Tse, Groundstation Squad Lead

From the CubeSat ADCS Team

The ADCS team has had a wonderful March focusing on designing the subsystem for the prototype cubeSat for a April 17 rocket launch. We’ve collaborated with the other satellite teams to design an ADCS subsystem that will be integrated with the rest of the subsystems, although we went through many design iterations over the month! The PCB is off to the manufacturer and all that remains is to finalise the micro controller program to be ready for launch.

Olivia Yem, ADCS Squad Lead

From the CubeSat Power Team

The power has had an extremely productive month. We have developed a method for collaboration on PCBs using git. This has allowed us to merge all of our components onto 2 boards, with each subsystem doing their schematics and layouts of their PCBs in parallel. Unfortunately, we will have to hold off on the integration of the MPPT board as it needs to be redeveloped. The other systems are functional, though the load switches have been disabled for this version of the board.

William Chen, Satellite Power Squad Lead

From the CubeSat GreenSat Team

GreenSat has made some exceptional progress this month, coming out with an idea of further progression and finding major faults in how our system would integrate. Currently the GreenSat team is working to assemble the payload as quickly as possible prior to launch and preparing to finish integrating with the other subsystems in the coming weeks. The main objectives reached have been producing the required PCB’s for installing sensors and writing the corresponding code, as well as creating a mechanical design for the payload and manufacturing it.

Rajiv Narayan, GreenSat Squad Lead

From the High-Altitude Balloon Team

The new members have begun work on their projects, with developments made in all teams. For the stabilisation system, a CAD model of the gimbal structure has been produced and the control algorithms are being refined and tested with motors. The recovery module team is making progress on designing a redundant separation mechanism, independent of the primary system, which will contain it’s own radio receiver and power system. The overall system architecture is approaching a final state, with a meeting planned with the University of Pisa ECHOES team to determine some further requirements.

Adithya Rajendran, Balloon Squad Team Lead

President’s Update

Earlier this month, BLUEsat took part in ENGsoc’s Project Fair. Several Industry representatives were present at the event, and we had the opportunity to pitch the society to those present in 60 seconds. It was difficult to squeeze in all of BLUEsat’s projects within in 60 seconds but we managed! I imagine that this will be the first of many stall showcases that BLUEsat will have at several events throughout the year!

Raghav Hariharan, President

Secretary’s Update

Our Media and Events team has grown this month! With Matt working on our weekly Facebook posts, Velen on our internal Social Events, Vincent on some of our public events and Jo working on spicing up our website! The new members are still being trained and settling in to their new roles and we’re excited for what more we can do in the coming months!

Anita Smirnov, Secretary

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Author: Raghav Hariharan

Raghav Hariharan is currently in his second year studying Mechatronics combined with Computer Science. He was previously the Arc Delegate until he was elected for the role of president in May of 2018. He is extremely curious about the wonders and mysteries of space and is determined to share his passion and provide an opportunity for students to learn and develop their professional and academic skills whilst studying.

Author: Anita Smirnov

Anita Smirnov is a third year Mechatronic Engineering student with an interest in combining her passions for robotics and art. Before her role as Secretary and Media and Events Coordinator of the society, Anita was and still is involved in the software team of BLUEsat's Off-World Robotics Division, as well as helping manage BLUEsat's social media.

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