It was definitely the most eventful month of the year for BLUEsat. Placing 8th in the European Rover Challenge (ERC), attending the AEC as well as the successful balloon launch this past weekend. A huge round of applause to everyone for all your hard work this last month! The Rover teams are undergoing some design reviews to improve for the next ERC, and a new squad working on a drone that will follow the rover around to give it a bird’s eye view has been formed. Meanwhile, the CubeSat ADCS team has almost finished a prototype for a single axis magnetorquer, and other great progress has been made in our various teams!
From the Rover CTO
What an exciting month this has been! The BLUEsat Rover team has worked extremely hard to compete in this year’s European Rover Challenge, culminating in our trip to Poland this past month.
Our team of 8 members took 2 weeks off University, traveled over 30,000km by airplane and challenged ourselves at this year’s competition. We achieved some great results, coming 8th out of the 63 registered teams with our new NUMBAT Rover, the best result from our society so far! The whole trip went without a hitch and we are all resting now we are back in Sydney.
The coming weeks will see all teams conduct design reviews to determine what changes can be made to the rover to ensure future success.
Thomas Renneberg, Rover CTO
From the Software Team
The month started off with final preparation and testing for ERC. Given the immaturity of several of the large software components we were utilising on the rover, we were quite satisfied with the final performance of the software. Apart from ERC, there has been continued integration of new members into the team, and, now that the pressure is off, we are focusing more on improving team practices and procedures.
William Miles, Rover Software Chapter Lead
From the Mechanical Team
There were ups and downs for the rover during ERC, but overall, the rover was a success and we are very happy about it! There is a lot to be improved on, including the arm, wheels, the suspension system and the steering system, and the team has already begun research for these changes.
We ran a CNC milling workshop was during mid-semester break, which was both fun and successful, with more workshops planned.
Quoc Trung (Alex) Vo, Rover Mechanical Chapter Lead
From the Electrical Team
It was a fantastic time participating in the ERC in Poland. Most parts of the electrical system exhibited adequate robustness and reliability, ensuring safe operation in almost all the competition tasks – well done everyone! Having seen our strengths and weakness in the competition, the team is now well aware of the issues to be resolved in the coming year. While a few of the designs will go through further iteration, some new tasks have also been released in the team design review meeting last Saturday. With more members and a clearer goal, we are on the road again.
Jonathan Wong, Rover Electrical Chapter Lead
From the Chief Pilot
Back from a very eventful and a learning experience that is ERC, there is plenty to improve on. Now that most of the team knows exactly how the tasks are run in the competition, the training sessions will be tailored to make them more relevant to the competition.
Sajid Anower, Rover Chief Pilot
From the Drone Team
The Drone team is working on 30k ft drone as a starting point which will then allows us to have better idea about high altitude drones by the time this drone will be upgraded in order to fulfill the final aim; which is operating in 100k ft altitude (similar to Mars’ atmosphere).
Nahid Alemi Kermani, Drone Squad Lead
From the Satellite CTO
The semester may be coming to a close, but the team is still at full throttle. The balloon team has had the most successful launch as of yet, getting ready for larger and more complex payloads which will include our Cubesat soon enough.
Timothy Guo, Satellite CTO
From the High-Altitude Balloon Team
BLUEsat’s High-Altitude Ballooning team has been working hard on many different projects, culminating in a successful mission at the end of the month.
We have been meeting with teams from the MECH4100 mechanical design course to review their proposed concepts for a lift and recovery module, providing feedback on what features we found desirable and what aspects could have been improved. The teams will now proceed to generate a final concept that they will showcase to us in the coming weeks.
Additionally, we planned a HAB launch for the 29th September, with the primary goal being to acquire accurate inertial sensing data to help with development of the BALSAR stabilisation systems. The mission was an overwhelming success, with efficient launch, tracking and an exhilarating recovery of the payload!
The coming weeks will see post-processing and analysis of the collected data and pictures from the recent flight, as well as a blog post.
Furthermore, collaborations between external organisations to use BLUEsat’s HAB launch capabilities are being negotiated, with another launch scheduled for next month, October.
Adithya Rajendran, Balloon Squad Lead
From the CubeSat Power Team
The Power team has been working on characterizing some high-efficiency solar cell and researching into the design requirements of the solar panel, which will be mounted on the outside of the satellite. The main board is also being designed at the moment which is extremely exciting – we will have our first iteration of our complete CubeSat power solution soon!
William Chen, Satellite Power Squad Lead
From the CubeSat ADCS Team
Over the course of this month, the ADCS team has been working on the prototype of the single axis magnetorquer and has produced the first iteration of the PCB. As the programming for the magnetorquer is complete, all that remains before testing can begin is to assemble the components.
We’ve also begun work on creating a sensor board that will gather data during testing. It’ll allow the team to perform detailed experiments to improve the design for the triple axis magnetorquer.
Olivia Yem, ADCS Squad Lead
From the CubeSat GreenSat Team
The GreenSat team is now working on developing the requirements for the pressure vessel for the CubeSat. The team has been working hard in regards to minimising power usage on board, and researching microcontrollers that would be best to use in space-based environments. We have found out that our base power requirements will be around 0.5W.
The team has also been working on creating a new method to integrate interested students into the GreenSat team.
Rajiv Narayan, GreenSat Squad Lead
From the Groundstation Team
The Groundstation team has been working to fix the groundstation. Currently, the groundstation is not functional due to issues with the rotator and controller for the rotator. So far, we have removed the antennae from the old rotator and removed the old rotator from the the mast. For the new rotator, we assembled a multi-wire cable fitted with a DIN connector that connects to the rotator and ring terminals that connect to the Controller Box. Hopefully we will have the antenna functional and calibrated by the end of the fortnight.
Joerick Aligno, Groundstation Squad Lead
Operations & Exec
The BLUEsat AGM will take place in the coming week and all Executive positions will be open for individuals to run for. As we are approaching the end of the year, some of the older members will be graduating and passing on their torch to newer members!
Things have started to calm down (hopefully), and its time to get stuck into planning out some goals for the rest of the semester, summer and the coming year. Anita, Yasmin and I attended an amazing Entrepreneurial Leadership Workshop ran by Campus Consultancy at UNSW and learnt several skills relevant to club leadership, personal branding, motivating teams and several other entrepreneurial frameworks. It has revitalised us with more motivation and we are all excited to put our new found skills to use!
Raghav Hariharan, President
September has been a very exciting and successful month for BLUEsat!
Our Rover Team achieved 8th place our of 35 teams in the ERC, beating our ranking of 9th and 16th in previous competitions! While several of us were in Poland for the ERC, other BLUEsat members attended the Australian Engineering Conference in Sydney, talking to members of the Australian Centre of Space Engineering Research as well as fellow students about our projects. These were great opportunities for the members who attended to develop more of their skills.
On other news, we’ve also had a number of new members join several of our teams, and are working on improving our on-boarding strategy. Our board games nights this month have continued to be successful, and plans for a different, end-of-year social event will soon begin.
Anita Smirnov, Secretary
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