SOURCE PDR

SOURCE PDR

SOURCE Preliminary Design Review

On February 2nd, 2019 the PDR of SOURCE took place at the Institute for Space Systems of the University of Stuttgart (IRS).
The aim of the day was to conclude project phase B, in which the preliminary design of the satellite had been developed. In addition to a project milestone for SOURCE, the review represented an examination performance at the end of the semester for all participants of the corresponding lecture.
Besides the reviewers, who came from Tesat-Spacecom, Thales Alenia Space and Airbus as well as from DLR Bremen and Baylor University, the SOURCE team also welcomed numerous guests. Among them were not only members of the IRS institute and employees of the SOURCE project partner IRAS, but also students of the friendly student society TU Darmstadt Space Technology e.V. (TUDSat). This way, the SOURCE PDR had more than 70 participants in total.
The review began at 10:00 a.m. with the presentation of all subsystems, the system engineers and the team lead. Within about two hours, the current status of the entire satellite system was presented. In the following break the team already got many positive remarks about the endurance and motivation with which the students are working on SOURCE. In the afternoon, reviewers and guests had time to ask questions and make comments.
Following the review, the supervising university teacher Professor Sabine Klinkner was very satisfied with the professional conduct of the review, "I was particularly pleased with how confidently the students answered the experts' questions. They really impressed the space professionals".
Despite the rather cool weather and the onset of darkness, the SOURCE team let the evening end on the roof of the institute, while the Review Board discussed the outcome of the review.
In the end, the Review Board agreed on recommending to continue with Phase C once all RIDs (Review Item Discrepancies) had been processed. The result of the review is thus, as in Phase A, a conditional pass, so the next goal is to close all the RIDs by the beginning of the next semester in order to start phase C in time.
The SOURCE team would like to thank all guests and especially the reviewers for their interest and commitment in making the PDR of SOURCE possible.

ROACH2 accepted into REXUS program

ROACH2 accepted into REXUS program

ROACH2 accepted into REXUS-program

Selection Workshop in Bonn

After applying for the new REXUS cycle we were invited to present our experiment ROACH2 at the DLR (German Aerospace Center) in Bonn. Three of our team members went there to present the project.

At the two day event we met our fellow applicants for both the REXUS (Rocket Experiments for University Students) and BEXUS (Balloon Experiments for University Students) program. Besides the presentations of the projects there were a few additional presentations. Some about the program itself and some about the space industry, for example about risk management for space missions.

Each team had twenty-five minutes to present their Experiment and the same amount of time for questioning by the jury, which is formed by experts from the different program partners.

We were accepted!

On December 7th we received the letter officially confirming that ROACH2 will be part of the new REXUS cycle. With this begins a one and a half year long phase of intense engineering, testing and building, leading up to launch and (hopefully) a successful experiment execution.

The next milestone will be the PDR (Preliminary Design Review) for which we have to define our experiment setup, its features and how we intend to build it. At the PDR we will once again present our detailed concept to the jury, which can then give feedback and possibly demand changes.

More information about the REXUS/BEXUS programme and the other teams that were selected can be found on the ESA-Website.

PAPELL-Launchevent

PAPELL-Launchevent

Our experiment PAPELL will fly to the ISS aboard SpaceX CRS-15 on Friday, June 29th, from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida.

We invite everyone interested in space to our launch-event celebrating the safe flight. There will be presentations on our experiment as well as on others, and a livestream of the SpaceX launch. We start at 9:45 and finish around 12:30 at the Institut für Raumfahrtsysteme at Pfaffenwaldring 29.

Experts visit PAPELL

Experts visit PAPELL

The Überflieger project from the DLR includes a visit of three experts from the space companies DreamUp and NanoRacks from the USA for the PAPELL team.

The experts wanted to get to meet the team in person and see how the progress of the experiment was. Further more they needed to make sure, our experiment does in no way harm or influens the crew on the ISS. The experts were satisfied with our progress and PAPELL could match all their restrictions.

Beginning with a short introduction and a brief presentation of our PAPELL experiment, the experts were shown the main components of our experiment and their functionality. This includes the experiment area 2, the actuators for pumping the ferrofluid, the onboard computer with the power supply and several sensors. In order to keep the overview, a complete integration was not done and insted of ferrofluid, collered water was pumped in the presentation. This had no influence for the tests or the functionality of our experiment. Experiment area 1 was due to time aspects not yet ready but this was no problem because the components are simulare to experiment area 2. Further more the injectors of experiment area 2 were not functional because they still have a minor mechanical issue, due to getting stuck in their reservoir. A further iteration to solve this problem is allready ordered and in manufacturing.

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Martin Siedorf: Member of the software team for PAPELL
We worked like crazy over the weekend and therefor much more is functioning. We couldn't do all tests but the ones we did were enough to satisfy our guests. We showed them, that we can make it in time!

The biggest worry for our guests were the magnetic interferences during our experiment phase, which could compromise the other modules of the ISS. The induced magnetic field of PAPELL stays far below the requested limits of NanoRacks. Including this aspect, there is no further issue in the way for PAPELL to work on the ISS.
The additional tests concluded as expected and bigger problems did not accure. Further more, one big drop of ferrofluid could be transported from one magnet to the next without any leftovers on the surface. This is shown in the video.

Our guests were also welcomed by our head of the Institute for Space Systems, Prof. Fasoulas. The visit was concluded with a guided tour through the institute and its labratories by Mr. Herdrich.
The day was finalizied with a dinner in citycenter which the experts and many team members participated.

Beacon Test

Beacon Test

On Thursday the 23rd of July we had our first beacon test in collaboration with the AKAFUNK Stuttgart team. The beacon is a small transmitter that sends a simple ping signal approximately every second on a specified frequency. By measuring the signal strength we can evaluate the position of the capsule after landing using triangulation.

These beacons are often used to track wildlife in their natural habitat and are therefore very small in order not to hinder the animals or change their behaviour. Due to their small size and robustness they are perfect for our experiment. We were also very fortunate that we were provided with the XXX by NamTrack Namibia for our mission. 
The tests we conducted in the surrounding fields and woods of the University of Stuttgart, where meant to determine the maximum reach of the beacon in different environments (in the wood, in the field, with and without capsule). 
The tests were very positive. With our very basic equipment we could track the beacon to a range of up to 1km. Since we used a very simple receiver, this value could also be drastically improved. However once inside the capsule, the aluminium front-body acted as a faraday cage and reduced our range to about 100m. The Whipox material we use for the back shell of our capsule had no impact on the range. 
Placing the beacon approximately one meter below the wet ground provided a similar range reduction. This could happen if the capsule lands in snow or dirt. We simulated these effects by placing the beacon in a plastic tube in a canal with about one meter of earth above it.100 meter sounds like a very small range. However, we are very confident that we will be able to further improve this value and 100 meter will probably be sufficient as even with a very bad GPS-signal we should be able to locate our capsule up to a few hundred meters. Therefore we should be able to find our capsule if we acquire at least one GPS signal.
Finally we had two scavenger hunts where two of our members hid the beacon and the rest had to search for it using the receiver and the ping sent from the beacon. We found the beacon in both cases in only 25 minutes and 20 minutes! However, it was relatively easy to get close to the beacon (approx. 10m) , but finding it proved to be hard as the signal around the beacon was so strong it scattered from various surfaces and made it really difficult to locate it. 
All in all the tests where a great success and a lot of fun!                                                                                                                                                                  Thanks to all the participating KSat members and the AKAFUNK team!