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Streamlined vehicle fabrication

June 6, 2004 notes

June 6, 2004 notes


Streamlined vehicle fabrication


Putting the new test vehicle together has taken a bit longer than expected, but we are almost finished.


The electronics have been significantly reworked so that the batteries are all off the main board, freeing up enough space to lay the A/D breakout board and GPS board down flat instead of vertical, and also leaving space for a new custom A/D breakout board with static protection and ring terminals that we are building.




I am unifying various connections and equipment between the full size vehicle and the small vehicle, including finally moving over to 500 psi transducers across the board.  We had previously used 1000 psi transducers for most things, but none of our future vehicles are expected to exceed 500 psi tank or chamber pressure, so it is nice to double the output voltage range, which halves the signal noise.


Our GPS base station also arrived, so I will be trying to integrate the differential corrections into our telemetry stream soon.


All the gear on the vehicle base is finished, we just need to insulate the engine and test everything out.


http://media.armadilloaerospace.com/2004_06_06/baseGear.jpg (a picture before everything was completed)


We used the same axial o-ring sealing arrangement for mounting the valves and engine to the tank that we used in the big vehicle, but because the entire flange closure is aluminum on the small tank, we were able to put good, thick o-rings in instead of the tiny ones we had to settle for on the big vehicle.  This lets us slide the entire base into the vehicle and just bolt the base to the tube sides, with the plumbing sealing itself without putting any stresses into the valves or requiring a flexible connection.


The vehicle is going to have to land almost perfectly to avoid tipping over, but we’ll see how it goes next week…  We will be doing hover tests on Tuesday to see how the new vehicle and software changes (predictive throttling to smooth out acceleration hunting) work out, then heading out for boosted hops on Saturday if it isn’t too muddy.






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