Bringing It All Together
Arjun this side with the latest updates from the Systems Engineering department! I pursue an MSc in Electromagnetics, Fusion and Space Engineering, and joined REXUS at KTH about four months ago.
Since then, I have worked to understand the different parts of the B2D2 experiment - from the RMU, the FFU, their electronics, to the hold-down-release-mechanism (HDRM) for both the RMU and the FFU.
One might wonder what my work entails! I myself learn something new almost everyday and I will make an attempt in describing it. Basically, systems engineering (in the context of this experiment) is the know-how of each sub-system and how they interact - and thus ensuring their integration as a whole. With time, I hope to achieve the required system-wide perspective about the experiment. This includes better-than-surface knowledge of each sub-system as well.
Currently, I work specifically on the Recovery Unit (RU) which helps the FFU land safely in the last leg of its journey. Within the RU, a burner wire is coiled around a spring-tensioned nylon string. The string binds the lid and the aluminium body underneath which our parachute assembly and the various localisation antennae lie. When the system detects an altitude of ~ 5 km (on the way down, of course!), the burner wire is enabled which cuts the nylon string, after which the tension is released, the lid pops out, and the parachute is deployed.
The following video is from a test deployment. The RU (right) is housed within the FFU (left). Deployment is triggered by pulling the shown pin which you might remember from the drop test blog.
5 km is around the height where drag becomes significant enough to properly deploy the parachute. Various localisation signals handled by the RU electronics then help Mission Control find the FFU and retrieve it.
As an integral subsystem, the RU must contribute to the bigger picture as and when required for a successful mission.
That is all from me for now. Stay tuned for the exciting next steps in building our experiment!