• mrgboucher

Inventing the reaction wheel

The long and bumpy road of reaction wheel manufacturing finally came to an end. We had six housings available of which only one was destroyed in the manufacturing pathfinding process. The remaining five are now happy and outfitted, with not just the mechanical part, but the motor controller circuit boards as well.

The manufactured reaction wheels

Since the reaction wheel flywheels were made in sets of three, I, Marci, took the opportunity to name them after entries in the Star Wars franchise. What I did not calculate with, is the fact that in the end, a total of 15 flywheels were made. Hence we ran out of movies and went into the realm of spinoffs, and even upcoming series. (-Hello there! -Reaction wheel Kenobi!)

Kenobi and Solo reaction wheels

As said in the previous blog post, the reaction wheels are being tested by Andreas for their resistance. He is measuring the maximum angular velocity they can be spun up to, and the maximum angular acceleration they are capable of.

We also want to make sure that during operation they are not going to introduce severe vibrations in the FFU structure. This is where axial and radial runout come into play ( previous blog post available).

“If in the first act you have hung a pistol on the wall, then in the following one it should be fired.” -A. P. Chekhov.

In order to have smooth running flywheels and therefore reaction wheels that aid the FFU in getting to a standstill attitude, the axis which the flywheels revolve around have to be within an extremely small margin of the geometric centerline of the flywheels.

This was possible to do in theory, but as we know no plan survives its execution. The actual quality of the flywheels has to be tested in the upcoming weeks in preparation for the 1 and 3 axis ADCS test. The ADCS test rig is also getting close to being complete, more details will be given in an upcoming post.

ADCS test rig

I do not want to make promises in writing anymore about when will the video of the 3 axis ADCS test will be released for the general public, but you hopefully will be able to drop your jaws while watching it soon !


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