FTS Upgrade

After our most recent FTS (Flight Test System) test flight it became apparent that a new method of attaching payloads to the FTS was needed. Originally, payloads were attached to the FTS via the drop system which was mounted below the FTS, but with the removal of the drop system from the FTS we were forced to attach payloads directly to the FTS’s chassis. While this did work, it made removing payloads after a flight challenging and increased the risk of a payload becoming detached in flight. So we designed a component that attaches to the chassis of the FTS and provides a simple and secure point to attach payloads to.

The new FTS payload mount.

After completing the printing and mounting of this new part, we briefly returned to working on the GTP (Guidance Test Payload). Now that the fin attachment points were in place, we were able to construct and attach the GTP fins. During flight, the control surfaces on these fins will be used to guide the payload.

The GTP with the fins in place.

With this task completed we decided to put the GTP preparations on hold and instead focus on the PSCC (Parachute System Control Computer). There are two main reasons for this change in direction. The first, is that the data gathering capabilities the PSCC provides will be invaluable for assessing the performance of the GTP during flight tests. The second is that by using the PSCC to automatically deploy the GTP’s parachute, the demands on the GTP operator will be reduced as will the risk of payload damage. With this change in direction, in the coming weeks we will be troubleshooting and fixing the issues identified on the last PSCC test.

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