The PSCC (Parachute System Control Computer) is a small computer that will be used to deploy the parachutes at a preset altitude. A few months ago, we performed the first flight test of this system. This test recovered useful data but also revealed that the GPS (a vital PSCC sensor) was reporting an incorrect altitude reading. The GPS works in concert with the PSCC’s air pressure sensor and both must be functioning for the PSCC to operate. So before we could continue developing this computer, we had to find and fix the issue effecting the GPS.

Through dozens of tests, we identified that the problem was likely caused by a bug in the program of the PSCC. With this discovery, we developed a plan that included a flight test to narrow down the possible causes further. We set off to the test site where we performed multiple flight tests of the PSCC and gathered a wealth of data. This data allowed us to finally find and fix the issue, which as expected was caused by a bug in the PSCC’s code. With the GPS now functioning, we are able to move onto the next step; creating and testing the code that will automatically deploy the parachutes.