Today's Updaily Post - Final Acknowledgements
We would like to thank Professor Steve Holt for this opportunity and for his constant feedback, guidance, and motivation throughout the program. Many thanks to Dr. Vanderlei Martins and Dominik Cieslak for their proposal and aid in this project. We would also like to thank Professor Matthew Neal, Professor Jonathan Stolk, and Professor Brian Storey for their help; and to Avinash Uttamchandani, thank you for your constant help and guidance in control theory and circuit implementation.
July 22, 2010
This week we made the final push towards implementing an active lag compensator and though we were not successful, we learned a lot in the process. Tomorrow we turn our efforts to making final improvements to our system as it was earlier this week (with the gain and passive lag compensator) and delivering a useful and detailed write-up. The final major improvement includes a linearizing supporting circuit for our temperature-measuring subsystem. In other news, it's Mary's birthday this weekend- so don't forget to wish her a happy one!
July 19, 2010
After a grueling weekend, we now have a complete working system for proportional control (gain compensation). This update means that we have a functional setup with which we can test any compensator we want to implement. Moreover, this weekend we developed a software version of our circuitry using SPICE, which allows us to debug and test our hardware system with simulation.
July 14, 2010
Yesterday we attempted to perform the spectrum analysis of our TEC and learned that we do not get a system response at frequencies above 1Hz. This observation confirmed how low pass our system is and verified that our current model is an accurate representation.
July 12, 2010
We got our minds blown on Friday learning about basic control theory and Laplace transforms. This lesson gave way to a new approach that allows us to develop an optimal control system. The first control we will build is lag compensation, but we will also look into gain compensation, minor-loop compensation, and the inverted plant model.
July 8, 2010
We head into the weekend with an ambitious list of tasks we hope to complete. We plan to meet with a recently graduated senior, who has offered to give us a lesson on controls and share ideas for our conditioning circuit. (I'm told he's an ECE gurU). Following this meeting, we will finalize the conditioning circuit design and develop a list of control algorithms to test. We can solidify a testing plan and continue evaluating controllers in software world, while continuing our work with the hardware system. We hope to complete these tasks by Monday.
July 7, 2010
We received our order of relays, transistors, and capacitors today. This delivery allows us to continue developing our conditioning circuit; the first step is to test the two designs we solidified at the beginning of the week.
July 6, 2010
This past weekend we researched transistors, relays, and capacitors, which helped us then solidify two designs for our conditioning circuit this morning. As a reminder, the conditioning circuit must function to filter and reduce the 12V power supply of the CubeSat to the optimal 7V input to the TEC. Both of our designs take advantage of an RC filter to reduce the 12V square pulses down to an apparent 7V DC supply. The differences then lie in power effieciency and the system reaction time.
June 29, 2010
This week we aim to complete multiple subtasks all in the hopes of designing and ordering a PCB next week. These tasks include completing the PIC programming along with the PWM functionality, building the temperature reading and conditioning circuits, and interfacing all three components into our final system design.
June 21, 2010
This weekend we made a large leap by completing the interface between the model and the PID code. We also met on Sunday to detail a testing plan and break apart the tasks we want finished by the end of the week. Current assignments include designing and building the thermistor circuits, converting the PID code into PIC-C so that we can program the PIC. We are also developing software to help us find the PID constants. Lastly, we met with Matt Neil today to walk through the vacuum set up we are using.
June 15, 2010
Today we finally completed the model of a TEC (what we've been referring to as the virtual TEC) and coded a basic PID controller. After our group meeting, we also had a session with Steve and left with a deeper understanding of our system and the problem at hand. Current assignments now include building the interface between the controller and the model, finalizing the model (simply verifying the constants we used), and advancing the PID controller. Tomorrow, we will collectively detail our testing plan and continue with the current assignments.
June 14, 2010
This morning we received an email from Matt Neil offering another option for a vacuum chamber and, indeed, it is exactly what we need. This breakthough means we no longer have to construct our own baseplate. We also ordered parts and are waiting to hear back from our mentors about accurate-enough thermistors to prove our final deliverable. As for our PERT Chart, we updated it to reflect the feedback we received at this morning's collective meeting. We are allocating more time to the controller development and to additional experimental tests. The latest copy can be found here. The first test will be verifying the time step of our system.
June 13, 2010
Our team met today to finalize part orders, discuss project management details, and plan the upcoming week. Over the weekend we received confirmation on an on-campus vacuum chamber. It requires some assembly on our part--constructing the baseplate and wiring an electrical throughput, but it will work. A special thanks goes to Professor Jon Stolk and Professor Matt Neil for their guidances.
June 11, 2010
Yesterday, we had a telecom with our mentor, Vanderlei Martins, and got many of our initial questions answered. The debrief from the telecom can be found here. As for our next steps, Mary is leading the effort to create a functional model for the TEC. Molly is squaring away the parts we need and finalizing the initial order with TE Technology. Sam is creating the website and researching PICs. Kiefer is finding out what access we have to vacuums on campus--we will need a way to test our controller on the TEC after all. The entire team is predicting tasks and putting together a final PERT chart.