Hello to all our fans! Since returning from the PDR in Munich last month, the PIOneERS team have been busy improving the experiment according to all the feedback we received from the experts. Earlier this week we handed in our latest updated version of the Student Experiment Documentation.

One of the biggest concerns was radio frequency electromagnetic radiation emitted by the electronics, which could interfere with the on-board GPS or the other REXUS experiments. Therefore we had to ensure the entire experiment is RF shielded. This proved to be quite a challenge as it affected most of the sub-systems, however we solved this issue by simply encasing all electronic components, at each end of the boom inside aluminium housings.

It has also been recommended to utilise some space underneath the bulkhead in order to store some electronics, opening up more space in the nosecone for the stowed BOOM. Moreover, thermal and Finite Element Analysis will need to be performed for the design.

To help us throughout this process leading up to the Critical Design Review in June, the European Space Agency have provided us a mentor, Emanuele Piersanti. In addition to constant emails back and forth, we have been using WebEx as a means of communicating with him on a weekly basis. These sessions have been very useful to provide us technical expertise towards the mechanical aspects of the experiment.

Earlier this month we organised a recruitment activity to present our experiment to fellow engineering students at the University. This was successful and a lot of students showed interest in the project and signed up. Finally, a much needed expansion has been made to the team, where we had previously lacked manpower especially in the electrical and software department. New team members include Edward, James, David, Nazim, Guy and another James. They will be taking care of designing the ImP housing, electronics housing, electronics and software, and also finite element analysis.

The PIOneERS are now a stronger team, keener than ever to get our experiment into space!

P.S.: I hope you enjoy the random selection of photos from our activities in the past few weeks.

Testing on the tape that will be used to deploy the boom sections, provided by Lucy.

 

CAD of the internal structure within the housing at the end of the boom, provided by Edward.

 

Enda and Jonathan celebrating after they progressed a bit with the communications between the different electronic sub-systems.

 

Updated CAD of the antenna/probe release mechanism to be used for ImP at the end of the boom, provided by myself.

 

Updated CAD of how the mechanical sub-systems, MIKE and NEIL, of the PIOneERS experiment will look like, provided by Matthew.

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