Hello again everyone! This week we’re looking at what James, our electronics engineer, does in PIOneERS:

Hello! I am James Churm, electronic support engineer to the PIOneERS program. It’s my job to design and fabricate the REXUS module interface unit; this circuit converts power and signals between the rockets support systems and the PIOneERS experiment. This involves the design, fabrication and testing of PCBs which will provide data and power to all other systems in the experiment… no pressure then!

For the power conversion we are using a pair of regulators; one supplying 12V to the boom motor subsystems and a 5V regulator supplying power to everything else. With regards to data, our main task is to make sure that we don’t take any REXUS systems down if our experiment fails! This involves us building transceivers, combinations of transmitters and receivers, and isolation units into the design.
This week was our critical design review. We presented our finalised designs to representatives of the European Space Agency, German Aerospace Centre and Swedish Space Corporation. It was a beautiful two days in Germany, Oberpfaffenhofen, at the DLR GSOC facility.
After we presented to the agency representatives our feedback was extremely positive, with some technical questions and suggestions we left the meeting unscathed and happy that we were on the right road to getting our experiment to flight readiness.
Somehow, I feel the next nine months will be rather stressful, leading up to the launch in March!

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