Electronics and Power (EPS)

The purpose of the EPS is to record in-flight data from various onboard sensors and control the payload events. The design consists of multiple integrated circuit boards that provide battery power to the system, trigger in-flight events through a timing sequence, and read in data from sensors throughout the rocket. These sensors include accelerometers and gyroscopes to characterize the trajectory, and strain gauges, pressure transducers, and thermocouples to gather information on the state of the rocket components throughout the flight.

Several problems surrounding the EPS system arose during the Spring 2012 semester and the decision was ultimately made to replace the designed EPS boards with a COTS flight computer. The rationale for this decision stems from the boards being outdated and overdesigned for the current blowdown system. The original design dates back to Spring 2011 and was manufactured in Fall 2011, when EPS was required to perform many pre-launch functions that are now performed more simply by the ground station LabVIEW software and instrumentation. This left the boards unnecessarily complex for their new roles. Further frustrations with incorrect schematics and an inability to upload software to the control board eventually led the EPS boards to be abandoned altogether in favor of a relatively simple COTS solution.

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