some new elements of the ARCADE-R2 slimming diet are ready! To check their effects, below you can see some pictures showing the “scale test” we performed on the new PROXBOX battery boxes, as well as the SMAV top plate and fin.
In addition, two 25-gram bars were removed from the SMAV structure, for a further mass reduction of 50 g.
here are the new, lighter boxes for the PROXBOX batteries. They are composed by a frame of aluminum L-bars and plastic plates. The internal foam layer for thermal insulation will be realized very soon – stay tuned!
Mass reduction was the main topic that was discussed during the last meetings. A specific brainstorming session with the whole team was performed in order to rise all the possible ideas on this point. In addition to the removal of some redundant or no longer in use components, the chosen strategy develops through four actions:
- substitution of the solid PROXBOX columns with hollow columns (2 mm thick)
- substitution of the solid bars on the PROXBOX base plate with a series of screws directly bolted to the base plate, which will be used to fix most of the equipment which is housed inside the PROXBOX
- substitution of the PROXBOX upper bars with 1-mm thick hollow bars
- substitution of the PROXBOX battery boxes with home-made lighter boxes, built with plastic walls and aluminium edges
These improvements will lead to an expected mass reduction of 3.14 kg, which sums to the already achieved 0.86 kg, for a total of about 4 kg!
A few days ago the ARCADE-R2 team gathered at the CISAS labs for an important telecon with Koen Debeule. The BEXUS panel feedback on the PDR SED was discussed; the telecon focused on the software advancement, on the pre-flight operations and, expecially, on the actions to be adopted for an effective mass saving.
Stay tuned for updates!
It was important to fix some minor issues on the ARCADE docking mechanism. Misalignment errors can cause jamming during docking procedures, so three main modifications were realized during San Vito Snow Week and in our facilities here in Padova.
First, machining the SMAV front plate solves most of our problems: now we can regulate its position, shifting the probe to a perfect alignment with the drogue.
Then, on the drogue bottom element a cavity was removed to improve contact between the docking magnet and the probe tip.
Last, the original iron (ferromagnetic) probe tip was substituted with a permanent magnet, increasing the magnetic force with the drogue.
Now ARCADE-R2 is ready to perform all the required procedures, with no more jamming risk.
Minor but important machining was completed on the docking solenoids, towards the implementation of an optical signalling system for the detection of the extension / retraction of the solenoids. The threaded hole on the back of each solenoid core will house a screw, which in turn opens / closes an optical link when the solenoid is retracted / extended .
This system will replace the older one, which was based on light reflection and experienced some repeatability issues. The concept of the new system is shown below.
Our week in San Vito did not roll by unnoticed! Here is the piece published on “L’Amico del Popolo”, a local newspaper of Cadore and Ampezzo.
Enchanted snow on the mountains of Cadore.
In this fairy-tale scenario, the ARCADE team gathered once again for a full-immersion week entirely dedicated to the improvement of the experiment. Thanks to the willingness of prof. Tommaso Anfodillo of the Department of Land, Environment, Agriculture and Forestry (TESAF), the team will be hosted for a week (January 19th-26th) at the Centre for Studies of the Alpine Environment of the University of Padova in San Vito di Cadore. Provided with computers, a conference room and a lab, placed in the quiet and magical landscape of the Alps, this facility is perfectly suited to help the team focus on the completion and test of the ARCADE-R2 software.
Also, with its ambient conditions similar to those of Kiruna at launch, the week will represent a good training session for the launch campaign
Stay tuned for updates!
We just received the results of the Selection Workshop which took place in Noordwijk! ARCADE-R2 was selected to fly again on the BEXUS balloon!!
We are all very happy to have the chance to finish what we began more than two years ago and to gain ‘new new’ experience from this program.
The development for the new ARCADE-R2 has been re-boosted by these great news, so many updates will be available soon!
NEW LOGO!! Here it is for the R2 version – BEXUS 16/17 campaign:
The submission of the last ARCADE Student Experiment Documentation, at the beginning of this year, officially closed the first chapter of the ARCADE story, which proved to be an unforgettable experience.
Now, after a very important year for all the team members – some graduated, some had important experiences abroad, some enrolled in a PhD course – our mission is to refurbish ARCADE, improve it and make it fly again aboard a BEXUS balloon, in order to further exploit its potentialities and to fully achieve its goals as a technology demonstrator.
First milestone in sight: the REXUS/BEXUS Selection Workshop 2012, where we will present our proposal.
This is the dawn of the ARCADE-R2 project.