Astra Beginning of the Year Update 2021
Written and Designed by Natalie Sparks
Welcome to 2021! To start off the year we began with a recruitment event to gain tons of new members for each team. We have 10+ new members and are training them to be good solar car members in the future. We also had an event called EXPO that was an event to that allows for children to explore stem disciplines. At the event, the children got a chance to learn about what KU Solar Car does, and how to build a small propeller car that they’re able to use on their own.
KU Solar Car assisted in hosting the virtual IEF Solar Car Conference by creating and administering the discord server that conference operated in. The conference took place from February 18th-24th. The conference had an attendance 450+ students from 34 different universities. The conference had workshops given by American Solar Challenge staff members and solar car alumni as well as one on one meetings with them . The conference also was a great networking event to meet other teams.
Mechanical team is currently working on problems with the vehicle design report.
They’re also working on manufacturing the front and rear suspension.
Power Distribution/Control Systems Teams:
Currently the power distribution and control systems team is packaging and mounting electronics into our battery pack enclosure. They also have been working on some printed circuit board design and recently completed the design and build of our battery protection system fault indicator. An image of it can be seen on the right.
Working with CAN bus, they’re preparing to make the car talk to the digital server prepared by the telemetry team. They’re also trying to make this information into a human readable UI using an Arduino modified with a 4G hotspot.
Solar subteam has been training new members on how to safely solder together solar cells so they might be able to create even more solar arrays for the car to use.
Business team has been working during the solar car conference to connect with new businesses and make a more solid business structure. They just finished up working on EXPO to teach 20+ children about solar car as a team to make them learn about engineering and STEM disciplines.
Aeroshell has finished up sanding, and then spraying the plug for the bottom shell mold and it’s almost ready to be used to make the fiberglass mold for the car. On the right, there is an image of the current sprayed plug.