• daviserdn

Astra Fall 2021 Update

As the semester unravels, the team is slowly resuming progress. The team began with a great number of new members with a high retention rate. With support from The University of Kansas, the team received funding for most of our expenditure. At the start of the year, we moved from Peaslee Tech to West Campus with the help of Professor Robert Sorem.

In the first few months of the year, our team has been working closely with the School of Engineering to work on the vehicle. While waiting for the school’s approval, each team has been teaching and training the new members to work on the vehicle through coding projects and redesign. The Electrical team’s (Power Distribution and Control Systems) new members have been working on Arduino projects and the Mechanical’s new members have been working on the redesign of the A-arm.

Finally, four of our members, Nick, Andrew, Alex, and Drake attended the 2021 International Telemetry Conference in Las Vegas. They had the chance to attend academic presentations, see examples of how real companies use telemetry systems, and network with industry professionals. Their presentation of Astra's telemetry system was well-received and garnered some useful feedback.



The aeroshell sub-team started off the academic year with multiple projects that involved designing a canopy latching system, manufacturing bulkheads, and brainstorming ideas on how to further secure the top and bottom shells to the canopy. These tasks have allowed members of the team to integrate valuable classroom knowledge with practical real world engineering designs. The aeroshell team has also had many new members join to help the efforts. During the next few weeks, the team hopes to implement the designs by manufacturing the parts required to secure the canopy and shell to the chassis.


Electrical (Power Distribution & Control Systems):

Despite not being able to work on the car, the electrical team has been hard at work doing other things. In September, we made presentations for a big recruitment meeting. We have recruited eight new members, and for the past two months, we have been getting them up to speed by as

signing them to new member projects that can be worked on off of the car.

While that's been going on, we have also been working with the ME and EECS department to try to find a suitable electrical advisor so that we can be cleared to work on the car. We have identified potential candidates, and are in the process of interviewing them.



Mechanical started this semester with introducing all the new members with the general systems of the car including suspension, control systems, and the chassis. After getting acquainted with the mechanical systems, the new members worked on learning how to 3D model and got familiar with Finite Element Analysis (FEA).

With new members trained, the Mechanical Team is charging towards the finish line. Our mechanical team has been designing a new steering system to improve the driver’s control and improving the steering radius. We are currently working on mounting the seat belt in accordance with the ASC regulations while allowing easy access to the electrical components behind the seat. We are also excited to take this time to redesign our rear suspension so that it is not only safer but also decreases our weight to improve efficiency.



Since August, the Solar Sub-team recruited many aspiring new members and had several presentations over electronics/solar arrays basics. After that, the team focused on training through group lessons of solar array manufacturing. A project that the team has been working on is the Solar Powered GameCube which emphasizes on the solar manufacturing process and preparation.

In November, we are planning to complete the Game Cube project by assigning a team of new members to build an enclosure and another team to develop the solar panel with new/repaired arrays. The goal for this month is for new members to understand the process of building and repairing arrays without assistance.



It's been an eventful few months for the telemetry team as we've onboarded new members, integrated GPS into our 4G transmission code, presented at the 2021 International Telemetry Conference, and updated the driver's heads-up displays.

In September the team focused on getting new members familiar with the codebase and introductory projects, which includes improving our secrets management and our codebase requirements specifications. The team made progress in ongoing projects such as adding error messages to the driver HUD and adapting our GPS code for the Arduino Due, the micro-controller we'll be using in the car. The HUD got an updated interface for reading values and the team started to focus on integrating the display with the CAN BUS. The team integrated the existing GPS parsing code with our existing Xbee modem code, getting us closer to tracking the car's location in real-time.



With a new year comes a new business team. At the start of the school year, we split the business team into Outreach, Finance, and Media. So far, the business team has been hard at work updating our websites and reaching out to sponsorships. This year, we will be posting monthly blog posts starting this month! We hope to keep everyone up to date as we finish up Astra and move forward with our 2nd design!

83 views0 comments