We went over more NESI+ board functions and learned functions outside of NESI. Texas A&M thanked us profusely for our attention and cooperation. Dr Morgan said we are the best educated group of participants yet and is confident in our success. Then we were walked through the entire code for a finished project. Ended early then met as a group to outline next meeting. Thanks to CASIS,Texas A&M, and Wings Over the Rockies for providing the National Design Challenge workshop, and thanks to Biscuits & Berries for the food service! We learned so much this week!
Joe Morgan and Dean Tate presented phase II of the NESI+ teacher workshop. We reviewed hardware and software and talked about conceptual and functional block diagrams. We configured the connection of UART to laptops in the MPLABX setup and learned how to manipulate the files to not change the predefined NESI code. We put serial numbers on the NESI+ boards and validated the software code compilation and download to the board. Then, each school (Centaurus, Bell, and Chatfield) presented an overview of their projects and described the sensors, actuators, and issues they had. We discussed C programming elements and code modules. Then we programmed example projects to learn different functions, including the configuration of the camera. Afterwards, Derek Runberg from SparkFun came in to advise and answer the questions about sensor and actuator issues. We looked at different SparkFun products/resources on their site and at overall SparkFun peripherals.
Today, Joe Morgan and Dean Tate from Texas A&M University presented the NESI+ Teacher Workshop overview. We received our nanolab along with our primary and secondary toolboxes and parts kits. We configured and soldered through-holes on the NESI+ board. Then we learned about the hardware sections and had a high level view of the schematics of the NESI+ board through conceptual designs. After, we went over validation and appreciation of modifications to the board. We learned about NESI+ hardware, power, digital IN/OUT, analog IN/OUT, and communications.
Today we went over testing and prototype build procedures and project management with Alli Westover. Then we had a web conference with the payload integration lead and safety lead from Nanoracks, James Miller and Dana Gomez. We discussed the frame 1a and 2a, where our experiment would be stored, in the JEM module of the International Space Station. In our individual Ops meeting, we examined the design layout of the experiment with planetary gears, how to get more data time, optically clear plastic as an alternative to glass, and safety around the motor vibrations.
Today Mr. Thomas and 7 members from the space project met at the Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum for the National Design Challenge. We were met by Alli Westover from CASIS, who presented information about the engineering design process. We looked at a design process flowchart and talked about what makes a good design for an experiment. We discussed engineering notebooks and the importance of signatures, as the notebook is a legal document. We also looked at design matrices and talked about brainstorming, subsystems, and incremental testing. Then, April Spinale from CASIS presented about what was needed in the Hazards document. Afterwards, we broke into groups, where we brainstormed about how to mix nutrients with bacteria, how to detect the cloudiness of water in vials, and materials besides PLA. Also, if we would have more trials in just Earth's gravity, or less trials in both Earth's and Mars' gravity.