Daily Log

So, I was released from all of my high school classes (except PE) on Friday April 10, 2015. I thought it might be a good idea to keep a daily log of my progress on the ARV project. I will try to jot down some notes daily about what I have accomplished. Please keep in mind that my workday is split by Ultimate Frisbee practice every day from 2:30pm-6:00pm.

Saturday April 11, 2015

  • Soldered JST connectors to high efficiency 5V switching regulator
    • Heatshrinked the entire thing for thermal and electrical insulation
  • Created 10pin to 6pin connector for USBasp programmer board
  • Tried to update USBasp firmware unsuccessfully (still managed to flash KK2 with OpenAero using programmer with Arduino IDE, but programmer is not detected by computer)
  • Assessed problems with ReadyToFlyer 2.8 autopilot board
    • Ordered new board, voltage sensor module, and GPS wire harness

Sunday April 12, 2015

  • Visiting CMU

Monday April 13, 2015

  • Visiting CMU

Tuesday April 14, 2015

  • Created holders for 2S 5000mAh lipo inside ARV MK2
  • Performed the maiden flight for ARV MK2
    • Tested glide slope
    • Tested stall performance (full aileron while holding full up eventually resulted in a tip stall and a short stall spin)
    • 4 complete flights totaling roughly 20 minutes in the air
    • recorded with onboard Gopro Hero 3 and iPhone 6 runnning 720p 240fps on ground
  • Spoke to experience balloonist about project. Recommended to use helium over hydrogen
    • Learned that 1200-2000g balloon and a K tank of helium will be sufficient
    • Learned that flight above 80,000 feet is unpredictable (may have to launch at 80k)
    • Confirmed legality of mission

Wednesday April 15, 2015

Thursday April 16, 2015

  • Created CAD model for glider attached to weather balloon
  • Used model to create (gorgeous) renderings of ascent
    • Combined transparent rendering with actual photograph
  • Started working on fuselage for heavy lifter cargo plane (to lift glider)
    • Used hot wire cutter to plane 2 inch insulation foam down to 1 inch (tedious)

Friday April 17, 2015

  • Finished gluing fuselage and trimmed dried glue
  • Purchased materials for landing gear and control surfaces on heavy lifter cargo plane
  • Purchased low current resistors and phosphorous to create fuses to burn cord between balloon and glider
  • Purchased high current resistors to test temperature control of gyroscope IC
  • Began editing flight video for ARV MK2

Saturday April 18, 2015

  • Created trainer cable to allow connection of Spektrum and OrangeRX Transmitters for training
  • Completed soldering for powertrain inside large cargo plane
    • Test full throttle on 6000mAh 6s
  • Attached ailerons and began installing wing servos and wiring

Sunday April 19, 2015

  • Laminated foam for elevator
  • Carved XPS wheels and installed wooden hubs
  • Glued on landing gear and wing mount hard points
  • completed wiring inside wing
  • programmed differential throttle

Monday April 20, 2015

  • Laminated foam for V-Stab
  • installed landing gear
  • created elevator on H-stab and completed tail wiring
  • Consolidated FPV gear into head-mounted system

Tuesday April 21, 2015

  • Flashed new APM
    • Configured appropriate mixing
  • Visiting Brown University

Wednesday April 22, 2015

  • Visiting Brown University

Thursday April 23, 2015

  • Visiting Brown University
  • Installed new APM into ARV MK2
    • Finished configuration
  • Installed appropriate drivers for telemetry radio
    • Wrote simple application to display active serial ports (Free Download: Serial Ports.app mac only)
  • Completed tail assembly for heavy lifter

Friday April 24, 2015

  • Created tail mount for heavy lifter
  • Created third hard mount for wings on heavy lifter

Saturday April 25, 2015

  • Ultimate Frisbee Tournament
  • Prepped heavy lifter for maiden flight
    • Taxi test with differential throttle

Sunday April 26, 2015

  • Tested ARV MK2 with autopilot
    • Crash and retrieval from tree
    • flight log analysis revealed plane entered failsafe mode
  • Maiden flight ofheavy lifter at Burr elementary
    • Success!
  • Began editing flight footage for ARV MK2 maiden video
    • found open license audio track
  • Began cutting wings for ARV MK3

Monday April 27, 2015

  • Created test setup for battery endurance
    • Wrote data logging system using Arduino and Processing
    • Create graph of data from first test using two servos
    • Determined that 0.5A regulator is insufficient for Gopro
    • Performed second test with Gopro
  • Tested stiff hot wire foam cutter for “camera case” style fuselage
  • Purchased new regulator
  • Created short video edit for heavy lifter
    • composed soundtrack

Tuesday April 28, 2015

  • Began construction of ARV MK3
    • Hot wire cut wings
    • Created stiff hot wire tool for detailed cutting
    • Cut fuselage with “camera case” style
    • Tested center of gravity with electronics and winglets before gluing
    • Glued wings to fuselage using gorilla glue
  • Set up backup GSM GPS tracker
    • Purchased minutes on H2O wireless
    • configured and tested tracker using cell connection
  • Researched and purchased appropriate balloon for actual launch

Wednesday April 29, 2015

  • Glued winglets onto ARV MK3
  • Removed hair from hot wire cutting on wing of ARV MK3
  • Worked on research paper

Thursday April 30, 2015

  • Worked on research paper
  • Installed new VReg on APM board
  • Tested handwarmers overnight in ARV MK3 fuselage (still warm 15 hrs later)
  • Cut spot for GPS tracker in ARV MK3 fuselage
  • Tested tape hinge in freezer –> too stiff

Friday May 1, 2015

  • Worked on research paper
  • Cut out control surfaces on ARV MK3
  • Created nose for Gopro with hot wire

Saturday May 2, 2015

  • Worked on research paper
  • Completed control surfaces and linkage on ARV MK3
    • installed 8 hinges
    • installed horns and servos
    • created pushrods
  • Researched Autopilot modifications and previous attempts
  • Tested GPS tracker initialization while in flight
  • Began digging into autopilot code/taking notes
    • Reduced data log frequency to 1Hz to allow longer mission

Sunday May 3, 2015

  • Worked on research paper
  • Glued down pushrod guides
  • Initialized IDE for editing APM firware
  • Contacted specialist to seek advice on:
    • altitude compensation
    • release triggers
    • source code versions
    • AoA calculation
    • freefall detection
  • Attempted simple edits to Arduplane firmware and determined that newest firmwares will likely not be compatible with mission goals
    • successful flash of APM using modified Arduino IDE as opposed to Mission Planner GUI

Monday May 4, 2015

  • Completed research paper
  • Activated google API to allow drive embedding in webpage
  • Continue to investigate options for modifying APM code
  • Attempted modification of code in dozens of different firmware versions
    • Unable to trigger I/O pin
    • Successfully switched flight after time delay
  • LOTS of research into APM software and structure (starting to think I might be better writing my own firmware or something…. brutal)

Tuesday May 5, 2015

  • Researched PID control to consider constructing my own autopilot
  • Configured APM for ARV MK3
  • Created hatch for ARV MK3 and began rounding fuselage exterior
  • Tested current draw for primary electronics system
    • Calculated worst case scenario battery life is still sufficient

Wednesday May 6, 2015

Thursday May 7, 2015

  • Maiden flight of ARV MK3
    • Adjusting CG
    • Crash
  • Analyzed flight logs
  • Repaired ARV MK3 airframe

Friday May 8, 2015

  • Started presentation
  • Began editing flight footage for ARV MK3

Saturday May 9, 2015

  • More testing of Heavy Lifter

Sunday May 10, 2015

  • Worked on presentation
  • Working for Above Summit
  • Research into CoG

Monday May 11, 2015

  • Practice Presentation
  • Re-maidened ARV MK3
    • Determine better CoG
  • Investigated APM code (reading libraries)
    • Pin A9 now functional as status indicator/output
    • Inserting test code
    • Success in triggering A9 based on calculated altitude
  • Compared Texas HAB code to APM v2.65 code using Kaleidescope

Tuesday May 12, 2015

  • Working on APM code
    • developed working firmware for autonomous propeller testing
      • switches to RTL and cuts throttle at user definable altitude
      • Control can be reclaimed by switching to RTL and back
      • disabled all radio failsafes
  • Maiden Z3 for Above Summit
  • Research how to launch weather balloon
    • will need at least two people
    • will need to build PVC nozzle to inflate balloon

Wednesday May 13, 2015

  • Worked on APM code
    • cleaned and improved 2.75 version
      • discovered that 2.75 doesn’t allow for dataflash logging
    • ported code to 3.22 version
      • deleted unnecessary code to save space
      • bricked ReadyToFlyer 2.8 board
  • Purchased two new APM boards
  • Purchase helium tank
  • Purchased PVC and made hose fitting for balloon inflation
  • Worked on presentation

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