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Blog Archive

Electrical Department

Head of Electrical Department: Gustav Olofsson

Our work:
In the electrical department, we are responsible for analysis of electrical components meeting the performance requirements to result in a successful BEXUS campaign. This means reading datasheets of components that are being considered to research both their electrical and mechanical characteristics. Also, sensors are investigated for compatibility with each other and with the controller in terms of operating/communication voltage, speed etc. The electrical system is developed into a schematic, that can then be converted into a PCB design ready for integration. Additionally, calculating the power budget of the electrical system both in terms of total expended power and the momentary burst of electrical energy that might be required during critical phases of the mission. Finally, cable management will also be performed for both power and data lines.

Our Challenges:
Properly understanding documentation can be dubious at best due to the large amount of information presented which might result in mistakes when ordering and starting to test components. Also, due to the fact that there are few members in the electrical team, it is then possible that mistakes can take place due to a lack of perspective. Another challenge has been the understanding of signal characteristics sent through the electrical system and finding the possible interferances, which might be generated. At last, we need to know the effects of electromagnetic interference (EMI) on our and other experiments, which results from grounding our circuit board (PCB) to the gondola.

Lessons Learnt:
-Ensuring components fulfil mission requirements
-Handling signals to prevent data errors for sensors
-Implementing redundancy in the electrical system to improve critical design areas
-The value of planning and scheduling your workload

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