Inside a rocket factory

We are very busy at the moment, some have still exams left, the others are are updating & expanding our SED (student experiment documentation). Therefore I’ll keep this post short and just recommend the following video:

It is a tour of the SpaceX facilities, guided by CEO Elon Musk, going from the engineering offices to manufacturing to testing and to the launch pad – through all stages of a rocket. Definitely an interesting place to work, and some of the facilities we could use well for ISAAC…

(Note: the video is roughly 2 years old, in the meantime the launch pad was built and both Falcon 9 and Dragon have flown several times.)


Into the forest


Today went on a road trip into the woods in Delsbo, Hälsingland. The purpose of this trip was to visit a company called SenseAir – one of the two largest suppliers of low cost systems for gas measurements in air. After 20 years in the business they have gathered a great knowledge of how these kinds of measurement systems are designed for the best results. The hopes were the exchange information and get some pointers and tips for our own infrared spectroscopy system.

The trip was a success! We did not just get the chance to see what they were doing and how they worked, we also got some idea of how we can improve our spectroscopy system. It was a fun trip and without a doubt worth the 8 hours traveling time.


SED work & CDR


Finally the final version of the BSc reports have been handed in. This week is also the exam period, I hope everyones exams are going fine. Parallel with this the ISAAC team is working with the SED that needs to be finished soon: it’s getting done!

In June, the CDR is scheduled, which means that work also must be put into the presentation that will be held on the CDR.


Another meaning

Yesterday, we had a long meeting for a new project, kick off meeting for SPIDER, which is to measure the electric field and currents in space at around 100 km.  To our delight, ISAAC will make a foundation for this new project.

The ejection system and mechanical structure of ISAAC will provide SPIDER with preparation. The dimensions of ISAAC FFUs are about 240 mm in diameter, 70 mm in height. So if SPIDER uses this kind of dimensions, then it can adopt ISAAC’s ejection system, which will save a lot on time on this work. As for the layout of a FFU, ISAAC consists of one common unit and one specific unit. While SPIDER will be composed of three units from up to down, which is still similar to ISAAC.

Therefore, ISAAC has more meanings except its scientific and technical goals, which inspires us to do better for ISAAC.

Interesting Simulations

Recently, another Rexus project, Muscat, done by my colleagues, was launched. Congradulations to their success!

Since I am engaging in simulations of the landing zone for Isaac, I am interested in Muscat’s FFUs landing. Here is the landing graph of its FFUs.ffu-trails


Because we need to recover Isaac’s FFUs to fulfill our project goals, it’s important to predict the landing positions of FFUs, which can be achieved by simulations. Now, we can obtain a prediction graph like the above one for Isaac, just by simulations. It is interesting, is not it? But this is just a preliminary result, we still need to do some modification.




Long day

Today have been a long day, very long indeed. All we are working preparing the CDR, updating again the SED document and finishing all our designs, but that has nothing special at all since it is our project!

Today have been a long day since all we have been looking at our screens, following the REXUS 13 launching campaign. As probably you know, in the REXUS 13 will flight our ‘big brother’ MUSCAT. We have talked about them to you several times, we will follow their steps using some of their designs, ideas, lessons learned….

However today we were looking at our screens waiting for their launching not for those reasons but because they are our friends. And it has been a long one since they had scheduled the launching today at 11 am but due to the weather conditions they have been waiting with all the other teams and the Kiruna crew for a break in which launch the rocket. Delaying the last 15 minutes count down each 15 minutes first, then each 30 and then, an undefined time until it was finally postponed. Unfortunately, the next launching window has been rescheduled for tomorrow at 6 am. It means that the count down will start around 3:45! From here we, all the ISAAC team, want to wish them the best and we hope that tomorrow morning the weather gives them a break and they can finally launch.

Good luck tomorrow!