"K2 Tuesdays" - Testing power and the flight computer

K2 Tuesdays is a semi-regular series on the development of KySat-2, the latest spacecraft from Kentucky Space. Prior installments are here, here, here, here, here and here.

Over the last week two exciting events occurred in the KySat-2 program.

The first involved Kentucky Space receiving the flight hardware for a few mechanical components that came not from a typical machine shop, but from a commercial 3D printing shop, called "additive manufacturing" in the engineering speak. At the top of the first photo shows three different designs for a cover that will hold the batteries for KySat-2 in place. The first revision (top one) had protrusions that were too deep and prevented the batteries from seating correctly. After removing too much of these protrusions we decided on the correct amount and the bottom version of the holders shown are what we received from CRP USA LLC located in Mooresville North Carolina.

The other parts shown (right) are called a lens annulus and imagining cover for the primary payload of KySat-2. The annulus will hold the camera lens to take stress off of the small imaging board that will sit directly under the annulus, and into which the cover fits directly. The material used is called Windform XT 2.0 and is very stiff, which is perfect for the battery holders, annulus and cover. Thanks to CRP for the help in getting these parts to us quickly and save us with having to get these parts machined out of heavier materials!

The second event which occurred for the KySat-2 program was EPS (power board) testing with the C&DH (flight computer).

On Friday, February 8 students from Morehead State University (developing the EPS) visited the space system labs at the University of Kentucky (developing the C&DH) to see how each subsystem would function working together. After some initial problems configuring our computers, the tests went very well.

The second photo here is a bit cluttered. But it shows the EPS taking a battery voltage from our Li-Ion batteries regulating to different voltage levels and then distributing those to the C&DH, which is running a stripped down version of the KySat-2 flight software. Also shown in the picture is the ground programming board which will allow Kentucky Space to upload new software up until shortly before the spacecraft is integrated with the rocket.

Twyman Clements, Space Systems Engineer, Kentucky Space