The STF-1 team has been hard at work constructing a custom mount for the camera this week. This mount will keep the camera firmly in place throughout the vibrations experienced during launch. A Computer Numeric Control (CNC) machine was utilized to cut the mount out of a solid aluminium block. The picture below displays a close-up of the machine in action!
The CNC machine takes in a special type of code, G-Code, which provides instructions for how to cut the part. This includes things like where to move, how fast to move, what path to follow, and what bit to use for the operation. G-Code is typically automatically generated from a computer model to ensure that the dimensions of the component are correct. The final product can be seen attached the the ArduCAM OV2640 Mini below. The mount will attach directly to the side of the chassis while the camera will plug into the special services card allowing it to communicate with the computer.
The STF-1 team has been involved with a number of small satellites missions from Goddard since the proposal process. Similar components were utilized across missions to provide additional support and spare parts between us. Last week the STF-1 team was called upon to share the engineering test unit (ETU) electrical power system (EPS) from ClydeSpace. In order to do this the flat sat had to be taken apart. The “flat sat” is a technique used to test how all the components work with one another on a table-top instead of in a chassis. This allows for more simple debugging and setting up of test configurations. An example picture of what this looks like is below:
With all of the components taken apart, it was the perfect time to do some impromptu tours for our co-workers at NASA IV&V. Approximately 30 people came to visit the clean room and get a feeling for the actual size of the components and spacecraft itself as well as ask interesting questions. STF-1 has once again created a flat sat, but this time with a battery in the loop as well to provide yet another data point for testing. Once a few more tests are complete, it will be time for integration into the chassis!