April 15th, 2014 – Updates from the GO Workshop

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Progress continues on the three hardware prototype experiments we are currently conducting in the GO workshop. Alex has done a great job with his RCS demonstration unit. He has added two more thrusters (for a total of four), a gyroscope / accelerometer, and he has written some initial control laws for the unit. Now the unit will return to a predefined orientation when it is disturbed by an outside force (aka Alex’s foot). A video demonstration can be seen here.

Our interns, Tom and Neel are also making good progress on their respective experiments. Neel has been working to develop a prototype fin actuation system using COTS components. He will be presenting his final results to the team soon.

Tom has been experimenting with various non-pyrotechnic stage separation mechanisms. The current approach is to use a tension band type system. He has completed and demonstrated an initial prototype of the system and is currently investing whether an existing COTS actuation device can be tailored for use as the actuation system for the tension belt.