Hello everyone from the team of IRBE-3!
We are electronics engineering students from Ventspils, Latvia and we are continuing what our predecessors have started — a tradition to participate in GSBC as a team from VUC (Ventspils University College). Our goal is to promote the visibility of electronics engineering and near-space programs and to show what they can achieve.
This is the third VUC student-made near-space mission. Cameras, GPS and sensors are included in the payload to measure temperature, pressure, humidity in atmospheric layers. The main goal of our mission during the flight was to measure four different atmospheric gases: NH3, CO, CO2, O3.
Fig. 1: IRBE-3 team members.
Launch day: 2017.08.17.
Location: Ventspils Airport, Latvia.
BRIEF OVERVIEW OF OUR WORK
I System Overview
IRBE-3 payload consists of the three main subsystems: power supply, sensors and communications. All subsystems were developed by VUC electronic engineering students. Subsystems are showed in figures 1 to 3.
Fig. 2: Power supply board under test - camera as a load.
Fig. 2: Sensor subsystem (one part of the sensor subsystem).
Fig. 3: Communication subsystem.
In total two video cameras were used to capture the flight from lift-off till landing. To provide simple and easy power and video mode on/off functionality additional push buttons were added outside of the payload (separate section for side view camera). Testing is shown in figure 7. Approximate current draw from both cameras during video recording is 0.7 A. We calculated that charge capacity of batteries will be enough for at least 3 hours of video recording.
III Concept Testing
Subsystem developing and testing was parallel process together with construction of payload enclosure. That took a while since we came up with our best ideas and solutions at that moment.
We were proud that developed communication subsystem showed great performance. In field tests COM system was able to receive GPS signals already in the second iteration after turning it on. Also sensor and power supply subsystems showed great performance.
In one of the last days before intended lift-off communication channel test was done. Payload inserted in enclosure was taken away to 20 km near beacon building (Ovisi: GPS data: 57.568736, 21.715939). The main purpose of this test was to make sure that it is possible to receive IRBE-3 transmitted radio signal with self-made Uda-Yagi type antennas (see fig. 12). The first attempt was to try out receiving signal using VUCs radio station cross Uda-Yagi 434 MHz antenna as receiver using SDR dongle. In parallel trying to receive signal with self-made antennas too.
IRBE-3 exhibition in VUC (Ventspils University College, Latvia)
Video from launch day
Sorry, language is Latvian, but you can see the work process at least.
For more information please visit our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/PROJEKTS.IRBE/