Monday, March 30, 2009

Component Integration Tests Complete

All tests of the AUV components including the thrusters, DVL, depth cell, and compass are completed. Each of the ports had to be checked for pin-out order, voltage supplied and communication with the main computer to ensure that the vehicle is ready for water testing.

We are programming a demonstration plan for the AUV to include precision navigation using the compass and depth cell. The demonstration/test is scheduled for Friday and will show that our vehicle is completed and ready for operation. Naturally, we are going to continue to upgrade and perfect the programming and tasking for the vehicle but we will merely be making tweaks and improvements.

The frame is not going to be returned from the paint shop until thursday which means that we need to have the computer and programming ready for installation as soon as the frame is returned.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Looking Back...

After returning from break we weighed the AUV and were pleased when it weighed in at 38.92lbs. This is a significant improvement from last year's vehicle (yellow AUV above) which was 50lbs at the competition.
This was one of the primary objectives throughout the construction process this year and was accomplished through multiple means. Primarily the Doppler Velocity Log, Main Pelican Case housing, and clear Camera Case housing were all substituted for smaller equivalents.

The frame was dropped off today for painting at Fitzgerald Body shop in Rockville, MD which graciously offered to give the extruded plexiglass a high gloss professional paint job. We hope to have it back by next week so we can begin pool testing.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Wiring Is Complete

All major systems of the 2009 AUV nicknamed "Awkward Turtle" have been wired and connected to the computer and vehicle. Before all systems are powered up we are going to conduct a complete system voltage and continuity checks to ensure that all of our systems will not be overloaded or "fried". All of these check will be completed after spring break while everyone takes some much deserved time off and we prepare for the end of the semester.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Sunday, March 8, 2009

The Brain

The big push this week is to complete the wiring of the components to the computer and ensure that all leads are installed correctly. This is easier said then done, as shown by the picture, because there is such a mass of identical wires that can only go to their one specific place on the computer or power sources.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Leak Testing Complete

The testing of all waterproof connections on the vehicle main housing and camera housing is complete. Upon submerging the housings under the surface of the water they were moved to different depths with 15 feet being the maximum. Total testing time underwater was 1 hour 45 minutes. After retrieval, the inside's of the cases were visually and physically inspected for any moisture that might have leaked through. No moisture was found inside of either case, passing all tests with flying colors.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Waterproof Connections Installed

All eleven waterproof SeaCon connectors have been installed on the main housing as well as the one on the camera housing. The layout of the connectors had to be precisely measured in order to ensure maximum spacing between the elements which would give the greatest amount of structural stability of the front mounting area.

The penetrations will allow for a method of disconnecting any single element without compromising the water tight integrity of the main housing. These connectors connect the thrusters, depth cell, cameras, compass, sonar, Ethernet tether, and kill switch to the main housing.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Breakout Board Completed

Today the breakout board for the computer to communicate with all the components has been completed. The greatest improvement over last year's design is the footprint, which is essentially half the area as last year's board and now fits completely beneath the computer. This puts the team on schedule to complete the vehicle assembly by spring break next week.