Sep-Dec 2016 Recap: Google, UAVs, Rocket Test Stands, and TEDx
The first post in a series of updates on our team, in four-month chunks! In this edition, we feature new sponsorship from Google, the preliminary design of our latest quadcopter, new rocket test stands, and more!
Strategic Partnerships Portfolio
Kicked off the Strategic Partnerships Portfolio with a flurry of activity forming connections with the public sector, industry, and clubs. This week we began work to increase membership of underrepresented groups, we opened a conversation with potential sponsors for UTAT lab space in the future, we began planning the UTAT Innovation Fund levy campaign, and finally we formalized our partnership policy to allow divisions more autonomy in developing industry relations. Also received a Google Suite for Education sponsorship worth 60 000 USD per year!
Aerial Robotics Division
The Aerial Robotics Division has been actively designing the new aerial vehicle that will compete at the Unmanned Systems Canada 2017 competition in Alma, Quebec. The new quadrotor houses a powerful on-board computer, the Nvidia Jetson TX1, to acquire and process images for target recognition. The quadrotor will have an aerodyamic shape to reduce drag and to allow high-speed forward flying. At the same time, the team is working on developing algorithms for geolocating target, recognizing images, controlling the antenna tracker, and for improving the ground control software.
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Division
The Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) division wrapped up 2016 with their annual Preliminary Design Review, the completion of a new fuselage and a second place finish in the International UAV Show’s Research and Design Symposium. The team is now focused on final preparations before the first flight tests of the new year as well as on the Phase I design report for the Unmanned Systems Canada Student Competition.
Rocketry is far into testing for this year. After experiencing trouble measuring our oxidizer flow with a mass flow meter, we have redesigned the cold flow rig and are preparing for testing in the next few weeks. Thanks to Air Liquide for supplying the CO2! We also recently finished our spin caster with electronics provided by Automation Direct and are getting ready to make our first fuel cores. We have begun testing our engine liner by making small samples of EPDM rubber supplied by Firestone, held together with binder synthesized by Crosslink Technology, adhered to paraffin fuel donated by the International Group, Inc. Our avionics team is preparing our ground control system and telemetry communication, payload is finalizing the design for our experiment, airframe is trying different manufacturing techniques, and recovery is almost finished sizing our parachute actuation.
Space Systems Division
The Space Systems division has been in the process of a complete changeover in leadership, with half of the leads hailing from the Faculty of Arts and Science. Our new team is working to question previous assumptions and redesign HERON to reflect the lessons learned from the last two years. After a successful qualification testing session in Ottawa over the summer, HERON Mk. II is poised to be able to perform microfluidics experimentation on samples within the next year. The team is simultaneously refocusing on personal development and well-rounded, fulfilling technical experiences for all members.
Our team’s outreach division recently partnered with Ryerson University to hold the annual Toronto Students Advancing Aerospace (TSAA) conference! The outreach division has also been working on setting up a high school outreach program to help students in secondary schools in the GTA get more hands-on experience involving engineering design. Here are some pictures from Outreach's recent appearance at the Canadian Undergraduate Technology Conference and at TEDxYouth in Toronto.