M:2:I Milestone 2 Final Installation and Ground Test

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1 Iowa State University AerE 294X/AerE 494X Make to Innovate M:2:I Milestone 2 Final Installation and Ground Test Author(s): Angie Burke Christopher McGrory Mitchell Skatter Kathryn Spierings Ryan Story Project: Cardinal Flight Team: Electrical Team Role: Team Leader Team Member Team Member Team Member Team Member Team Member Faculty Adviser: Dr. Ran Dai April 14, 2017

2 Contents Abstract 2 1 Introduction 3 2 Background Deliverable Tasks Problem Identification 5 4 Problem Solution 6 5 Experimental Validation Experimental Theory Experimental Procedure Experimental Results Discussion 10 7 Conclusion 10 8 Acknowledgments 11 A Appendix 12 A.1 Test Plan/Procedure

3 Abstract The Cardinal Flight Team is working to build a solar powered unmanned aerial vehicle, named Arrow. The team will be divided into groups regarding individual pieces of its construction. This milestone report will cover the last set of tasks for the Electrical Team for the Spring 2017 term. Throughout this report, the process the Cardinal Flight Electrical Team took to complete milestone two will be explained with detail. The Cardinal Flight Electronics Team devised a way for the current layout electrical system of Arrow to communicate and store flight data taken during operation. The goal was to be successful in obtaining data for each flight of Arrow. Calculations and small tests were performed to make sure each part of the telemetry system works. In doing this, the team was very successful in achieving a working system to transmit and store telemetry data from sensors attached. Some deliverables for this milestone involved completing the installation of all electronics in the aircraft, a list of procedures for testing, and data being collected onboard and collected via ground station. This milestone will wrap up the final electronics assembly of Arrow. This milestone is important because it can make or break whether or not Arrow will fly. Making sure that the data is received is important for future missions of Cardinal Flight. 2

4 1 Introduction Milestone two of Cardinal Flight Electrical Team during Spring 2017 is to install and ground test the electronic components of the aircraft and ground test it. The goal is to determine a configuration within the fuselage that fits all of the components and wires in the electrical system and to ensure stable communication between the aircraft and ground station. Measurements were taken of each part to create a model in SolidWorks to maximize storage efficiency and conclude a final layout. Once this new arrangement was complete a series of tests were written up and performed to double check if the system was still sending and receiving data from the ground station. 2 Background The Cardinal Flight Electrical Team was formed to handle all electrical components of the aircraft being constructed, and to optimize their use. These electrical components consist of motors, speed controllers, flight controllers, batteries, servos, transmitters, and receivers. For this semester and previous semester, the team objective was to help integrate various electrical components such as the flight controller, sensors, and solar panels, into Arrow. Also during the previous semester, the team began construction of the solar system of Arrow and recorded the process of the construction. The team constructed this solar system as a demonstration for future presentations and testing. This solar system was tested under Dr. Ran Dai s UV lights to ensure that the construction was successful. The primary function of the Electrical Team is to ensure successful integration and functionality within Arrow. To fulfill this function, the team performs initial calculations using a theoretical approach on different configurations of an electrical system. Once calculations are validated and components consolidated, the team began programming the software and conducting tests of the system separate from the aircraft. Finally, the system will be installed into the aircraft. To verify that all components are in working order, the Electrical Team will conduct a final ground test of the components. The goal of this milestone was to successfully integrate the electrical components with Arrow, and validate that they were operating correctly. One of the problems that the Electrical Team experienced while reaching our goal was efficient system configuration within our aircraft. Since our Electrical components vary in size, weight, and shape, the team had to evaluate the optimal placement of components, focusing on accessibility and stability of the aircraft. 3

5 2.1 Deliverable The deliverables for the second milestone of the Electrical Team: 1. Test plan report for the ground evaluation of the telemetry system. 2. Ground test of the telemetry system. 3. Pictures and Video of the electronics installed and operating. 4. Attach data files recorded from aircraft and ground station. 5. Report outlining pictures of flight, flight data, and testing results. 2.2 Tasks The tasks and dates for milestone two: 1. Hardware installation. (03/31/17) 2. Draft test plan and procedures (03/31/17) 3. Perform Ground Test. (04/07/17) 4

6 M:2:I Milestone 2 Final Installation and Ground Test 3 Problem Identification The problem to be solved is how to fit the entire electronic system on a cartridge that will slide into a four diameter inch tube about 32 inches long. This is very difficult as most of our electronic components will only fit one way inside the tube. This put many constraints on location of certain components. Once the components are in place, their respective wires have to be routed to the correct places. Finally, the components have to be secure during flight which means finding a way to strap it all down to the cartridge. In figure 2 you can see the cartridge halfway out of the tube. Figure 1: Empty Fuselage Cartridge Another problem is making sure this system is check correctly every time it is about to be operated. On top of the operator s manual from the first milestone, a test plan and procedure document will be needed to ensure the success and confidence of Arrow s electrical system. 5

7 4 Problem Solution To solve this problem and speed up the process of installing the hardware, we modeled all the components in SolidWorks. This helped check how the components will fit on the fuselage cartridge and allowed for tolerances and total space needed known. Because the cartridge was essentially three carbon rods, mounting stuff onto them would prove difficult. A solution to this was 3D printing trays that could allow for flat surfaces to be easily mounted to. Figure 2: SolidWorks Model of Cartridge Assembly Once all components were in place, the team went through the test plan. This called for checking all connections and making sure there are no shorts in the system. The ground test was carried out by testing the system as a whole, all parts working together and functioning properly. 5 Experimental Validation The deliverables for the second milestone of the Electrical Team included drafting a test plan report for the ground evaluation of the telemetry system and installing and ground testing of the telemetry system. The system was tested in the first 6

8 milestone, so this milestone was installing it into the confined spaces of Arrow and testing it to determine if we had any interference from the fuselage or other electronic components once we placed them in close proximity to each other inside the fuselage. 5.1 Experimental Theory The Electrical team expected to fit all required hardware into Arrow s fuselage and have it function correctly. To aid in this, the team created a SolidWorks model which allows the team to be able to rapidly move and determine where components will be mounted. This helps guarantee the success of fitting the entire system inside Arrow s fuselage. Once all the hardware has been installed into the fuselage the team expects to perform a ground test. The ground test is to prove it functions correctly just like milestone one; however, this time the system will have longer wires and in a confined space. To backup our claim this will work, the team had drafted a test plan and procedure for ground testing. This will essentially be a checklist to help reduce any sort of errors when connecting the system back together, and is expected to reduce the potential mistakes such as incorrect wiring. 5.2 Experimental Procedure The procedures the electrical team took started with a SolidWorks mock up. Each component was measured and made as a part that could then be put in an assembly. Moving these parts around in the assembly was a quick way to figure out what configurations would work and what would not compared to doing this physically. After many iterations with SolidWorks, trying different arrangements, the team came to a consensus and started on the physical construction. This involved carefully disassembling the working layout from milestone one and piecing it back together. Wires had to be extended and manipulated to allow for everything to fit. Trays were 3D printed to allow certain components to be easily mounted and not move while in flight. The batteries are held in place with velcro which not only holds them down, but also keeps them from sliding back and forth. Because everything had its pre-determined place from the SolidWorks model, this part in the processes went fairly smoothly. An example of another 3D print that helped mount electronic a components is shown below in figure 3. Next, the final procedure was to perform the ground test. This would prove Arrow is ready for its maiden flight. From the test plans and procedures drafted earlier in 7

9 Figure 3: MPPT 3D print mount milestone two (see appendix), the team went through the checklist and made sure everything was in place. 5.3 Experimental Results The Cardinal Flight Electrical Team was able to successfully install and organize all components in the fuselage. The implementation of the 3D printed trays worked perfectly in not only making components mount to the fuselage easily, but provided support so nothing would move during flight. Running the wires through specific areas and keeping the system as neat as possible was a success as it helped trouble shoot any problems that occurred and allowed to easy fix in case one of the wires was incorrect. The result of the ground test was a success. All servos and the motor responded correctly, and the sensors were working as well. Overall, besides a setback with one of the wires shorting, that problem was fixed and made sure not to happen again. 8

10 M:2:I Milestone 2 Final Installation and Ground Test Below is a picture of the finished installation. Figure 4: Finished Installation 9

11 6 Discussion Milestone two was a lot more work than the team expected. It seemed like an easier task on paper as far as moving a working system to a new location; however, the process had quite a few obstacles to overcome. One obstacle was the solution to how to run the wires throughout the system such making sure plugs are physically reachable to be plugged in. The test plans and procedures was a big help for the first time it was all plugged in. Even going over the entire system and double checking connections, there was still a failure. One of the solder joints had a sharp point and it was enough to short to the wire next to it which ultimately killed the voltage regulator. A replacement part was quickly replaced and a new step was added to the test procedures of checking for shorts with a volt meter. For the future, more time needs to be allotted for electronic installation into the aircraft and checking for shorts in the system with a voltmeter is a must do step in any future checklist. For the most part, the system came together fairly well. Besides a few dead ends when coding, there was always a team member who stepped up to try and find a solution. Having quite a few more members on the electrical team this semester helped a lot as far as getting work done. That being said, it was really hard when coding because that can really only be done by one person. When coding, people have different approaches and when the team was passing the code around, it caused more errors to occur than if one person did it. This did make it hard on some because alternatively sitting behind the person coding and offering suggestions every once and awhile was not very productive for them. So, having more than say three people on electrical team definitely had its advantages and disadvantages. Looking forwards at milestone 2, the team will almost have to reconstruct the entire system inside the aircraft. This could cause problems in making sure things are plugged back into the same places. Thanks to the deliverable of the wiring schematic, it was a good idea so that it will make this process easier and more efficient. 7 Conclusion Overall, milestone two was a success and was almost too much work for a little amount of time. The largest obstacle the team endured was getting the components to fit within the fuselage. This will have to be taken into consideration for next time the group sets a goal for installing electronics. All team members were able to put in a bit of extra time to help reach milestone two. Ideas were well communicated and executed allowing for an easier assembly process. The team was required to think beyond the original design and create solutions that were not always obvious 10

12 when placing and determining the location of the hardware. Even with a setback, the team was able to get the problem solved and keep things on time. In the end, Arrow s electrical system is fully functional and ready to fly! 8 Acknowledgments None 11

13 A Appendix A.1 Test Plan/Procedure Cardinal Flight Electrical Team Initial Ground Test Test Plan and Procedures Checklist 1. Check all connections (nothing loose or not plugged in). 2. Use voltmeter on the continuity setting to test for any shorts in the system. a. This involves putting the leads on all wires making sure there is no shorts in the system. 3. Make sure propeller is not attached. 4. Connect all four batteries to the four plugs which will connect them in parallel. a. The end connector should NOT be plugged in to anything yet. 5. Tuck all wires where they should go so it will fit in fuselage. 6. Plug all servo wire connections to respective connectors coming from the wing. 7. Obtain Futaba transmitter and power it on. Make sure it is on Arrow for profile selection. 8. Make sure throttle stick is in the lowest position. 9. Have someone else go through the above steps to double check. 10. Connect the RFD900 receiver into the USB port on your PC 11. Open up ground station code on your PC and run it. 12. Plug in the overall battery lead cable into the voltage/current sensor connector to power the entire system. 13. Immediately look for anything that is getting warm or sparking IF SO unplug it. 14. After 10 seconds or so the ground station should be receiving signals and displaying data onscreen via bar graphs. 15. Moving the transmitter sticks should result in the control surfaces moving. 16. Further programming on the transmitter will be needed make the inputs correct. 12

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