Newsletter January 2022

Happy New Year!

Like many people our team has ambitious goals for the year 2022.

The first weeks of January have already passed by but we are still going strong on our New Year’s Resolutions.

For some insight into what we are working on in 2022, we present a quick interview with the two subteam leaders Illia Mykhailov (Propulsion and Chassis) and Sebastian Karl (Electrical Engineering and Electronics).

Sebastian & Illia, please tell us: What are your goals for 2022?

Electrical Engineering and Electronics (EEE) – Sebastian Karl:

Last year we were able to finally assemble our rover and test it at the IGLUNA field campaign in Switzerland. With this we have seen how our system performs and where we have to improve something. Therefore, we will design the next iteration of the rover’s electronics this year. This includes mainly improvements regarding the safety and reliability of our system, but also new features like the control unit for the new, third axis of our payload.

Propulsion and Chassis (PC) – Illia Mykhailov:

In the year 2022 PC will continue working with existing prototype to detect design flaws and find improvement opportunities. Our main goal for next year is creating a reliable and robust drive system using experience we gained from the last iteration.

And what would you say are you looking most forward to this year?

Electrical Engineering and Electronics (EEE) – Sebastian Karl:

Since we have a lot of new students in our team as well, it will be a big achievement for them to finally finish their first PCB for our project. They have already invested a lot of time to prepare the design of our new PCBs. The most rewarding moment of the year will be when all of our different subsystems are put together on the rover.

Propulsion and Chassis (PC)Illia Mykhailov:

Currently everyone in subteam is waiting until we get the testing routine done and the new iteration can start. Our team is looking forward to start the redesign of our subsystem and everyone is excited to see what kind of solutions will come up during the new design phase.

To finish off let’s reflect on the past year.

What was the biggest achievement for your subteam in 2021?

Propulsion and Chassis (PC)Illia Mykhailov:

As our biggest achievement of 2021 we see creating a working drive system for the rover from 0 to 100 within a year even though most of the team had modest experience in terms of mechanical design.

Electrical Engineering and Electronics (EEE) – Sebastian Karl:

Our biggest achievement of 2021 was definitely the final assembly of the rover. This was the last step before the IGLUNA challenge last summer. After two years of prototyping and testing, we were finally able to design and manufacture the final version of our system. 

We also spoke to Brendan Mance (Co-Project Manager and Payload Subteam Lead (PL)) about 2021 and his expectations for the new year.

“2021 has been full of great moments.” Brendan tells us, “But the greatest was definitely when the payload actuators and kinematic system were first verified. Sending a command via the OberserWARRtory, hearing the stepper motors’s high-pitched whine, and seeing the payload actually move in a controlled manner. Sure it’s a classic and simple thing, but what hardware engineer doesn’t relish the sight of their devices coming to life?”

Finally he adds: “But as refreshing as these early successes were, 2021 also gave us much to improve on. For instance, it was discovered that the arc azimuth axis had a crippling non-linearity problem and that another vertical axis was required for proper payload function. Working out these bugs and executing minor improvements across the entire system will comprise our goals for 2022.”

As you have seen our team is very excited for what 2022 might bring. Which is fitting as this year marks a special milestone for the entire WARR. We are celebrating our 60th anniversary this year.

Time to blast off into a new decade of space exploration at TUM!