P17571: Sunspot Radio Telescope

Integrated System Build & Test

Table of Contents

Team Vision for Integrated System Build & Test Phase

Team Plans for Phase

For the Integrated System Build & Test Review, each member of the team had several goals in mind that he wanted to accomplish. Our team is moving closer to a complete device, and testing has shown several subsystems to be working as intended.

Adam and Jeff S. in the EE team had planned to work together to verify the wiring, as well as update the schematic to reflect new changes. Jeff K. planned to research and order the noise source and order a low noise amplifier, filling out the self-calibration portion of our device.

Zak and Nathan planned to jointly continue improving the code, making any minor adjustments and adding code to interact with the temperature and humidity sensor. Zak planned to perform motor control testing with the driver, as well as observe how the telescope driver performs with RadioEyes and make necessary adjustments. Nathan planned to work on the documentation side of things by working on a code summary, creating a comprehensive report on the logic within the code.

Brendan planned to assist Zak with mounting the test pole for the motor, as well as to make necessary adjustments to mount the eCallisto hardware and its associated devices within the receiver box.

Team Accomplishments for Phase

Overall, much of our goals for the phase were accomplished, but we received new requests from our customer late in the phase that will likely cause our future plans to change. Our customer has requested the addition of two new small boxes, each one housing a bias-T device, a low noise amplifier, and a lightning arrestor. Each of these boxes will serve as noise protection for the feedhorn and vertical dipole, respectively. This adjustment should make our received signals more precise by eliminating noise from other devices in close proximity, as well as adding redundant levels of lightning protection.

Adam successfully completed the new edition of the schematic, which changed programs from KiCad to PSpice, adjusted the schematic’s overall layout to improve legibility, and updated it with new device additions and wiring changes. Jeff S. helped Adam with the schematic by completing verification of the PC Box wiring, catching several discrepancies between the legacy schematic and the actual wiring. Jeff also performed UPS testing to determine how long the UPS could supply power to the system when power is lost.

Due to the customer requests, Jeff K. is prepared to order three low noise amplifiers (one for each new box and one as a spare), five bias-T (one for each new box, two for the receiver box, and one as a spare), two new boxes, four new lightning arrestors, and various cabling and connectors during this phase. He also ordered the noise source that will be used for calibration – it will be the same one that is being used in a similar radio telescope site in Alaska. Jeff also ordered semi-flexible RF cables for connecting devices inside the receiver box, as well as a back-up motor shield for the Arduino.

Nathan continues to make progress on the code summary, while Zak performed multiple motor control tests with the driver. He is in the midst of tests involving RadioEyes and the telescope driver. The team was unable to achieve the addition of code for the temperature sensor this phase, and thus the team plans to add this code during the next phase.

Zak also brought in an old table and some weights, and after some machining with Brendan and the obtainment of a pole, a test rig for the device was created. During this phase, Brendan helped Zak perform motor control tests, started work on machining the receiver box, and has begun planning for the two new boxes for the vertical dipole and feedhorn connecting devices.

Test Results Summary


Test Plan

Risk and Problem Tracking

Risk Assessment

Risk ID Category Risk Item Effect Cause Likelihood, L (1-3) 3=most Severity, S (1-3) 3=Worst Importance, L*S (1-9) 9=most Action to Minimize Risk Owner
R1 Technical Improper feedhorn installation Feedhorn may have loose mounting or be unable to be assembled. Heating or cooling during drilling. 1 3 3 Use heat sink and lubricant during feedhorn installation Mechanical Engineer
R2 Technical Unreliable internet connection to Zurich Packets of information could be dropped Severe thunder storms or overcast weather 3 1 3 Provide data backup until Zurich server confirms reception Computer Engineer
R3 Technical Dish may be too heavy for motors/actuators Tracking functionality is lost, manual repairs required Ice buildup, power depletion, errors in measurements 1 2 4 Provide flags and warnings to warn users of imminent disruption Computer Engineer
R4 Technical File transfer system error Zurich server receives incomplete data High frequency of power interrupts beyond design of UPS 1 2 2 Provide data backup until Zurich server confirms reception Computer Engineer
R5 Technical Auto-calibration error Incorrect data analysis, manual repairs required Drift of control systems over time 2 3 6 Provide recurring updates to autonomous calibration results Computer Engineer
R6 Technical TeamViewer software error Remote operation made difficult or impossible Incorrect data structures and / or program speed 3 1 3 Use cross-platform coding techniques Computer Engineer
R8 Technical RadioEyes/LabView incompatibility Additional time required for integration solution Incorrect data structures and / or program speed 1 2 2 Use cross-platform coding techniques Computer Engineer
R9 Technical Feedhorn selection may carry unexpected collaterals (integration) RX levels may become inefficient for extraction from raw signal Mismatching impedance and frequency response 2 2 4 Perform extensive testing on feed/dish assembly Electrical Engineer
R10 Technical eCallisto software error Data may be corrupted or incorrect; Zurich may not recieve data at all Improper program setup / unforeseen program error 1 2 2 Perform extensive software testing and provide data backup Computer Engineer
R11 Technical Internal EM interference within subsystems May cause errors in computer operation or other subsystem operation Improper magnetic shielding on power lines near vulnerable systems 1 2 2 Isolate magnetic interference, or place wiring more carefully Electrical Engineer
R12 Technical Improper power management One or more subsystems failing due to internal power loss Power delivery system insufficient to meet power needs 1 3 3 Perform extensive power system simulations Electrical Engineer
R13 Technical Internal subsystem overheating Damage to one or more subsystems Improper cooling systems or lack of temperature sensor 2 3 6 Place temperature sensors in overheat locations Mechanical Engineer
R14 Resource Scarcity of integration and/or testing facilities Project receives unexpected delays waiting for facilities Primary facilities are 1 hour away. 2 1 2 Establish carpools and overlap schedules to ensure effective use of lab All
R15 Resource Insufficient budget to meet all project requirements May need to take performance hits to accommodate cheaper budget Limited funds (~$500) 1 1 1 Design and build where possible All
R16 Resource Destruction of "Suntracker" project hardware Loss of unique designed hardware, project delays Incorrect assumptions about input levels and tolerances 1 3 3 Implement strict guidelines for interacting with unique hardware All
R17 Resource Inadequate space to assemble and test Team may not be able to prove that the project works Necessary space or devices not easily available 1 3 3 Ensure that proper space or devices are reserved well in advance All
R18 Resource Theft of system components Irreplaceable components may be lost Improper storage of materials 1 3 3 Lock physical project materials in a locker All
R20 Resource Critical team member or project sponsor becomes unavailable Project will be more difficult to complete without assistance from team member or guidance from sponsor Team member or sponsor is injured or unavailable 1 1 1 Obtain guidance from faculty advisors; Maintain team awareness All
R21 Resource Insufficient manufacturing tools available One or more subsystem additions may not be able to be completed Limited budget and/or resources of RIT or sponsors 1 2 2 Prioritize subsystems based on accessibility All
R22 Safety Team member injury during construction Slowed rate of project work while team member recovers Improper safety measures taken during construction and use 1 2 2 Observe proper safety rules during device construction and operation All
R23 Environmental/Social Other unwanted data could be intercepted Zurich server recieves incorrect data Improper selection of device reciever frequency 1 2 2 Observe proper FCC rules and regulations Computer Engineer
R24 Environmental/Social Transmission of RF data could cause interference Remote operation difficulty, conflict with TV/radio stations Improper selection of device transmittal frequency 1 2 2 Observe proper FCC rules and regulations Computer Engineer
R25 Environmental/Social Remote log-in to unit may pose security threat Sensitive data may restrict remote login Malicious actor obtaining password/login information 1 3 3 Ensure strict security in regard to username/ password information All

Plans for next phase


Home | Planning & Execution | Imagine RIT

Problem Definition | Systems Design | Preliminary Detailed Design | Detailed Design

Build & Test Prep | Subsystem Build & Test | Integrated System Build & Test | Integrated System Build & Test with Customer Demo | Customer Handoff & Final Project Documentation