P17571: Sunspot Radio Telescope

Integrated System Build & Test with Customer Demo

Table of Contents

Team Vision

Team Plans for Phase

Each member of the team had plans for this phase to begin wrapping up a variety of aspects of the project. The EE members of the team planned to make some final changes to the schematic, and add some color coding to clarify the cabling between the PC box and the motors. They also wished to perform testing for the low noise amplifiers and the noise source. The team planned to research a power source for the noise source, and ideally implement it into the project by the end of the phase. Brendan planned to mount the low noise amplifiers and the eCallisto box inside the receiver box. The CE team planned to continue documentation efforts and motor control testing. The ideal plan was to move the devices to Ionia near the end of the phase.

Team Accomplishments for Phase

We met a majority of our goals for the phase, but our goal set last phase to move the system to Ionia was proven to be premature. Jeff K and Adam performed low noise amplifier tests successfully, but there were not adequate resources at RIT to perform noise source testing. In addition, the EE team searched for evaluation boards containing a boost converter that would "step up" the 12V from the filter board to 13.5-30V for the noise source. Three options have been found for a boost converter, and a final decision will be made on it during next phase. Instead of moving forward with implementing the noise source, Adam instead began documentation for the electrical schematic. Jeff S helped with Zak's motor testing by color coding cables and troubleshooting wiring problems. Jeff K also finalized the budget.

Brendan met his goal of mounting the eCallisto hardware inside the receiver box. He determined that the remote antenna switch should not be directly mounted; it would serve just fine being directly connected to the eCallisto hardware. He also began drafting CAD drawings to design the internal mounting for the new dipole and feedhorn boxes.

Zak continued motor testing this phase and continued working towards connecting eCallisto and Radio Eyes. Troubleshooting was required during motor testing when the linear actuator failed to respond to software commands. Jeff S assisted in debugging this issue. Nate continued documentation of the code and looked into automation of the eCallisto software. Both Zak and Nate worked together to set up TeamViewer on the project PC.

Test Results Summary

Cable Tests

Compressed Cables

Crimped Cables

LNA Tests

Terk Amplifier

Antronix Amplifier

Mini-Circuits Amplifier

Noise Source Test

Boost Converter Selection



Boost converter IC only. Vin,min = 1v, Vout = 15v, Iout = 1mA.



Boost converter with Evaluation Board. Vin = 3~10v, Vout = 16v, Iout = 10mA.



Boost converter with Evaluation Board. Vin = 1.8~6v, Vout = 17.54v, Iout = 10mA.

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

Functional Demo Materials

Include links to:

Plans for next phase

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