P19571: Solar Spectrograph

Problem Definition

Table of Contents

Team Vision for Problem Definition Phase

This project is a continuation of a prior senior design project, and as such, was not necessarily clear on what the status of components was. We had hoped that through this first phase, the status of the project would become clear, so that we could begin preparing for the first round of detailed design.

After these first three weeks, we have taken a trip to Ionia, NY, to the site of the scope, and first-hand witnessed the components of the scope. We were able to create valuable use-cases that shed light on possible design details that need to be considered. We compiled a list of customer and engineering requirements, and gathered weighted ranks for each to direct where engineering resources should be allocated first.

We now all have a good idea of what needs to be done, so that we may begin determining how to go about doing it.

Project Summary

A solar spectrograph is a device that detects radio-frequency (RF) emissions from the Sun as a result of solar flares and Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs). As a part of the Callisto global warning system, it has the capability to autonomously track the Sun, monitor emissions, and save data to a server in Zurich, with little to no data corruption as a result of local interference. This would allow for accurate early warning of dangerous induced blackouts and total satellite loss. The existing scope can only record the raw data. It is not autonomous, nor does it work during night-time hours, account for interference, or save data off-site for global reference.

The goals of this project are to add autonomous operation, process the raw data and save it to the Swiss server, account for local interference, and ensure that the system remains both weather and wildlife resistant. This all needs to be done with as much of the existing hardware of the scope as possible, and with all software development in-house.

Use Cases

Overview Use Case

Overview Use Case

LED Status Light

LED Status Light

Project Goals and Key Deliverables


  1. All design documents (e.g., concepts, analysis, detailed drawings/schematics, BOM, test results), including a back-up site for ALL documentation (drawings, schematics, etc.)
  2. Deliver a working integrated system.
  3. Technical paper
  4. Poster
  5. Participate in Imagine RIT

Additional required deliverables:

Project Goals

  1. Proper system integration with autonomous functionality
  2. UI system interface
  3. Expands system for night time operation
  4. System automatically uploads data to eCallisto server in Zurich, Switzerland

Customer Requirements (Needs)

Customer Requirements

Customer Requirements

Customer Requirement

Engineering Requirements (Metrics & Specifications)

Engineering Requirements

Engineering Requirements

Engineering Requirement & Matrix


  1. Budget ($500)
  2. Stay within the existing hardware/software 'in-house'.

House of Quality


House of Quality

Design Review Materials

Include links to:

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 | Customer Handoff & Final Project Documentation