Competition Update: Day 4 (Testing Week)

Posted on: July 18, 2019

All-nighters (or near all-nighters) are becoming a regular occurrence for the Badgerloop team, but not in vain. The electrical team cleared multiple milestones today after preparing all night for navigation and showing our state diagrams to our advisors. Navigation and showing the diagrams was a success, but physically running through them is yet to happen. This last goal is the focus of this evening, and hopefully multiple runs through this tonight will bring success tomorrow.

Reconfiguring the fit of the lateral stability system is still underway for the mechanical team. While some of the problem was solved last night/today, there is still another issue that needs to be checked in order to clear the pod to run mechanically.

If you recall, we did not completely get through a full pump down in the vacuum chamber last night because the low voltage batteries died. After purchasing a few more battery chargers and making modifications so the batteries can hold charge longer, we revisited the vacuum first thing this morning and successfully proved to SpaceX that our pod is safe to run in a vacuum environment. Now, all that is left to do before we are allowed to do an open air run (without a vacuum) is to finish proving that our pod is mechanically and electrically capable of running along an I-beam.

Various ups and downs throughout today brought us closer to a run in the tube than the team has ever been in its four years of competing. Tomorrow is a critical day for us, and we hope to bring good news come the end of it. Regardless, we are proud of our teamwork and engineering thus far and will always keep pushing regardless of the outcome tomorrow.

As of this writing, the entire testing week crew is planning on working late into the night. We'll let you know how it goes in the next update, so stay tuned!