REXUS 5 launched

REXUS 5 was launched at 6:00 UTC at Esrange, Kiruna, Sweden. Apogee of the flight was about 88 km.

The experiment was working nice and it got 89 photos during the flight. Curvature of earth and the black space can be seen from couple of the images. There are also nice photos of clouds.

Tero has started analyzing the inertial data and we will update the news according the upcoming results.

Assembly of REXUS 5 ready

It took one afternoon to assembly the REXUS 5 payload from the SSC and DLR engineers. First they connected Charpa experiment to Itikka Experiment. Then the Vib-Bip experiment was added below Itikka. As last part the nose cone was added around Charpa experiment.

Itikka preparation ready

Ossi Mäkinen and Juho Heinijoki finished preparing of the enclosures and fixing the cabling of the experiment module. The experiment has been delivered to the rocket assembly team.

Flight Software finally ready

SFC2 Flight Software is now ready and works with the groundcontrol software. The combination has been tested in ten flight simulations and it worked very well. SFC2 software was mainly programmed by Tero Huttunen. Petri Rokka has assisted with the camera interface and groundcontrol software.

EDC power adapter changed

EDC camera power adapter and it's enclosure were changed because of the original was broken. New one has better mounting for the pcb. The mass did not change too much so there should be no problem for the balancing of REXUS 5.

Itikka Team at Esrange

Petri Rokka, Tero Huttunen, Ossi Mäkinen and Juho Heinijoki arrived at Esrange on monday noon. They started preparing the payload for REXUS 5 rocket launch on week 11. Itikka experiment survived the transfer to Sweden from Germany well. As seen in the last photo, Itikka Team was first REXUS Team to arrive to empty "Church" building in Esrange.

Itikka Interface Tests done

Itikka was tested with REXUS5 service systems at Oberpfaffenhofen, Wessling, Germany. All tests went fine and next on the schedule is REXUS5 spintest and balancing.

Itikka experiment shipped to DLR

Itikka was shipped to Oberpfaffenhofen, Wessling, Germany for System testing. Shipment left Tampere/Finland 15:13/15.01.2009 and arrived at 8:17/16.01.2009 to Oberpfaffenhofen/Germany. EDC was left of the packet and we will deliver it personally. This leaves more time for software development.

Test recording of inertial data

We did some recording with SFC2, IMU2 and a laptop with GPS receiver to have backup measurement data for later INS analysis. Recording was done by driving two different routes with a car. The routes were 20min and 30min long and consisted of highways, suburbs and central area of Tampere city.

EMC Tests Done

Itikka experiment was EMC tested by Eero Alkkiomäki in TUT EMC laboratory. Only the emissions were tested for and the test bandwidth was from 30 MHz to 1000 MHz . Performed tests were MIL-STD-461F RE102 and EN55022. SFC2 passed MIL-STD-461F RE102 and rest of the experiment was slightly over the limit. EN55022 was passed by whole experiment.

IMU2 Pressure Test done

IMU2 was overpressurized to 2.5 bars and sinked to water. Result was that no leaks were found. This was a backup plan because we could not get vacuum chamber due to a misunderstaning. Thanks to Ossi Mäkinen for performing this test.

Environment Tests Done

We did one axis vibration tests to both SFC2 and IMU2. Only sinusoidal tests were done because of the capabilities of the shaker. SFC2 reached 1.93kHz and IMU2 did work on whole scale. Electronics were running during the tests and no problems were detected. We have inertial sensor data recorded with 1000Hz frequency of the IMU2 test.

In the temperature test IMU2 and SFC2 were running in temperature chamber. Chamber was first freezed to -55 C and SFC2 electronics reached -30 C. Then temperature was risen to -40 C and we started recording of inertial and temperature data and the chamber was slowly risen to +55 in 48 minutes. No problems were detected.

TV filming of Itikka experiment

Itikka experiment was filmed in Castors workshop and the team leader was interviewed about Itikka project and REXUS campaign.

Final Calibration of IMU2
08.01.2009 and 11.01.2009

It took two nights to calibrate IMU2 in two differents temperatures. First night we calibrated accelerometers in -10 C. Total of 6 positions with 6 hours of freezing of the turn table and IMU2 enclosure and 2 hours of actual measurements. The second calibration was longer because of using turn table to calibrate gyros and it consisted of 6 different turning speeds in 3 different orientations + 3 additional orientations for accelerometers.

Test-Calibration of IMU2

We did all measurements needed for testing the calibration setup. Measurements consisted of rotating the IMU2 in 3 positions with 4 differents angular velocities and measuring the average of the angular velocity for each gyroscope and average acceleration of the accelerometers. We also used 3 opposite positions of the originals to measure the average values of accelerometers. Because of the rotating nature of the turn table all data was transfered over a wireless radio modem to a recording computer. During rotation IMU2 and radio modem got power from two sealed lead acid batteries.

IMU2 finally assembled.

After hard work, long days and practically no free-time Juho Heinijoki, Ossi Mäkinen and Tommi Berg got the IMU2 assembled. There was some trouble with the pancake structure of the round cpu electronics on the top. Some small short circuit prevent the lower sensors electronics to work. Software tests showed that 1553 communication to SFC2 works fine with designed amount of traffic. Data from the inertial sensors is also flowing nicely and wirelessly for later calibration purposes.

Next on the IMU2 todo list is calibration. Every subsystem needed for the calibration is ready and tested and only thing is missing is bolting imu2 to the turn table. The calibration should be a task of a few days.

IMU2 speaks 1553!

After long and painful debugging of the 1553 electronics and software we discovered that main reason for IMU2 not recognising the packets sent by SFC2 or the 1553 analyzer was a wrong kind of clock signal. As we switched to a signal generator to drive the clock signal for hi6110 everything started to work fine. Hurray!!

SFC2 assembly ready

Asser Vuola did great work with the machining center to finish most of the remaining parts of the SFC2 enclosure like the cover and the heat transfer plate. This step made possible the final assembly of SFC2.

Once the assembly was possible Eero Alkkiomäki did not wait until the next day. He immediately begin to work with the integration of electronics and connectors to the enclosure. After a few hours the integration was almost ready.

Thanks to Eero we also have a nice Break Out Box for testing the REXUS interface. It has switches for lift-off and start of recording events and necessary adaptors to connect SFC2 via RS422 to a remote computer to validate telemetry data and control the experiment.

Results of all this is testing ready SFC2.

Software advances

Tero Huttunen achieved to get most of the remaining SFC2 drivers finished in one evening (Bootloader, Data-flash and the REXUS interface). Only missing SFC2 driver is the SD-card driver.

IMU2 software is also closer to finish on the driver side. Working drivers include now internal and external ad/c, serial driver and a timer. IMU2 has also almost working data flash for external parameters. Even the MIL-STD-1553 driver has started to communicate with the hardware.

Next step with the software is making the main program for SFC2 and preparing IMU2 software for calibration.

IMU2's first breath

IMU2 got it's first programming after a careful testing and finalizing of it's power supply and cpu board. It flashed the both debug led's with a timer interrupt. Next on the list is programming of the serial port driver and the analog digital converter driver. Both are important step torwards the calibration of the sensors.

1553 works with Flight Version of SFC2

Tero Huttunen is happy to realize that the 1553 bus works flawlessly with the new flight version of the SFC2 board. The prototype version had some minor difficulties with the implementation of memory bus on the PCB.

Machining of the SFC2 enclosure almost done

Asser Vuola did very good work machining almost entire SFC2 enclosure in one day. There were some rough words yelled during machining.. but eventually the results were pretty good. There is still one machining program to be milled and some fine tuning with a manual milling machine. SFC2 enclosure was designed by Tommi Berg.

Machining of the EDC mount started

Asser Vuola started machining the EDC mount. It is machined with 3.5 axis Makino CNC machining center which is provided by TUT / Department of Production engineering.

Turn table works

Eero Alkkiomäki succesfully connected a SFC1 board (flight computer from the Supikoira project) to a commercial stepper motor amplifier so now we have a working controlling system to the turntable. Turn table will be used to calibrate IMU2 sensors.

New website.

Itikka experiment has now a brand new website design thanks to Eero Makkonen, a member of Remmi-Team.

First packet sent over 1553 bus.

First data packet was succesfully sent over MIL-STD-1553B bus between SFC2 and the IT 553 analyzer.

Engineering version of SFC2 board ready for software development.

Department of Production Engineering of TUT sponsored the experiment with GigE Vision standard.

Department of Production Engineering of TUT sponsored the experiment with industrial digital camera worth of 1400 euros.

Student Union of Tampere University Of Technology sponsored the experiment with 1000 euros.

Rector of Tampere University Of Technology sponsored the experiment with 4000 euros.

Approvement of the Experiment by ESA.

Workshop at ESTEC / Netherlands.

06.01.2008 - Application sent to ESA.

Outreach activities

  • 11.05.2009 - Itikka added to RTEMS Wiki.
  • 21.04.2009 - Itikka article (6 pages) in Tähdet ja Avaruus 3/2009
  • 16.04.2009 - Itikka experiment in Taivaan taidetta exhibition all summer
  • --.04.2009 - Itikka in YLE A-STUDIO TV show
  • --.04.2009 - Itikka in YLE morning tv show
  • 25.03.2009 - Itikka in YLE PRISMA TV show
  • 09.03.2009 - Itikka article (1 page) in Tähdet ja Avaruus 2/2009
  • 12.02.2009 - Castor Interview with a newspaper (Sunnuntaisuomalainen)
  • 09.01.2009 - TV filming of Itikka experiment
  • 12.12.2008 - Itikka presentation to Atheros company
  • 31.10.2008 - Itikka mentioned in national morning tv show
  • 30.10.2008 - Itikka in local TV news.
  • 17.10.2008 - Article about Castor/Itikka in Tiedonjyvä 6/2008
  • 01.10.2008 - Experiment sponsor leaflet done. Will be sent to Supikoira1 sponsors.
  • 07.09.2008 - Supikoira rocket was succesfully launched at military area in finland (06.09.2008). Itikka was mentioned in many news articles about of the Supikoira launch as the Castor's next project.
  • 11-13.07.2008 - Participation to Jämi Fly In which the main event of Finnish Aeronautical Association (FAA)
  • 11.07.2008 - Itikka Poster to Jämi Fly In event (web version with reduced resolution)
  • Article about Castor/Itikka in Tekes magazine Euroopan tiede ja teknologia 3/2008 (finnish)
  • this website

Public Events

16.04.2009 - Supikoira / Itikka presentation

Castor gives a lecture about Supikoira and Itikka projects.

  • Location: TUT, Sähkötalo, S1
  • Time: 16:00-18:00.
03.12.2008 - REXUS BEXUS Presentation - Olle Persson SSC

Olle Persson will give a presentation about REXUS BEXUS Student Program.

  • Location: TUT, Tietotalo, TB104
  • Time: 14:15-15:00.