Author Topic: Altius Space Machines Thread  (Read 225713 times)

Offline jongoff

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Re: Altius Space Machines Thread
« Reply #620 on: 12/06/2018 03:07 AM »
https://twitter.com/rocketrepreneur/status/1063311384736219136

Are there any details published about Altiusí hardware going to ISS?

I have some hardware pictures from OrbitFab now.

~Jon
« Last Edit: 12/06/2018 03:11 AM by jongoff »

Offline jongoff

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Re: Altius Space Machines Thread
« Reply #621 on: 12/06/2018 03:20 AM »
Quick overview of those previous pictures:

Picture 1 shows the two halves of OrbitFab's Furphy demo connected via our MagTag. Top part is a flexible tanker module, bottom part is a more rigid tanker module.

Picture 2 shows the MagTag being connected.

Picture 3 shows the top of the rigid tanker module with the passive MagTag half in the upper righthand corner. Notice that this is an electrical power/data MagTag, not the fluid MagTag we'd eventually like to demo. We didn't have sufficient money or bandwidth to push that through in time for this first flight demo, but this demo will still allow us to demonstrate the switchable magnet base section.

Pictures 4 and 7 shows the active MagTag halves. The rectangular ring has four switchable magnet elements, with a central swappable core (in this case with an electrical connector in the middle). The two pins sticking out are alignment and power/data pins. We've got a much better design now that should be dramatically stronger, and handle a much larger misalignment, but it wasn't ready back in September when we had to build the prototype to make the flight opportunity.

Basically this represents the MagTag state of the art about a quarter of the way through an SBIR Phase I. We built our first MagTag prototype (the "pre-alpha" version) for Smallsat in late July, built this one (the "alpha" version) in mid-September, and are now working on a "beta" version to deliver to NASA Langley in January as the final deliverable for our SBIR Phase I.

There's a lot more that I ought to say, but I've been kind of slammed lately. More as I get time.

~Jon
« Last Edit: 12/06/2018 03:20 AM by jongoff »

Offline QuantumG

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Re: Altius Space Machines Thread
« Reply #622 on: 12/06/2018 04:52 AM »
Congrats! Big day, 12 years in the making.
I hear those things are awfully loud. It glides as softly as a cloud. What's it called? Monowhale!

Online Comga

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Re: Altius Space Machines Thread
« Reply #623 on: 12/06/2018 05:02 AM »
Perhaps this is a silly question but is this going as internal cargo, to be handled by the astronauts, or external, as part of the Robotic Refueling 3 external payload?

Either way a hearty congratulations to you and your team!
Flying stuff is a serious accomplishment, and a real source of pride.  Enjoy it.
It is too bad you didn't get to see it launch (particularly with today's very exciting landing events) but you should have many more opportunities at this rate. 
What kind of wastrels would dump a perfectly good booster in the ocean after just one use?

Offline jongoff

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Re: Altius Space Machines Thread
« Reply #624 on: 12/06/2018 05:22 AM »
Perhaps this is a silly question but is this going as internal cargo, to be handled by the astronauts, or external, as part of the Robotic Refueling 3 external payload?

Internal cargo, to be handled by astronauts this time. This idea is only about a year old. We only got the resources and team to build our first real proof of concept prototype in July, and this was the v0.2 prototype we built a month and a half later. So there are a lot of space ruggedizing things that haven't been done yet. But I'm hoping to have an outside demo soon. We have a lot of different possible approaches testing various aspects of the system (using it as a cubesat deployer, using it to support launch loads for a ground attached payload, demoing robotic assembly maybe using an add-on to the RRM-3 task board hardware, etc), I just need to figure out which demos are highest priority and what's the clearest path forward. Personally if you had to ask me today, my guess would be the cubesat deployer version.

Quote
Either way a hearty congratulations to you and your team!
Flying stuff is a serious accomplishment, and a real source of pride.  Enjoy it.
It is too bad you didn't get to see it launch (particularly with today's very exciting landing events) but you should have many more opportunities at this rate. 

Definitely. My goal is to have a flightlike, outside-capable version on orbit within a year.

~Jon

Online Lars-J

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Re: Altius Space Machines Thread
« Reply #625 on: 12/06/2018 06:37 AM »
I have some hardware pictures from OrbitFab now.

~Jon

Very cool, and congrats on having your hardware fly to space! :)

I have a question though about your data connector. Is it the decades of experience in the industry of using an older D-sub/RS-232 style port (pins and all) that won it out in trades vs something more modern "any direction" type port (lightning or USB-C style) - or something more like a magnetic "magsafe" type connector?

I assume there are very valid reasons for using what you did, I'm just curious about the tradeoffs. If this is something you can speak publicly about, of course. :)
« Last Edit: 12/06/2018 06:42 AM by Lars-J »

Offline jongoff

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Re: Altius Space Machines Thread
« Reply #626 on: 12/06/2018 07:12 AM »
Very cool, and congrats on having your hardware fly to space! :)

Thanks Lars!

Quote
I have a question though about your data connector. Is it the decades of experience in the industry of using an older D-sub/RS-232 style port (pins and all) that won it out in trades vs something more modern "any direction" type port (lightning or USB-C style) - or something more like a magnetic "magsafe" type connector?

I assume there are very valid reasons for using what you did, I'm just curious about the tradeoffs. If this is something you can speak publicly about, of course. :)

The easy answer is that this connector is "pre-trades" placeholder for the connector we eventually pick.

Longer-answer is that we're still looking at options to try and hit a broad range of requirements with a single connector without getting too complex, or too high of insertion force. We're trading a few options at the moment that seem the most promising:

1- A Hybrid micro-D sub connector with a mix of 4 coax and ~20 regular pins (AIUI, most micro-Ds actually use either twist pins or hyperboloid sockets these days)
2- A backplane-style SpaceVPX connector -- some of these use multiple wafer/slot designs, possibly with a coax module.

There may be other options out there. Key for us is having enough differential pairs to support at least 4 pairs for TMTC (telemetry/command) and 4 pairs for high-rate data, and ideally some coax so that you can support either RF payloads or some fancier spacewire/spacefiber type protocols. But we're still working the connector trade. Honestly I could probably write a much, much longer post on that trade, but I want to gather more data first, so I don't sound too much like a newb (I'm no electrical engineer).

~Jon

Offline A_M_Swallow

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Re: Altius Space Machines Thread
« Reply #627 on: 12/06/2018 08:45 PM »
{snip}
I have a question though about your data connector. Is it the decades of experience in the industry of using an older D-sub/RS-232 style port (pins and all) that won it out in trades vs something more modern "any direction" type port (lightning or USB-C style) - or something more like a magnetic "magsafe" type connector?

I assume there are very valid reasons for using what you did, I'm just curious about the tradeoffs. If this is something you can speak publicly about, of course. :)

The easy answer is that this connector is "pre-trades" placeholder for the connector we eventually pick.

Longer-answer is that we're still looking at options to try and hit a broad range of requirements with a single connector without getting too complex, or too high of insertion force. We're trading a few options at the moment that seem the most promising:

1- A Hybrid micro-D sub connector with a mix of 4 coax and ~20 regular pins (AIUI, most micro-Ds actually use either twist pins or hyperboloid sockets these days)
2- A backplane-style SpaceVPX connector -- some of these use multiple wafer/slot designs, possibly with a coax module.

There may be other options out there. Key for us is having enough differential pairs to support at least 4 pairs for TMTC (telemetry/command) and 4 pairs for high-rate data, and ideally some coax so that you can support either RF payloads or some fancier spacewire/spacefiber type protocols. But we're still working the connector trade. Honestly I could probably write a much, much longer post on that trade, but I want to gather more data first, so I don't sound too much like a newb (I'm no electrical engineer).

~Jon

I hope this equipment is reasonably compatible with the International Deep Space Interoperability Standards.

https://www.internationaldeepspacestandards.com

Offline jongoff

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Re: Altius Space Machines Thread
« Reply #628 on: 12/06/2018 09:26 PM »
{snip}
I have a question though about your data connector. Is it the decades of experience in the industry of using an older D-sub/RS-232 style port (pins and all) that won it out in trades vs something more modern "any direction" type port (lightning or USB-C style) - or something more like a magnetic "magsafe" type connector?

I assume there are very valid reasons for using what you did, I'm just curious about the tradeoffs. If this is something you can speak publicly about, of course. :)

The easy answer is that this connector is "pre-trades" placeholder for the connector we eventually pick.

Longer-answer is that we're still looking at options to try and hit a broad range of requirements with a single connector without getting too complex, or too high of insertion force. We're trading a few options at the moment that seem the most promising:

1- A Hybrid micro-D sub connector with a mix of 4 coax and ~20 regular pins (AIUI, most micro-Ds actually use either twist pins or hyperboloid sockets these days)
2- A backplane-style SpaceVPX connector -- some of these use multiple wafer/slot designs, possibly with a coax module.

There may be other options out there. Key for us is having enough differential pairs to support at least 4 pairs for TMTC (telemetry/command) and 4 pairs for high-rate data, and ideally some coax so that you can support either RF payloads or some fancier spacewire/spacefiber type protocols. But we're still working the connector trade. Honestly I could probably write a much, much longer post on that trade, but I want to gather more data first, so I don't sound too much like a newb (I'm no electrical engineer).

~Jon

I hope this equipment is reasonably compatible with the International Deep Space Interoperability Standards.

https://www.internationaldeepspacestandards.com

To be honest, compatibility with that standard wasn't even on our radars. MagTags have been focused more on cubesat/microsat applications, not human spaceflight applications. We can definitely take a look at it to see how hard it would be to be compliant.

~Jon

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