Flight Computer – Update

Back again with another blog from the electronics corner! The last post can be read by clicking here. Over the course of the past period, I have been working on a variety of projects. After SRP, I joined the electronics team where I am now mainly focussing on the Stratos III project. 

Flight computer progress

I have put quite some hours into routing the recovery board that I talked about in the last post. Only two more traces need to be laid and then I can get it reviewed. Although the last traces will probably take the longest, since you need to work your way through your own mess, so to speak. It’s quite a puzzle… But, I’m really happy with the results I got for this first pass on routing the recovery board. Below you can see the comparison between last blog post and now.

So hopefully it is obvious that the newer version is on the right. You can now see that nearly all of the components have been placed on the boards and that there are traces that connect these components. The traces are the blue and red ‘paths’, where red is on the top side, and blue on the back. The reason we have traces on both sides is that traces may not cross each other, and the (best) way to get around it is to use the back side of the board. Traces represent where the copper will be laid on the PCB, and it is the electrical connection between components.

As it is right now, I’m very happy with it. But, there is no doubt that during the review a lot of design choices will be put under a microscope, and I will have to change a lot on the board. It is all in good spirits, however, since I know that working on such a project will only improve my skills as an engineer. In the end, this flight computer will be a crucial part of the Stratos III mission. 

However, this is far from the end for me! In my next blog, I will explain you about a different aspect of being a member of DARE. I helped out with the wirecutter test, which is an important aspect of the recovery of the Stratos III rocket!