On the 31st of March of 2017, project Aether had to postpone its launch campaign due to a rapid unscheduled disassembly of the engine during its test on that same day. Today, the management of Aether would like to announce that Aether is still in progress and its teams are working hard to see the mission succeed. Unfortunately, the launch date is still not known, since a new engine is being designed from scratch. The teams constituting project Aether have continued to work on their respective subsystems for the launcher. This is to make sure that the focus of Aether is still on innovation for the future, by developing a supersonic technology demonstrator for future DARE space flight. In this blog post, we would like to update you on the progress of two of the teams within Aether: The Advances Control Team and the Electronics Team.
The Electronics Team:
The electronics subsystem of the launcher is mostly done. This subsystem consists of a stack of Printable Circuit Boards (PCBs), antennas, cabling and external hardware that is required for the fulfilment of project Aether. The stack of PCBs is fully designed and produced. Furthermore, the design for the antennas is complete, although, some improvements need to be made, particularly on the antenna that will be in the rocket. Finally, the design of the cabling has been finished, and it should not change unless either the requirements or the external hardware are modified.
The Advance Control Team:
The rocket will be actively stabilised, this will be done with the use of an active control system that employs canards. This method was developed due to the fact that a lot of the supplied energy, from the engine, ends up spreading horizontally, which affects the horizontal velocity. The ACT subsystem was initially meant to provide full-control, but later it was decided to have roll-control only. Which means that there will be steerable fins (canards) that will be able to control the roll-rate. This concept has been proved in different flights with the CanSat V7S in subsonic conditions, but for the Aether launcher, this concept will be used in supersonic conditions. Furthermore, the ACT will use a Lens’ Binson 64 sun sensor for data analysis.
Are you curious about project Aether, and would you like to know more? Check out this page! More detailed information on the different subsystems will, of course, follow later!