Stratos II Main Electronics Stack

Electronics Team

One of the sub-teams within the Stratos II project is the electronics team. In the picture below you can see the most advanced device ever developed and built by the DARE electronics team, the Stratos II main electronics stack. This is what years of experience handed down by multiple members and new developments have lead to. It is the brain of the rocket and controls all of the functionality, from sending commands to the motor control device (also developed internally) to transmitting data received from its multitude of sensors down to the ground station.

Electronics Stack with Fan

To describe all of the functions the device has to perform, would require a quite burdensome report. Still this short item will provide you some details. As you might see from the picture, the device contains a fan. A question we get a lot when people see this, is how the board produces so much heat that it requires a fan. In normal conditions it does indeed not need this, but in our parabolic flight the internals of the rocket experience weightlessness. This sadly means that hot air generated by the components does not rise, but forms heat bubbles around the components. The fan is there to keep the air in the airtight compartment moving, to spread the heat evenly over the rocket interior.

Electronics Stack

Another very important function the device provides is the communication with our payloads. The rocket will have three payloads on board, one from the University of Nijmegen, one from the Hungarian Institute of Energy Research and one from the company Delft Dynamics. The power requirements and data of these payloads will be handled by the payload control board; part of the main electronics stack. This board routes the communication to the black box (for data storage) and the telemetry system (for data transmission).

The last function that will be discussed is measurement and actuation. These happen across two different boards, each split in a measurement and an actuation part. The measurement part measures various flight parameters and calculates the estimated rocket trajectory. The actuation boards actuate different parts of the rocket, they can initiate the capsule separation for example. The final decision to actuate parts of the rocket will be based on a majority vote system between the two independent measurement boards and the main control unit.