Week of 2/21/21

Tuesday 2/22/21
On Tuesday this week, I worked on the AAVSO telescope, and also started working on some of the antennas behind the E-lab around the PPA array. The telescope had some trouble with its mounting, in that the telescope was flipped around from where it should be. When it was supposed to be pointing meridian, it was pointed instead directly into the ground. Will eventually decided that he would try to update the software running the telescope to see if he could solve the problem that way, and we moved on. The antenna mounted on the shed near the e-lab was malfunctioning, so we had to figure out what was wrong and correct it. We eventually figured out it was the coaxial adapter. I remedied this by helping to splice a new connector onto the cable.
Thursday 1/25/21
On Thursday this week, I continued to work on antennas. There was an antenna that Dr. Bill installed on the right uphill corner of the PPA array, and that antenna was working exceedingly well. However, it was too low to send and receive efficiently, and so Will, Andy, Dr. Bill, and I worked to raise the telescope about 10 feet from its previous position.We also added another wire in the cable to give closer access to the antenna itself.
Week Summary
This week, I worked to repair, troubleshoot, and rebuild the AAVSO telescope and 2 radio antennas. I worked to splice wires, connect antennas, and raise antennas. Next week, I will probably continue to work in this region, and will probably also start working on figuring out what to get for the ag drone.

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Week of 2/15/21

Wednesday 2/17/21
On Wednesday this week, I learned some about power ratios, and what they mean for the efficiency of buildings. I also did a little work to try to find the instructions for the AAVSO telescope, which unfortunately got misplaced.
Friday 2/19/21
On Friday this week, I worked on a computer, along with Will. The main problem we worked to address was the function of the fans. Some wiring had clogged the fans at first, preventing the computer from working. Then, one of the main intake fans was running far harder than the other. Eventually, we managed to sort this problem out, but the computer as a whole is still far from functional.
Weekly Summary.
This week, I worked quite a bit to understand how the telescope will work once it is set up. In addition, I learned a bit about power ratios, and also worked to rewire a computer to be more functional. Next week, I would like to work more on the computer, in order to get it to a state of full function. I also would like to work on how to remotely operate the telescope.

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Week of 2/8/21

Tuesday 2/9/21
On Tuesday this week, I worked with Will and Andy to assemble the newly arrived telescope from AAVSO. We pulled the sides from the box, and started working on opening the observatory dome itself.
Thursday 2/11/21
On Thursday this week, Will, Aaron, and I continued to work on assembling the AAVSO telescope. Most of the pieces had arrived by today, and so we started by opening up the observatory dome. We then removed and began to assemble the telescope and mount. By the end of class, we managed to assemble the mount and start putting the telescope and counterweight on that mount.
Weekly Summary
This week, I worked to assemble the telescope from AAVSO. By the end of the week, Will, Andy, Aaron, and I managed to open the dome and assemble the mount and counterweight assembly. I expect that we will be able to finish the entirety of the telescope by early next week, and have it observing by the end of next week. I believe that next week I will continue to work on the telescope in order to ensure it is sky-ready by the weekend.

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Week of 2/1/21

Tuesday 2-2
On Tuesday this week, I worked with Will and the visiting astronomer from AAVSO to help determine the best location for the incoming Bright Star Monitor telescope. We eventually decided the best location for the telescope would be on the E-lab patio, and we also worked out a number of other details about the installation and functioning of the telescope.
Friday 2/5
On Friday this week, I got Andy to show his coding project a small bit.
Week Summary
This week, I helped Will to decide where and how to assemble the incoming AAVSO telescope. We are going to put this telescope on the E-lab patio, and move it to the grass if needed afterwards. Next week, I hope that the AAVSO telescope arrives and we can begin to build it.

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Week of 1/25/21

Monday 1/25
On Monday this week, I helped Will and Andy to figure out where to put the AAVSO telescope once it arrives. After a fair amount of deliberation, we arrived at the decision that the optimal place for the telescope would be at the southeast corner of the PPA Array, on a small level area outside the fence.
Wednesday 1/27
On Wednesday this week, I grabbed the counterweights for the AAVSO telescope that arrived and created an initial assembly of the CWs. I also started work on a project to erase and re-create an old Dell computer. Unfortunately, I ran out of time before I could successfully complete the installation, but fortunately, Will was able to help me finish the installation.
Friday 1/29
On Friday this week, I worked on learning how to use networking between the X600 and X320 controller units. I was able to link the solar radiation monitor to the X600 and utilize it within the X600 controller to create a simple graph.
Week Summary
This week, I helped Andy and Will find a place for the AAVSO telescope in the future, installed a 512 GB SSD in an old computer and attempted to install Linux Ubuntu on it, and worked on learning some networking techniques with X600 and X320 controllers.

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Week of 1/18/21

Tuesday 1/19/21
Tuesday this week, I learned a bit about the eGauge and Skyspark systems.
Thursday 1/21/21
Thursday this week, I worked with Alec and Anuhea to measure and determine the efficiency of the PPA solar array. To do this, we first found the dimensions of one solar panel and the total number of solar panels in the array. We used this data to arrive at the area of the array. From there, we used data on the solar irradiation to estimate the power generable at full efficiency. From that value, we created a ratio of expected generation to actual generation to find the efficiency of the solar panels.
Week summary
This week, I learned about two more monitoring tools for the E-lab systems. I also began working on a project to determine and test the efficiency of the PPA solar array. I also helped Will brainstorm some ideas for the creation of his antenna concentrator. Next week, I want to continue work on the solar array project, and I would like to work on cleaning up the downstairs as well.

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Week of 1/10/21

Tuesday 1/12
Today, I worked with Anuhea to complete the EMC challenges that were laid out for us. We managed to finish the challenges laid out for us and we then got a small preview of what we would do Thursday.
Thursday 1/14
Today, Anuhea and I again teamed up to work within Mango Automation. By using it, I learned a bit about what different power draws look like to a meter, and also a bit about MPPT for solar power systems.
Week Summary.
This week, I worked with Anuhea to understand telemetry. We used both the EMC server and Mango Automation to complete a set of challenges laid out for us.

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Semester 1 Video Interview

Here is an interview with an overview of what I did over the first semester of ISR.
Google Drive File

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Week of 11.30.2020

Monday 11.30.2020
On Monday this week, I returned the propellers after I finished testing them. I also started figuring out a way to design an EDF based on the motors that were available. Will said he had a motor design but had not printed it yet.
Wednesday 12.2.2020
On Wednesday this week, I started looking at ways to print out the EDF fan blade that I was going to have. I realized that I don't know what software to use to turn the 3d files into gcode that the printer can actually read. Beyond that, I started working on making my own EDF blade, but was not fully successful.
Friday 12.4.2020
On Friday this week, I finished the design of my own EDF blade. I also went onto Thingiverse and downloaded two different blade designs. I now simply need to find the application needed to turn the STL files I have into printable Gcode.
Week Summary
This week, I worked on designing a 3D printed EDF fan. I was able to figure out Fusion to the point of being able to design my own blades, but I do not yet have the capability to convert the 3D files that I have into printable code. That is what I intend to work on next week. Hopefully, this portion of the procedure will not be extraordinarily difficult. Over the weekend, I intend to take some measurements of the motor shaft adapter that I have, so that I know what to modify on my own EDF design.

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Week of 11.23.2020

Tuesday 11.24.2020
On Tuesday this week, I grabbed some motors from the downstairs area in order to test their power outputs. I then spent the rest of teh day searching with Will to find a suitable battery pack. Having found none, I took the motors home to test them.
Week recap
This week, I tested several motor and propeller combinations for thrust. The data are as follows.
1700KV motor with
-1180 blade: 1300g
1000KV motor with
-1045 prop: 800g
-1060x3 prop: 800g
My personal motor with
-1045 prop: 1100g
1060x3 prop: 1200g
This data will be used to help Will set up an EDF motor, which I hope to use on my own aircraft.

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Week of 11.16.2020

Tuesday 11.17.20
On Tuesday this week, I set up the 12V battery in the downstairs up to charge, in hopes of using it to power Leonce's foam cutter. I also set up a baking soda solution in order to neutralize any acid that may have leaked from the battery. I then continued to research powerplant solutions as the battery charged.
Friday 11.20.20
On Friday this week, I tested the voltage output of one of the large solar panels downstairs. I learned that it generates about 41 volts per panel. This is quite substantial, and may have a use for me later. I also helped Will to set up the laser cutter. I definitely intend to use the cutter in the future, so ensuring that it works was a very good thing.
Week summary
This week, I worked on the foam cutters some more, as well as the laser cutter. I charged up the battery and made sure no acid was leaking from it. I also tested the voltage that one of the medium-sized solar panels puts out. Third, I helped Will set up the laser cutter in the upstairs area. Next week, I intend to move my other wing sections into the E-lab, and I also intend to start designing a body for the wings I have.

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Week of 11.9.2020

Monday 11.9.2020
On Monday this week, I went over my drone survey with Dr. Bill and Anuhea. I showed them the survey video and we worked out a way to count the panels and solar thermal units on the houses. I also agreed to do some further surveys of other areas in the future.
Wednesday 11.11.2020
On Wednesday this week, I started testing Leonce's old hot-wire foam cutter. It did not work, likely because the battery was dead. I also helped Kyle set up and use the CNC machine.
Friday 11.13.2020
On Friday this week, I started doing research into the design and construction of a large survey aircraft. The main bulk of my research went into figuring out engines and power systems. I found a helpful description and conversion resource here: http://www.maclab.seas.ucla.edu/downloads/162D_Sizing_Introduction.pdf. Some of my research also went into keeping a low stall speed and generally good stall characteristics. I believe that a forward-swept wing would do what I need, and still be relatively easy to construct. I will continue doing research as I can.
Weekly summary 11.13.2020
This week, I worked on the drone aerial surveys, and also helped Kyle set up his CNC project. I also started researching ways to construct a large survey aircraft, with relatively easy construction. Next week, I intend to continue working out powerplants for this project, and also start working on getting the hot-wire foam cutters, both Leonce's and mine, functional. This will require a charged 12V battery for Leonce's cutter, and I believe there is a 48V power supply in the server room that will work to make my foam cutter functional.

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Week 11 Recap

This week, I started working on an old Variac, in the hopes of using it to power my hot-wire foam cutter. So far, it's not looking great. The Variac doesn't have any standard plugs, so wiring it is going to be very complicated at the least. I also agreed to help Anuhea with a project regarding renewable energy. Over the weekend, I am going to take my drone out over my neighborhood to take images of rooftops to determine solar and solar thermal penetration within the area.

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Week 11 Day 2 Recap

On Thursday this week, I continued to work on solving the Variac problem. I didn't get much of anywhere, as every Variac that I found instructions for had at the very least a place to plug into a wall socket. I also started cleaning out the model aircraft in the downstairs area, pulling whatever I thought I could use first. Unfortunately, I was only able to salvage one ESC. The other could not be removed from the fuselage without being irreparably damaged. I also agreed to help Anuhea with a project on renewable energy by taking a drone survey of an area.

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Week 11 Day 1 Recap

On Tuesday this week, I used the Ifixit toolkit I was given to disassemble my laptop and clean it out. I then reassembled it. I spent the rest of the class studying an old Variac transformer that Dr. Bill had laying around. It doesn't have anywhere to plug in or out, so wiring it is going to be a pain at the very least. The hope is that, if I can get it working, I can use it to power my hot wire foam cutter.

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Week 10 Recap

This week, I worked mainly on the wind tunnel project. I started by moving the blowers down and performing tests on them for exhaust velocity. I decided the 8-inch blower would suit my needs best. I then created a cardboard prototype for a circle to square adapter. I also decided and am beginning to work on the AAVSO telescope project. For next week, I intend to refine the design of the adapter on the wind tunnel, and start working on eradicating the ants around the future AAVSO mount.

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Week 10 Day 3 Recap

On Friday this week, I began prototyping a method for transitioning the circular output of the blower into a square wind tunnel. I received an Ifixit toolkit from Dr. Bill for later use in repairs and disassembly, and by the end of the class managed to create a working prototype circle-square adapter. Next week, I intend to make that circle-square adapter far more finished.

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Week 10 Day 2 Recap

On Wednesday this week, I moved the blowers from Dr. Bill's car down to the downstairs room. I tested out multiple blowers, and found that teh 8 inch had the highest exhaust velocity, and that multiple blowers together, even sealed, did not produce a cumulative effect. I also learned a bit about the radon detection kit Dr. Bill had in his car.

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Week 10 Day 1 Recap

On Monday this week, I spent a lot of the class listening to wand working with the projects already underway at the Energy Lab. I learned about the Raspberry Shakes, the upcoming AAVSO installation, and the projects the other students are working on.

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Week 9 Recap

this week, I continued to help Will with his radio telescope. I helped him set it up, and adjust its position and elevation to reduce data artifacts. I also did a bit of calculation on what dimensions I would need for a properly sped wind tunnel. I came up with half-foot by half-foot. Next week, I hope to get the blowers hooked up, and get a starting design for the box interior. I also intend to help Will and generally see whether his data was less noisy this time. I might also do some preliminary work to determine a good size and form for a data gathering glider.

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