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Monday, May 03, 2004

Armadillo Aerospace News: Jet vanes win
chabot imageOn the Tuesday before Space Access we tried hard to get a perfect hover of the big vehicle in before we left, but we ran into a couple problems. I replaced the A/D board, but I had a jumper misconfigured, resulting in the thermocouple signals being clamped off early, and fixing an error that I had introduced the previous week while setting up the jet vane code path had resulted in the throttle positions being off by about 13% (which was why the vehicle was almost hovering at 25% throttle last week – it was actually 38% throttle). The combination of these two factors along with the normal issues resulted in us not getting all four engines warmed up properly for a liftoff.
This Tuesday, I get both of those problems corrected, but we also finished up assembly and wiring of the jet vane test vehicle. We have a nice insulated box made of phenolic / nomex honeycomb covered in fastblock insulation surrounding the vanes and protecting the actuators and wiring. We had some intermittent problems with the throttle valve stalling partway open, so we didn’t tank it up to a liftoff pressure, but we did hang it from the lift and let it tilt itself side to side under its own control. I boosted the roll control gain a lot on the second test to let it keep itself from twisting under the tether. Read More


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