Trinidad State Jr CollegeAnnual Report 2010-2011 Faculty: Robert Philbin (PI), Judy MacLaren, Cindy Clements Students: BalloonSat: Daniel Alvarado, LaKeisha Forte Robot Challenge: Onorio Franco, Edgar Meraz, Zachary Scott Advisors: Gillian Hart, Desi Maxwell, Earl Nesbitt, Karen Howl, Brian Sanders, Bill Hardwicke, Randy Emmons September 10, 2011
TSJC Activities • BalloonSat • Extremophile Collection • November 6, 2010 Windsor launch • 5th Annual Robot Challenge • Flipper-wheeled robot
Extremophile Collection • Primitive prokaryotes –variety of archaea and bacteria ~ Janibacter hoylei, Bacillus isronensis, and Bacillus aryabhata (ISRO-sponsored balloon flight, ref.) • Two students with Biology backgnd • Keep Engineering Simple, Students • = use last year’s design • = AirCore™-like in-situ culture • Sterile enteric agar coating in tube • Extraction w/o contamination
Flight Data From P(t) and T(t), compute density from ideal gas law Multiply by tube volume gives mass of gas in tube at any altitude Thanks to Anna Karion and Jack Higgs At NOAA for sharing their data from their iMet-1 radiosonde. Thanks to EOSS for altitude data.
Observations and Big Question • Successfully incubated multiple different bacteria, but no definitive identification • Successfully demonstrated sterile technique, but only in some of the tube sections • Did we collect extremophiles? • ¿ impossible to tell ? • BQ: How do we discern with high confidence that cultured microbes are from high-altitude and not contaminants?
5th Annual Robot Challenge at Great Sand Dunes • Design Criteria • Fine sand gets into mechanics and electronics • Navigating via compass vs to/from beacon: • ¿ Magnetite throws off compass readings ? • Limited traction difficult to maneuver • Disaster avoidance and recovery
Brainstorming Day How do we beat the sand?
Wheel Design • Spiral to Push off Sand (never really tested) • Open to avoid sand buildup • Problems • twigs • reverse digs into sand • DELRAM – lighter, stronger • Closed Wheel Structure • No digging in reverse • Flexibility helps push through sand
Chassis • “V” shape allows rock climbing • Low c.g. reduces tip-over • Encases chains and motors • Problems • Low clearance • Unable to mount motors • Hard to access for fixes • Small platform for boards • Trapezoid • Higher clearance • More accessible
Program • Use Basic Stamp with minimum #boards, #sensors, #motors • Simplifies programming and debugging • Reduces weight and power demand • Memory ~ $$$ and overload -> program failure • Faster response time
4th Annual Robot Challenge • Original concept from 1929 Fordson “Snow Machine,” later reincarnated as the “Zil Screw Drive” and then as the Tyco Terrain Twister • 5 Parallax BOEs • Control board • Motor controller • Compass/accelero • 2 whisker/IR-sensors
5th Annual Robot Challenge • 3 Parallax BOEs • Control board • Motor controller • Compass/accelero • 2 whisker/IR-sensors • Arduino board
Lessons & Future Directions • Parallax Propeller • BalloonSat • Astrophotography