February 6, 2008

LONG Overdue Update

The spring semester is well underway and so are we! My apologies for not keeping up this semester, but I've got blog fever yet again, so not to worry!

We spent the last two weeks preparing for the construction phase of the project. This year our focus will be to update the flotation (removing the foam and using air-bags instead), build customized solar panels, and machining more specialized motor mounts.

This past weekend, we began with removing the boat's foam. We left approx. one inch on the fiberglass to maintain rigidity as well as to protect the shell from accidental puncture as it can be fragile. The whole process went smoothly, and with the help of a new shop-vac, it wasn't much of a mess! We will finish up the foam removal this weekend and start shaping the ribs/bulkhead which will be fiberglassed into the boat the following week.

The power management group is making a test panel this weekend from 4 monocrystalline solar cells (http://www.solar-electric.com/Solar_Panels/solar_electric_panels.htm). We are building these panels for a few reasons. A more fitting array will reduce the overall weight. The panels now are made from thick glass and a sturdy aluminum skeleton. We will be using a composite backing (much like our bulkhead) and a spray covering to seal the solar cells. It is going to be a great chance to gain experience creating something none of us have ever done.

The propulsion team is waiting for aluminum to come in from our supplier in order to start milling the necessary parts. We decided to make two separate configurations: one for the sprint & slalom, and one for the endurance race. This allows us to optimized each better which will result in improved performance. More on this as the raw material rolls in.

Environmentally speaking, we participated in Focus the Nation (http://www.focusthenation.org) last week. It was an all day event focused at raising awareness of climate change and possible remedies need to prevent further damage. It was great to work with other environmental groups on campus and I urge you so read about some of the organizations on campus: (http://www.cmu.edu/environment)

That's all for now, here's some CMSS'ers at Work pictures!

The first few cuts into Nessie's bow

A solid chuck of foam gone thanks to Riddhi, Jen, Mike, and Andrew

4 hard working people right here! (i was the clean up guru)

A 'Mark Fuge' shot from inside the boat. There is light where there once was foam!

The largest pieces were put on display, and with good reason.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It looks like cheese. Yummm