This week we finished building V1.4 of the flight computer. It is specifically designed for the Acceleron III booster. The majority of the new flight software has also been written. A few minor changes will still be made to the code, but they are mostly cosmetic. The flight computer now detects the burn-out in the booster to trigger the staging mechanism a short time later. Then after a settable delay the parachute is deployed.
Acceleron III payload pod. (staging mechanism - upper left, long thin tube is the sustainer air supply, the pressure switch is the device with the spring, and the flight computer, actuators are attached to the yellow bulkheads. The parachute is located on the other side of the pod.)
We temporarily mounted the FC into the pod and tested to see how it fits and operates with the staging mechanism. We are quite happy with the overall design and operation. Although it is probably heavier than it needs to be, it is only the first prototype, so a little more weight is acceptable.
The pressure switch (Trevor's TDD) now has a microswitch and is connected by short cable to a connector. This way the unit can be removed from the booster segment for filling with water and then fitted again.
We also manufactured a second 5mm nozzle that has a better fit for the staging mechanism to reduce the amount of wobble the old one had.
We are now pretty much ready to commence full system tests.