Welcome to the new school year! We had our first meeting on Tuesday, September 17, and we’ve been making great progress ever since.
After we heard the news about last year’s competition, we’ve started working to create a new design for our next rover. While some colleges keep the same rover from year to year, we wanted to take what we learned from last year, strengthen the design, and create a new rover. By the start of the school year, we finished a functional draft.
We also have a fair number of new members. With fuller teams and a suspension design, we’re already excited about our submission, especially considering how much we were able to learn last semester.
On October 8, we had a suspension design review meeting, and people from each of the subteams evaluated the design. After working together to determine the best way to move forward, we’ve started to build.
Our mechanical team has been hard at work. We’re trying to finish the rover’s suspension and chassis by the end of the semester. The body itself is a modification of our design from last year, tightening it up and making it more effective.
The science team has been looking into Raman spectroscopy, which will be able to detect life on Mars. They had their design review a week ago, and they are moving forward with their plan.
The spectroscopy device will emit one wavelength at the test subject. It’ll send that another signal of the same wavelength as a control. When the two signals bounce back, the device will compare the two signals to analyze the test subject.
Our electrical and computing teams have been doing a lot of prep. Until mechanical finishes up their work, these two subteams are waiting to integrate their sections into the rover’s body. They’re both making sure that they’re ready to spring into action when the time comes.
Electrical has started building the battery. Programming is testing their system detached from the rover’s body. In addition to selecting the motors, designs for the communications system and base station have been picked.
We’re having a critical design review on November 12, and everything is on track. In the meantime, we’re going to keep meeting, keep working, and keep striving for first place.
Optimistic and excited,
The Calvin Mars Rover Design Team