Update – November 14, 2019

RUDDER FLY-BY-WIRE COMPUTER BOARD TEST – November 14, 2019

We had a design for the fly-by-wire rudder computer boards, which we used to make several printed circuit boards with. These were then populated with the electronic components that were to go on the boards, and much like any computer in anything to be put out for commercial use, it is subjected to rigorous testing.

The first test was passed, several weeks ago, as an endurance test using the program on a prototype board. The program worked great over a span of over five hours and 5,600 cycles on the system. It did all that it was supposed to do, as did the rudders and other hardware connected to it. This was a big milestone in the controls aspect of the project. 

We recently received an actual production computer board, and the test was done again to check if the production design and electronics matched the prototype. Unfortunately, they did not. The board failed the test as it produced errors that were unacceptable for this type of equipment. There is a component on the board that is producing the electronic version of ‘noise’, and that component needs to be isolated from the rest of the board for it all to work reliably. The engineers are already working on the new design, and we will have new boards printed up and then re-test. We need these boards to fly, but don’t need them to do our initial ground runs under prop power. 

An image of a portion of the printed circuit board that we are using is shown above so you can see some of the details that we are working with. This circuit board was being completed when we took the photo.

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