Age: 18-19 Inspiration: My love and curiosity of powered flight Purpose: Full flight computer for guidance and control of a 10ft tall 10,000ft ceiling rocket Significance: Integrated an immense number of sensitive devices onto one board. Used a reflow oven to bake the boards.
This project was created for MIT Rocket Team as a way to navigate and control a 10ft rocket. The rocket's goal is to ascend to 10,000 ft and then descend in a controlled manner. Before landing, the rocket releases a test probe to the surface to conduct a scientific experiment. Pyxida was designed over multiple iterations. Initially the flight computer sat atop a Beagle Bone Black processor. After much consideration, support for the Beagle Bone Black was relinquished as its processing capabilities were overkill for the project at hand. The second revision of the board was built entirely around a Teensy 3.2 architecture. The Teensy 3.2 is an open source microcontroller platform with a powerful 32-bit 96MHz processor. This microcontroller platform was chosen as a basis for this project because of its computing power, flexibility, and community support.
The current revision of Pyxida contains a 9DOF IMU, 3-axis 200g accelerometer, barometer, GPS, XBEE Radio, 64KB flash memory, and 8 built in pyro channels with continuity testing. The board was entirely designed and continues to be maintained by me with support from MIT Rocket Team. The platform is assembled completely in house using a heavily modified toaster over as a reflow oven. The board is continuously updated as changes to the rocket design or changes in device technology dictate.