Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Lander Airframe and Tank Work

I decided that 2021 will be the year I finish all the structural components, tank components, avionics, and linear actuators for the lander project. We'll see if that happens. This gives me time in 2021 to focus purely on GNC, software development, propulsion, and testing.

My friend Keith helped me out by fabricating the airframe. I did not have access to a welder at this point, so this was a major help. Here are a couple pictures from the process. You can see that he has two of the same types of tanks that I have/will be using. It was cool to get an initial perspective picture like this.

Here is the airframe in my living room after I primed it. You can see one of my fuel tanks in the center, as well as my pressure sphere off to the left. Nalgene for scale.

Here is the airframe with my two tanks laying there prepped and ready to go.

As far as the tanks go -- these are WWII Oxygen tanks from B24 bombers that were initially rated to 500psi. Here they are in their element:

My tanks were not as beautiful when they came in 

After sandblasting and priming:

There is still much work do be done on the tanks. Their feed system needs to be designed, fabricated, welded, and then pressure tested (I should not be using higher than 300psi). I should probably hire a professional welder for this, given how important consistency will be.

Another not-fully-filled-in CAD pick of what the vehicle should look like. Lots more to put into it.

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