The University of Idaho EXPO is quickly approaching! Two weeks from today the Vandal Voyagers I team will present our experiment to a panel of judges and show them our bench scale apparatus. This bench scale apparatus will be a fully functional prototype of our final experimental design. A pivotal part in proving that our experiment will run in space is to ensure that the electronics are reliable and fully automated.
The best way to test whether or not our electronics work is to simply build the circuit and give it a try! In the image below, I am soldering a tiny breadboard and a linear actuator to one of our Arduino Teensy microcontrollers to be installed in our bench scale experiment:
The next step will be to make sure that all of the actuators run on a timer, so that we can ensure we know exactly what time they pull the pin to release bacteria into our experiment! Since this will be the Arduino Teensy going to the ISS, I used silicon insulated wires which are extremely heat resistant and safer to use than PVC coated wires. Check back to our blog for more updates as we prepare our prototype for EXPO!