Monday, September 27, 2010

Long Long Day and Night

After the last post Dave and Kaci gave a spectacular oral presentation and passed that portion of the competition.  Then we were moved out to the flight line for scrutineering flights.  Dave passed the manual flight portion of the flights and we landed the aircraft and prepared for the autopilot flight scrutineering.  We had a short delay for a crop duster to take off as the airport was being used for both Manned and Unmanned flights.  We powered our system back up and much to our demise the autopilot would  not connect to the ground station.  We began troubleshooting this problem and were lucky enough to have the ability to contact Cloud Cap Technology.  We worked as long as we could at the field to resolve the issue.  We thank Matt from Cloud Cap for putting in the late night he did to help us as it was somewhere around 10:00 pm his time when we were talking with him.  The event organizers decided to allow us one more chance tomorrow to complete the scrutineering.  We came back to the hotel and worked for a few hours deciphering what was happening with our system as it was an error we had never seen before.  We ran out of things we could try without talking to Cloud Cap so we decided to break and try to get some rest until 1 am local time when Cloud Cap would be open for business.  Matt then contacted us with a solution to try and we did it and our system came back to life.  We then tested again and the same error came about after a power cycle of the Autopilot.  We currently have a solution to the problem that should allow us to fly for the scrutineering and competition.  We are departing again for the airport in 20 minutes.  We are confident that we have a system although not perfect that will work for what we need.

A short update on the rest of the competition.  We are not the only team having technical difficulty.  Only one team has passed scrutineering so far.  This is the team from Texas.  They will have their shot at the competition today.  The other teams, including us, will also have a chance at the competition if their systems pass scrutineering.

Although it has been a stressful day and night hope is not lost.  We remain confident in ourselves and our system.  We will update the blog as soon as we can today.

Also as soon as we have some time we will be posting some pictures as we have some pretty good ones including the first takeoff from Australian soil.


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