S.E.A. 2 See :
Submerged Environment Analyst
Calvin College Senior Design Team 6
Feb 28, 2009:
Mar 2, 2009:
Also, our clever idea for supporting the ballast pump inside the pump chamber failed. As you can see above, the pump is hanging off of the back of the end cap by two pieces of flex tube. This pump is going inside of an 8" tube of PVC, but we needed some way of bracing it so it wouldnt jostle around. We decided to make a mold by covering the pump with foil and putting it inside a scrap piece of 8" tube. We then filled the mold with foam sealant, hoping it would solidify and create a perfectly formed brace to hold our pump. Unfortunately the foam needed oxygen to solidify, and while the top and bottom sections hardened, the middle section fell apart. Oh well.
On to plan B...
Mar 11, 2009:
Mar 16, 2009:
Today (Monday) we started sealing up our pump chamber. This included resealing all of our PVC joints with either glue or epoxy, and putting a new port into our tank for the wires to pass through. The pictures below show the final, sealed solenoid system, and the new port on our 8 inch cap. Tonight we have to run a couple tests to decide which option is best for waterproofing our wire port, but once we get those results, we will seal up our pump chamber (Finally!) and move on to our ballast tank. We are getting both excited and nervous about putting the pump chamber in the pool, but were all expecting positive results.
Apr 06, 2009:
We decided to hold off on the pool test until we get the motors on the sub, since we can test the ballast system completely in our small tank. We tested the bi-directional controllers we ordered over the weekend, and they work perfectly, even after we modified them for the joystick controller we want to actually use. Everything is looking good to go, pending the completion of our pump chamber. Pictures of the final assembly and videos of our tests will follow shortly.
Apr 20, 2009:
Here are some pictures of our pool tests. Everything worked just as we expected. If you see in the videos, it sat at an angle underwater, but we knew this was going to happen, since we hadn't done any stabilization work yet. We have already planned to correct this by switching to a two ballast system. We bought all the parts, and the final construction should be relatively simple, and in theory it should work fine. But, back to the pictures (links to the videos are below):
Apr 21, 2009:
Today we did a quick test of our camera in a completely dark room to see how well its 'nightvision' worked. We were shocked by the illumination of the video it took in the dark. That video can be seen here. This made us reconsider if we would need supplemental LEDs on our submersible. We sent the video to AWRI and we are waiting for feedback from them.
May 13, 2009:
Apparently it has been awhile since the website was updated... Unfortunately these last few weeks have been extremely busy trying to get this project done (try 18 hours of sleep over 5 days!) but we were successful! It did everything we wanted it to do perfectly. And now, rather then go back and try and remember everything that happened and on what day, I am instead going to give a quick overview of the past month. Also, check out our Final Report back at the top of the page, it will give details about the evolution of our final design.
It was very much a rollercoaster ride. We had huge successes followed by terrible failures. Everything from our camera breaking, to instability problems, to mechanical binding issues, and electrical shorting issues happened, but fortunately we were able to take them all in stride and produce a finished product. Basically, after April 21, we just started putting things together. We made our controller (below), our frame, changed the design for our motor shaft and made that, put together our final ballast system, made a mount for the camera, wrapped our tether (also below, this was an especially fun night for us), and more. We also had to angle our ballast tanks outwards, giving our sub a "V" shape, to make sure we were stable underwater. The four of us spent more time together then apart, but it was an experience that I wouldn't trade for anything, and I believe I have made life long friends. Hooray! :)
But now the pictures (the bottom one is our camera mount):