Successful debugging of the test stand!
This has been a fantastic month for the Lunar Lion team! For a few months, we'd been occasionally seeing very strange responses by the valves on our test stand. They would flip when they weren’t supposed to and sometimes they wouldn’t respond to commands. It wasn’t just limited to our valves. When we commanded our spark plug igniter to fire, there would sometimes be a delay between the command and the actual sparking. The most difficult part was that the occurrence of these anomalies didn’t seem to follow any consistent pattern. They would occur rarely, at different points during a test, in different thermal conditions, on different valves, etc. It was an especially difficult bug to track down.
After weeks of debugging by our propulsion and power leads, we identified several possible sources for the issues we were seeing. One by one, very methodically, we adjusted our stand to remove as many of the possible sources as we could. Just a week or two ago, we identified the most important source and got to a point where everything on our stand was operating exactly as expected for every single test! The entire process taught us a whole lot about our system. It was also a great demonstration of real-world engineering for the students who participated in the fixes. They got hands-on debugging experience with a real system. Great job, team!
P.S. Video will be going up soon