Today we have a guest blogger Alec Guay our intern for past 2 years. Alec (aka Grasshopper) has helped immeasurably in Argentina for two campaigns. Now he is helping with the improved CubeSat rack and other Payload Bay improvements in Rosamond under the watchful eye of composites guru Greg Scates. To avoid confusion in Alec's photos, it is the Perlan 2 glider which is upside down in the background of some photos! And Alec got the donation of carbon fiber from Tom Haulik of Hexcel all by himself. Alec writes:
Hi Perlan Blog Readers! A mid project update on the composite science rack I am fabricating as part of my Mechanical Engineering Senior Design Project.
The science rack slides into place above the Perlan’s wing spars and receives RAM air from an inlet under the wing. The air is supplied via FEP lined Tygon tubing and brass fittings to keep sampling uncontaminated. A 1/8th inch composite sandwich was used from Hexcel 282 Plain Weave Carbon Fiber and a foam core for the outer rack. These sandwich pieces were cut to size with 45 degree bevels, and carbon angle brackets were made to fit within, scraping out the foam and using Hysol 9394 squeeze out to ensure proper bonding before sanding flush. Piano hinges secure the front face, and allow a 3U inner sleeve to slide into place securely with one hand. Currently I am finishing wet layup mounts inside the fuselage, inlets will be drilled and fitted to the Science rack thereafter.
More progress to come soon! Special thanks to Tom Haulik of Hexcel who kindly donated materials, my professor Dr. Linda E. Jones of Western New England University, and of course Greg Scates for his mentorship and hospitality!