This week, we had the Critical Design Review (CDR) at the DLR Oberpfaffenhofen. The CDR is used to ensure a steady progress for the REXUS programme, as the teams present their updates, while the experts from DLR, SNSB and ESA review changes and keep an eye on our documentations.
For this Review trip, Leonard Rapp, Fabian Baader, Dennis Keller and Martin Reiswich were available.
We made the trip on sunday, so we could practise the presentation together and also do some late fixes. Monday was presentation day.
After we held our presentation there were a lot of technical questions and remarks about our documentation. We got very positive feedback for some of our subsystems and parts of our Student Experiment Documentation, but also a few things that were not so good. In general we were quite happy about the reactions from the expert team. The rest of the day we had free time, so we explored the nearby lake and had some fun.
On tuesday, an interface discussion had taken place where all teams of the REXUS 23 rocket get info and remarks about the surrounding experiments. For example, we learned that we need a new cable-feed cut out on our bottom bulkhead (the bottom plate that holds most of our experiment), because our current one doesn’t fit with how the experiment beneath us organized their cables. Also on the same day, we had the ask-your-expert-session, where we were able to communicate more intensively with the engineers and experts from the team that reviewed us. Together, we found some solutions and ideas that would make both, team and experts, happy.
A little excerpt, of what we have to do in the meantime:
- We need to shield the electronics (with casings out of aluminum)
- The Cupola needs new a new bearing.
- Do structural analysis (static and frequency)
- Prepare and execute the first tests with real equipment
- …and many more
After all the work, we went on a trip with the bus to play beach volleyball together and to have some beer & bavarian food.
Additionally, most of us would meet familiar faces from other REXUS teams, that have been met in the PDR (preliminary design review) and the Selection Workshop before. It’s great to compare your progress and experiences from the time working on your experiments!
Yesterday, on friday, we received a notice that our CDR has passed.
Conclusion: We all agree that the CDR was a success from our team’s perspective. The launch date is getting closer and closer, but is still so far away. Lots of work to do, but with the CDR we have found new optimism to battle our remaining issues and to move on for a great time ahead.