Our team formed Saturday morning of the event without prior planning. Some member brought 3D printers, soldering equipment and various collections of electronic components, sensors and microcontrollers. Due to the short duration of the project, all equipment had to be on hand and nothing was ordered specifically for the event.
The team split with three working on the server, back end and base station while two worked on the pod hardware and electronics. The physical design was completed in the first day and the printers ran overnight and into the next day with no failures. The design was made simple to facilitate easy printing for this reason.
Electronics were prototyped on a breadboard and then soldered and transferred to the pod case on Sunday. Several issues arose during this process. Firstly the batteries were slightly larger than anticipated and have a conductive outer skin. This was found to be contacting the exposed pins of the microcontroller during assembly resulting in delays and repairing of parts. Secondly the wiring harness between components was larger than anticipated and proper wire management was not in the schedule.
During testing of the radios it was found that the power supply was not clean and filtering was required. Switching to a different voltage regulator helped with this. It was later found that running off battery power and the voltage regulator from the battery pack, some of the sensors were not being read. Because of this the device had to be powered off of an external DC power source for proper demonstration.
The team was very well suited for the project it came up with. Everyone played a key role and was able to accomplish it in time for the 20 hour cut off.
Ganymede Agricultural Station is a fictional site responsible for growing much of the food for the outer parts of the solar system in the 2017 "The Expanse" tv series.
SpaceApps is a NASA incubator innovation program.