donderdag 1 september 2016

... and this is how Aury was born!

A while back we learnt about how circuits are born.

Now it is time to praise the team who brought Aury up!

Our magnetometer is basically ready to fly, and that is because Jarda and Jelle (J&J) dedicated a lot of hard work and sacrifice to their little creation.

Here on the left is a very 'early' photo of Aury, when she was still a baby magnetometer, and needed to be connected to a few expensive lab tools to operate.

During the last few months, J&J made it possible for her to fly with her own equipment, designed especially to be light weight and "inexpensive" (she is still quite precious), and perfectly fit for the application we need.

The principle to probe the magnetic field is based on the splitting of degenerate energy levels, their photoluminescence, and the visualization of the whole process via the dips in the intensity of the exciting microwaves.
Before you get your minds in the gutter for this last element, make sure you refresh your memory on how we can use diamond to sense the magnetic field...

So, we need a microwave excitation to split the energy levels, a laser and a light sensor to create and detect the photoluminescence, and of course a lot of electronics and software to write down in files what is happening, so that we can look at the data afterwards.

This translates into having to "break down" the voltage, in order to power up the various components, which is done with the circuit on the left, then generating the frequency which will "time" the entire setup through the means of a square signal wave, which is handled by the circuit on the right, and of course in driving the laser correctly (which means making sure it always gets the right amount of current).

The only two commercial components which will fly with Aury are those which generate the microwave sweep itself (the timing of it is given by the home-built square wave signal generator).

But now, where is the actual diamond in all this?

It's where you see the green of the laser shining... right in her heart!

And beware, this is her last naked photo: she will get a nice dress by the time she will fly, because she won't be a little girl anymore!

P.S.: our testing also continues... on Youtube!

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