This week’s module was big milestone; today we finally started assembling the main body of Pegasus. After spending so much time solvent-welding acrylic and soldering connections, the team and I were really excited to secure the main body, battery tubes, and camera chassis to the outer frame of the ROV.
The Edwards Lab was able to purchase an Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU)/depth sensor combo. This tiny sensor, about the size of a standard Lego™ brick, contains a gyroscope, accelerometer and a depth sensor so we can get real-time measurements of Pegasus’s pitch, roll and depth underwater. All of this meant that we had another tricky set of connections to solder. But, as always, the team members of Project Pegasus rose to the occasion.
Here’s what Aaron has to say:
“Up until today, the ROV was just a bunch of parts and pieces laying. I could feel the energy in the team once every component was set in place to make the ROV look like an actual ROV!
The team completed steps 27 and step 5 on the IMU depth sensor and module. We each had a turn at connecting the IMU which was one heck of an extensive job! In the end we were able to make the IMU and connections look outstandingly amazing.
The next step was getting the battery tubes mounted up by solvent-welding the battery end caps. Everything was smooth sailing until we applied epoxy to the battery end caps [to water-proof them] when we discovered epoxy leaking into the battery tube itself! Luckily we caught this before it was too late [when we submerge Pegasus in the water]”
Aaron makes a good point; as we get toward the end of the build-phase of Project Pegasus we really can’t afford to make any mistakes. While Pegasus is really coming together, we’ve got a lot of work ahead of us before our little ROV can actually jump in the water.
Stay tuned, these next few steps should be pretty interesting!
-Baron von Urchin
Pike Spector is currently a Research Operations Specialist with Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary