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17.0 Applications and Implications

What will it do?

The SpaceX Launch Alert System will (hopefully) work with the following steps in the table.

Step # What will happen
1 In a “normal state”, an RGB LED will be flashing through rainbow colors.
2 The PIR sensor (or RCWL-0516 sensor– written about by jdesbonnet) will detect whether my grandson is in the room.
2a If he is in the room, the RGB LED will change from the rainbow flashing to blue (or any one color). If the RGB LED is triggered to blue, the message “Hi there, James!” will be printed on an LCD screen.
2b If he is not in the room, the RGB LED will continue to flash through rainbow colors.
3 Twenty-four times per day (in the first fifteen seconds of every hour from the time the device is plugged in), using a free API– Rocket Launch API– JSON data will be “Scrubbed” and compiled.
4 When launch data is copied from RocketLaunch.Live, it can then be pasted into this site, called JSON Pretty Print. When “Load Data” is selected, the data will be parsed.
5 Using the requests library, requests can be run repeatedly as the time of launch approaches and run once after the launch is over (as a “reset” for the next launch).
5a If a SpaceX Launch is “detected”, the date, time and vehicle to be launched will be displayed on the LCD screen until the time of launch.
5b If a SpaceX Launch is “detected”, one hour before the launch, a message will be sent to the LCD screen asking “Are you there?”, and a “Y/N” selection option will be asked. If my grandson will be able to watch the launch, he will select “yes”. If “no” is selected, the next sequence will not occur. If “yes” is selected, a Vehicle Transporter carrying a “Falcon-like” rocket horizontally, will slowly crawl toward a vertical arm beginning one hour before the launch. If nothing is selected, If there is no response, a message will be sent to a parent’s cell phone stating that the launch can be watched at this site.
6 The modelrocket will be vertical and in the launch position.
7 At T minus 10 seconds, a small LCD screen will show the launch countdown.
8 At the actual launch time, the model rocket will loft off vertically. Once it reaches the highest point, the system will reset and reverse (stepper motor) directions.

I hope to have the system connected to a Raspberry Pi so that it will not need to connect to Wi-Fi.

Who’s done what beforehand?

Nothing like this seems to exist. After extensive research, the only thing that alerts children of an upcoming launch is by signing up to receive them. For example, Kennedy Space Center has a “Receive Launch Alert” signup on their website.

There is also an app called Space Coast Launches.

Options like these are not conducive for the young children that we should be inspiring.

What will I design?

The following items will have to be designed and made for this project. The only part that will be pre-made (not made by me) will be the PIR (or Doppler radar) sensor. The LCD screen will also not be fabricated by me.

Physical Components

Item Description
Falcon9 Rocket This will be designed in Fusion 360 and milled using the Shopbot CNC Machine or 3D Printed using the Preform Resin printer in the Charlotte Latin School Fab Lab.
Vehicle Transporter The outer shell of this vehicle will be designed in Fusion 360 and 3D printed on the Prusa Minis at the Charlotte Latin School Fab Lab, or the Creality 3D printer in my home.
Horizontal Rail This belt-driven system will have to be made using ball-bearings and end anchor points.
Vertical Rail This will likely be a threaded rod with two flanking steel 1/4” rods. This system will require sturdy anchors.
Electrical Housing Units All PCB’s and sensors along with their wiring will need to be contained and protected.
Horizontal and Vertical Frame This describes the “anchors” for each plane’s system. One of these will be a revision of the one made back in the 3d design and 3D printing unit.
Outer Covering It is the hope that the outer covering will be designed in Corel Draw and laser cut on black or blue acrylic.
SpaceX Branding Vinyl-cut stickers will be designed using Silhouette Studio and Cameo Vinyl Cutters in the Charlotte Latin School Fab Lab.

Electrical Circuits

Item Description
PIR (or Doppler radar) motion detection w/RGB LED I will be utilizing the same RGB circuit that was designed in the Electrical Design week. The chip used is an ATTiny 412.
Launch Alert Status Determination A Raspberry Pi and python code will be used for this task.
Interactive Sequence (questions asked and answered) Python (or Arduino) code with an LCD screen will be used for this.
Parental Alert Communication This is something I have yet to determine.
Horizontal Sequence (Stepper Motor 1) This will be controlled by an ATTiny 1614 chip with its respective driver. **I will likely not have to use a NEMA 17 stepper motor as used in Outputs week.
Rocket Transfer (Stepper Motor 2) This will be controlled by an ATTiny 1614 chip with its respective driver.
Vertical Sequence (Stepper Motor 3) This will be controlled by an ATTiny 1614 chip with its respective driver.
Reverse/Reset This will be controlled by limit switches and Arduino Code.

Questions That Need to be Answered

How will the alerts be sent to the parents?
What language(s) will be used to code the device?
What interactive “button” will be used to determine if James is present?

How will the SpaceX Launch Alert System be evaluated?

I plan to use a Failure Mode and Effect Analysis (FMEA) before designing, during the development of the device, and after the device is completed. According to the article just referenced, there are actually four times when an FMEA should be performed:

“When you are designing a new product, process or service; When you are planning on performing an existing process in a different way; When you have a quality improvement goal for a specific process; and When you need to understand and improve the failures of a process”.

Before creating the first FMEA, I decided to first identify the systems that would be involved in the SpaceX Launch Alert System. After reviewing the pre-mentioned site, I designed the following block diagram for the components in the SpaceX Launch Alert System.


Last update: June 1, 2022