Electrical infrastructure overview
Tachyon's electrical system contains all power and serial infrastructure to support the vehicle's sensors, actuators, and computer. All boards in the power, serial, sensor control and actuator control subsystems were designed and populated by team members. Most of the custom passive acoustic system was also designed and built in house.
Tachyon's power system takes power from the battery pods and converts it into regulated voltage for the sensors and the computer. It provides 5V, 12V and 24V at different points.
More information about Tachyon's power system.
Tachyon's Actuator System includes all the electrical infrastructure that drives all thrusters, droppers, grabbers, and launchers, as well as the switchbox (for kill and mission start).
More information on Tachyon's Actuator Control System
|This includes the infrastructure to support Tachyon's various sensors as well as the serial communication used between sensors and the computer. Two General Purpose Input/Output (GPIO) boards and a serial board are used for this.|
|The hydrophones are a passive acoustic system that uses four Reson TC4013 elements and an Analog Devices SHARC-21369 to determine the relative direction to an underwater pinger. They are capable of discriminating between multiple pingers of different frequencies operating simultaneously and listening to only the one at the selected frequency. They can operate in the 20-35 kHz range. The electrical system for the passive acoustic system is entirely new this year.|
Computer and Memory
|Tachyon's onboard computer is comprised of a Portwell WADE-8067 low power embedded Mini-ITX motherboard, an Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9300 quad core processor, 4GB of RAM, and an Intel X25-E Extreme 32GB solid state drive. This provides more than enough computing power for all mission, machine vision, and control processing tasks. A PCI Express expansion card is used to provide 3 IEEE1394 ports for the vehicle's cameras. The computer runs a minimalist installation of Debian GNU/Linux. Communication with all external sensor and actuator boards is routed through a custom serial interface board.|
|To communicate with the shore, Tachyon has both an Ethernet tether and a fiber optic tether for when greater distance from the control is needed, as in long range search missions.|