22.09.2017 [Update]

Integration Progress Review
Electrical System
Mechanical System
Our Reviewers at the IPR

Finally Back and IPR

After a long and – for us – very work-intensive summer break, Team BlackBox is finally back with some substantial updates.

First and foremost, we passed our CDR in Munich very successfully. That was already at the end of June.

Since then, we had a whole lot to do. We implemented our CDR recommended design changes, freezed the design for the mechanical and electric system, we ordered all the necessary parts, tested every sensor and component, wrote the entire code for our scientific and datalogging system and built a prototype of the electrical system, until we finally reached a point of completion where we could present our progress to the project organizers.

The IPR, the Integration Progress Review, then took place on Monday “at home” in the University of Applied Sciences Bremen, where we come from. Some specialists from ZARM visited us in order to check the progress that has been made since the CDR – And they gave it a pass!

Now, the next steps are the following:

-          Test the pre-built electronical system as well as the software.

-          Finish the PCB design and manufacture a PCB prototype in-house in our university

More news, pictures and videos of our progress will definitely follow soon.

19.06.2017 [Update]

All parts ready for full test assembly!

Full mechanical assembly and CDR preparations

Today's video can be found as usually on Facebook or Twitter.

We finally have all mechanical parts, including the inner casing structure that was still on the printer yesterday, convened in one place, so that we could start the full mechanical assembly and testfit everything. There were no problems in that regard.

Also, we tested our CDR presentation in front of audience very successfully.

This afternoon we will head towards Munich (DLR Oberpfaffenhofen) to receive our CDR. 

We will post daily updates in the following days, so make sure to tune in.

18.06.2017 [Video]

Original REXUS Nosecone
This is where the BlackBox will sit

3D Printing and original Nosecone

Today's video can be found as usually on Facebook or Twitter.

It contains the 3D printing-process of the last part missing for the complete (mechanical) assembly of our BlackBox. 

Additionally, we unveiled the original nosecone from the REXUS rocket, which arrived a few days ago. 

Also, the next couple of days will receive a larger density of updates, as the Team BlackBox is heading towards Munich to receive the Critical Design Review for the BlackBox, however Updates will mainly be posted on Facebook and Twitter, als well as Instagram.

The mentioned video can be found under the following links under facebook or twitter:

A video of the entire assembly will be uploaded tomorrow.

16.06.2017 [Update]

Before the droptest

Drop Test

We made a drop test of one of our old 3D printed PLA prototypes in order to ensure the impact capabilites of our filling material (Aquasit).

After a fall from a four story high building, the brittle structure fractured into multiple pieces, as it was expected. We meanwhile switched to aluminium, which will hold up a lot better in terms of impact strength. 

Later, we observed the damage and found out that the structure held up surprisingly well, even though it was made out of a material that is not made for spontaneous high loads. The sides fractured a bit, but the main compartment, where all our important electronic hardware will be, did not receive any damage whatsoever. 

Also, the filling material matched our expectations, as no severe damage could be detected. Only the first couple of millimeters of the exposed top coating were penetrated, as it can be seen on the pictures. 

An additional video can either be found under the following links under facebook or twitter:



09.06.2017 [Announcement]

Nice big image with the new projector
Our team, busy in the conference room
CNC milled lower casing structure
CNC milled lower casing structure
FM Transmitter
D-SUB Connector
Some Antennas
Iridium Module
Iridium Module
All New Parts
All New Parts

BIG News

This is quite a big update, concerning the following points:

·         [Announcement]               Review Videos coming soon

·         [Announcement]               Now also on Instagram 

·         [Announcement]               Droptest Video coming soon

·         [Event]                             CDR Oberpfaffenhofen

·         [Update]                           SED Review

·         [Update]                           All components arrived

The first announcement has already come true, as you can see on facebook and twitter with the following links:

From now on, we will post our updates also in a video format, as it increases the connection between the audience and us.

Additionally to the new update format, we have launched our new Instagram account, which can be found with the following link:


By using Instagram, we can share photos and general content of our project much faster.

The third announcement is going to come live on facebook within a few days. We made a drop test with one of our older 3D printed lower casing structures in order to test the capabilities of the resin, that we casted into the structure. We were able to see, that the resin does what it is supposed to do: Secure all electrical components from impact damage.

At the end of July, we are heading again to the DLR Oberpfaffenhofen, near Munich, in order to receive our Critical Design Review (CDR).

Concerning this Event, we just had a few meetings in order to prepare our SED Version 2.0. We merged all the different parts of the document that each of us had prepared in advance.

Furthermore, we now have taken delivery of nearly every component that is needed in order to finalize the build.

We received the final CNC-milled structure made out of aluminium, two IRIDIUM modules, several antennas, GPS receivers, DSUB connectors, FM transmitter, and many more.

27.04.2017 [Announcement]

Cactus Technologies

We would like to have a major shout-out to CACTUS TECHNOLOGIES (, who generously sponsored our project by providing five microSD cards of the type KS4GRIT-803M. However, those microSD cards are not just any generic cards, as they are industrial grade cards that were tested in extreme environments and are specified for rather ludicrous numbers:

· Extended temperature range: -45°C to 90°C
· Shock: 3000G
· Vibration: 20G
· Height: 100.000ft (+)
· Seq Read/Write: 20/17 MB/s
· Capacity: 4GB
· Warranty: 5 Years

Therefore these cards offer the greatest possible specifications for our needs out of all Flash Storage manufacturers. Additionally, they arrived within basically no time from Hong Kong.
So, a massive thank you to you guys, keep up the great work!

30.03.2017 [Update]

A view on the pressure gauge
The complete vacuume chamber, including professional filming gear

Vacuum chamber

Thursday was an exciting day for Team BlackBox.

We were able to test our prototype inside a vacuum chamber in order to test the capabilities of the carbon hydride reside “Aquasid” that we plan to use to a) Hold all components in place inside the BlackBox, b) Dampen the impact and c) Secure the electronics from moisture after the impact.

Take a glimpse on the pictures to see some more details.

The reside held up just fine at a pressure of only 2.4 millibars and showed no essential change in viscosity or shape. Just a few air filled bubbles that were left over from the filling process came out, but in a controlled manner that did not do any damage. Even some weak points that we inserted, just before the test, showed no negative result.

Next on, we will have to test the thermal resistance of the reside in order to finally conclude, whether it is considerable for the use in our project.

There are still some more exciting news to share with you:

We are proud to introduce our new team member Alexander Schiller to you! He will have important supporting tasks, such as the localization system and overall programming. If you want to get him to know a little better, here you have a direct link to our introduction page:

Furthermore, at the meeting, we discussed some more technical details in the mechanical and electric group. We make great progress and wait only for the approval of our parts list, so that we can start building first electrical prototypes.

Additionally, the SED V2.0 is in production for the CDR that is taking place in a few weeks.

Last but not least, our merchandise plans finally get real. We want to get ourselves a pullover and a polo shirt, though that has yet to be decided. We want the logos of all our sponsors on it, as well as our name and the logo of our project. Currently we are working on how we want that to generally look like. Maybe you have some ideas, too?

Just comment on our facebook or twitter page and feel free to ask any open questions!

23.03.2017 [Update]

Team Split

As I've skipped last week's update 'cause the lack of major news, I'll now briefly catch up with what happened last week and then inform you about yesterday’s meeting and to also give you a glimpse on what's next on the agenda.

The biggest news from last week are probably, that we've now splitted into two different teams, which are from now on working simultaneously on the two main developing aspects of the experiment: mechanics and electrics. We try to meet once a week within our smaller teams, however we still meet once a week with the entire team to communicate updates.

Within the first meeting of the electrical team, which I am a part of, we've gathered most electrical components that we need in order to start experimenting, and assembled a list, so that we can order in the next few days.

In the following meeting with the entire team, we've discussed new ways to construct our main casing structure, which included the number of parts, material choice and possible manufacturing methods.

At the meeting of the electrical team, last monday, we have reviewed the ordering list, added a few things and were also pushing progress forwards in terms of the code, that will run on our microcontrollers, as well as the construction of the circuit boards, using Autodesk Eagle.

Yesterday’s meeting covered the current time plan, which puts a 100% workload onto the electrical design. The parts list for the electrical system will be sent off to the dealers in a few days.  Additionally, we had a deep discussion about what antenna we would need, how it could look like and where it could be positioned in order to be efficient. Furthermore, we were debating the progress that we’ve made within the week, the potential risks that come with the use of carbon hydride resides and ideas on how to test its behavior in space-like conditions and last but not least the potential use of retractable control surfaces on the outside of the nose cone that enable us to guide the cone back to earth in a controlled manner.

And not to forget, we got our own, new room, which we will design to our needs in the next weeks. Pictures will definately follow!

Next week, we will hopefully be done with the development of the circuit design and the full implementation of the localization system and we will come one step closer to having our own merchandise, so stay tuned!

And as always, if you're interested in more detailed information about the processes that are going on here at the IAT Bremen or within our team, just comment on facebook or twitter and your wish will be fulfilled.

02.03.2017 [Update]

PDR Review

After the PDR in Oberpfaffenhofen (GER) last week, we had a team meeting today, in order to talk about the outcomings of the training week and the reviews, we received by experts.

We generally got great feedback. However, there are still certain areas within the project on which we need to work on quite quickly. The expert’s recommendations were focusing pretty much every aspect of the project: From mechanics over electrical systems to the outreach activities. In order to apply every needed change until the CDR (Critical Design Review)takes place in only a few weeks, we will now combine all our effort into improving our working structure and productivity.

The next meeting with the entire team will take place on the 9th of march.

If you are interested in gaining more details about the improvements or if you have any questions, feel free comment to this post on our facebook page:

16.02.2017 [Update]

Printing of lower casing structure 2.0 and PDR preparations

After some core functional tests of our first prototype, we printed the casing design again, but this time with some modifications. 

Also, it looks much better in black!

Furthermore, we have almost finished the last preparations concerning the PDR (Preliminary Design Review) in Oberpfaffenhofen, where we are heading to on sunday.

Our abidance at the DLR Oberpfaffenhofen also includes a trainings week and hopefully many new contacts with the various teams of the REXUS 24 campaign.

30.01.2017 [Update]

Lower casing structure

First 3D printed prototype ready for testing

The 3D printer has successfully finished the production of the lower casing structure and therefore our first prototype part is ready for testing.

Nonetheless, there are still many parts to follow, so stay tuned for further pictures and videos from the next prints!

27.01.2017 [Update]

3D Printer

Finished SED and 3D printing

As already announced the day before, we today finally got our hands on the 3D printing table and started to produce the first prototype of the lower casing structure. However, it is still not finished, as the printing process is taking an estimated duration of 87 hours. The so far printed structure looks good and can later be used for evaluating further enhancements, as well as first tests. 
It is a great opportunity that we have access to all the necessary hardware, here at the IAT.

Additionally, we were able to finish the SED (Student Experiment Document). It took a long time, but we are glad that we are finally done with version 1.0.

Enjoy the footage!

26.01.2017 [Announcement]

Internal review

New outreach and internal review

First, I would like to introduce myself:
My name is Leon Büchter and I am the new outreach for the BlackBox Project. I am studying aerospace engineering in the third semester at the University of Applied Sciences Bremen and I am the head of social media management within the BlackBox team. Via Facebook and our Website, which is currently being built up, I will inform and update you about our current status. Additionally, I will help with the electronics.

Every scientific project has to have a documentation, in our case, that is the SED, also known as the Student Experiment Document. As you might guess, such a documentation in rocket science has to fulfill a great number of regulations. The BlackBox Project underlies the specifications of EuroLaunch and REXUS/BEXUS. So, today’s task was to apply the formal guideline into the document, as well as evaluating and correcting mistakes in the pre-public version of the SED, in order to publish it as version 1.0 within a few days.
Contents of the correction were e.g. the datasheet, table of contents, preface, system description, introduction and experiment concept. Especially the revision of the requirements (Functional Requirements, Performance Requirements, Design Requirements and last but not least Operational Requirements)has to be mentioned, which is both extremely important as well as time consuming. These have to be carefully chosen, in order to set realistic goals for our project.

The internal review took a few hours longer than previously estimated and is continued the next morning.


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