IPB

Welcome Guest ( Log In | Register )

3 Pages V  < 1 2 3  
Reply to this topicStart new topic
Viking '75 Mars Lander Construction, Looking for Viking lander design/construction information
Tom Dahl
post Jun 6 2016, 11:48 PM
Post #31


Junior Member
**

Group: Members
Posts: 57
Joined: 3-May 12
From: Massachusetts, USA
Member No.: 6392



On May 20 I visited the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington DC to photograph the Viking lander Proof Test Capsule (PTC), which has recently been undergoing conservation prior to being re-exhibited in the remodeled Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall. Thanks to the very kind assistance of Matthew Shindell, curator in the space history department, and Jessica Bulger of the collections department, I had an hour of special access prior to museum opening. This allowed me to get over and under the lander for detail photography, and include scale references against some components. The result was nearly 900 images I've processed, added descriptions, and uploaded in a new public album.

This was the last time in probably quite a while that 360-degree access will be possible to the Viking PTC due to the new exhibit arrangement that will not allow the "back" (leg 1 area) to be readily seen. For the past few decades the PTC has been exhibited in a very professional glass-walled module, which allowed 360-degree views but mostly through one or two panes of brown-tinted glass. For a short period this spring, including the recent day I was photographing, the lander was removed from that module (which is not being re-used). Thus reflection- and smudge-free images were possible, and I took great advantage of the opportunity - hence the large size of my new album. (During three visits in 2011 and 2012 I acquired about 450 earlier images, some of which suffer from glass artifacts.) Most of the images were taken later on May 20 during normal operating hours, around and between the temporary barriers surrounding the lander. But the early-morning hour with the Smithsonian staff allowed unusual details to be captured, for which I am very grateful! It was a privilege to be granted such access. Thank you Matthew and Jessica.

On a related note my on-going project to create a high-fidelity digital 3D model of the Viking lander continues. I decided to try having a commercial 3D print made of some small parts, for fun. I had to choose something which I had already modeled (of course!), which had a minimum wall thickness large enough to be within the printing capability (which eliminates some parts, even at full scale), and which was not cost-prohibitively large. I chose to print one of the guide roller assemblies that interfaced between the lander and its Base Cover guide rails:
Attached Image

The vendor I chose (partly based on materials and print technology availability) is i.materialize based in Belgium. As can be seen in the image there are three wheels, which spin nicely on their (separately printed) axles. The faceting visible in the curved rollers is how the digital model was designed, for simplicity. The axles have 0.02-in (wide and deep) grooves near their ends for retaining clips, which printed satisfactorily. The wheels and axles were printed in "prime gray" and the body was printed in "high detail resin".
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Tom Tamlyn
post Jun 7 2016, 05:53 AM
Post #32


Member
***

Group: Members
Posts: 308
Joined: 1-July 05
From: New York City
Member No.: 424



QUOTE (Tom Dahl @ Jan 16 2016, 10:15 AM) *
I just completed a new video animation of my work-in-progress digital 3D SketchUp model of the Viking lander (which is freely available at the preceding link). This video is nearly six minutes long and shows detailed operation of the lander leg mechanisms, with cut-away sections revealing internal latches, springs, the honeycomb attenuator, pin-puller, etc.

I had assumed that your interesting project was to create a detailed 3D model of the external shape of the Viking lander. This animation includes some selected internal details. Was that a limited extravagance, or is it your goal ultimately to include all the internal mechanisms as well? Or perhaps you simply intend to pursue as much detail as you can find, whether internal or external.
QUOTE
Thanks to the very kind assistance of Matthew Shindell, curator in the space history department, and Jessica Bulger of the collections department, I had an hour of special access prior to museum opening. This allowed me to get over and under the lander for detail photography, and include scale references against some components.

Did this session satisfy all of your needs for examination of the Proof Test Capsule? Or is there ongoing tension between your interests and the Smithsonian's view of its mission and responsibilities?
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Tom Dahl
post Jun 7 2016, 11:42 PM
Post #33


Junior Member
**

Group: Members
Posts: 57
Joined: 3-May 12
From: Massachusetts, USA
Member No.: 6392



My main goal is to model essentially all exterior piece-parts of lander hardware (though I'm undecided about a few external components such as the prominent wiring bundles - they would be hard to model and I don't have good data on the routing of the Flight lander wiring, which differs from the PTC and other test-unit wiring in various places). I would like to model the interior but I lack sufficient references to do a high-fidelity job on most items (and doing so would add about two years to the project). I'm doing selected "hidden" parts for which I have good information and which catch my eye, such as the leg mechanisms and the three interior struts that support the large Terminal Descent Landing Radar (TDLR) box below the lander body. I plan to model the Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTGs) to a good level of detail because they are such iconic devices and I have the info. I'm not sure about internals of the three Terminal Descent Engines (TDEs), I've got almost enough information on them.

In my fantasy I would also model the Aeroshell and its numerous components, and the Base Cover and Mortar Support Truss. But they would entail another couple years' work, so that's very uncertain.

Regarding my recent Viking research at the Smithsonian NASM, it was wonderful and a real privilege to be allowed a one-hour session right up against the lander with a collections specialist! To be clear I am not affiliated with any institutions, the staff did not know me, and I have no formal credentials. Thus being granted that access was an honor for which I am grateful. With that said there was a LOT of additional information I would have loved to acquire. Quite understandably (for the reasons above) I was not permitted to make contact with the lander myself. I did provide references to my earlier visits at NASA Langley, the Virginia Air and Space Center, the California Science Center, the Museum of Flight in Seattle, and the founders of the Viking Mars Missions Education and Preservation Project, who all allowed me to take direct careful measurements of authentic lander hardware. I could have spent ten hours gathering measurements and still not covered everything on my "PTC Bucket List." But I completely understand why that was not permitted.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Tom Dahl
post Aug 7 2016, 01:18 PM
Post #34


Junior Member
**

Group: Members
Posts: 57
Joined: 3-May 12
From: Massachusetts, USA
Member No.: 6392



I recently completed a 12-minute making-of video that illustrates some of the research methods and modeling approaches I've been taking during creation of the Viking lander digital model.

In July I was delighted to show and discuss the model at the 40th landing anniversary event organized by the Viking Mars Missions Education and Preservation Project, with a personal invitation by Rachel Tillman. The event was sponsored by Lockheed Martin and held at the Wings over the Rockies Air and Space Museum in Denver CO. The lander was built by Lockheed Martin heritage company Martin Marietta just outside Denver. I met a number of original Viking folks at the event, which was a treat!
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Tom Dahl
post Nov 22 2016, 01:11 AM
Post #35


Junior Member
**

Group: Members
Posts: 57
Joined: 3-May 12
From: Massachusetts, USA
Member No.: 6392



This past weekend I completed a 3D digital model (using SketchUp) of the Viking lander's Surface Sampler Collector Head, a complicated electro-mechanical device. Here is an image comparing the model to an actual spare unit that I was able to examine at NASA Langley Research Center in 2014:
Attached Image

The 3D model contains all major and many minor internal components which allow it to virtually "operate" as the real thing. Here is a cut-away showing the internal sealed DC gear-motor (in gray), the motor-housing/gimbal structure (partly in green, to signify a somewhat approximated design due to lack of references), the solenoid (behind the lid), and the ring magnet arrays in the backhoe:
Attached Image

Here is an exploded view of the parts:
Attached Image

The model has been uploaded to the SketchUp 3D Warehouse. My thanks to the Viking Mars Missions Education and Preservation Project for providing some valuable collector head internal design documentation from Martin Marietta.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Tom Dahl
post Dec 24 2016, 04:30 PM
Post #36


Junior Member
**

Group: Members
Posts: 57
Joined: 3-May 12
From: Massachusetts, USA
Member No.: 6392



I've completed modeling the hardware that mounts the Surface Sampler Collector Head to the sampler boom or arm. Here are some renderings of the model:
Attached Image

Attached Image

Attached Image
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
rlorenz
post Dec 25 2016, 03:58 PM
Post #37


Member
***

Group: Members
Posts: 441
Joined: 23-February 07
From: Occasionally in Columbia, MD
Member No.: 1764



QUOTE (Tom Dahl @ Dec 24 2016, 11:30 AM) *
I've completed modeling the hardware that mounts the Surface Sampler Collector Head to the sampler boom or arm. Here are some renderings of the model:


Amazing achievement, Tom. Keep posting about this great project..
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post

3 Pages V  < 1 2 3
Reply to this topicStart new topic

 



RSS Lo-Fi Version Time is now: 24th March 2017 - 12:14 PM
RULES AND GUIDELINES
Please read the Forum Rules and Guidelines before posting.

IMAGE COPYRIGHT
Images posted on UnmannedSpaceflight.com may be copyrighted. Do not reproduce without permission. Read here for further information on space images and copyright.

OPINIONS AND MODERATION
Opinions expressed on UnmannedSpaceflight.com are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of UnmannedSpaceflight.com or The Planetary Society. The all-volunteer UnmannedSpaceflight.com moderation team is wholly independent of The Planetary Society. The Planetary Society has no influence over decisions made by the UnmannedSpaceflight.com moderators.
SUPPORT THE FORUM
Unmannedspaceflight.com is a project of the Planetary Society and is funded by donations from visitors and members. Help keep this forum up and running by contributing here.