Ben's Recap

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Team LEVITATE had a great time designing a manned lunar vehicle and exploring the potential of returning to the Moon. If you want to check out our final documents, see my website:


RASC-AL Coming Up

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


Hey everyone!

So we are still working hard on our project (believe it or not!). Weare heading down to Cocoa Beach next week to present our design at the RASC-AL competition. It should be a lot of fun. We had to change the way we present our design a little bit, which is why all the hard work is still going on, even though its summer. We were at good 'ol E Hall till about 3:30 AM the other night, ouch.

All we have left to do is finish our poster, rebind our technical drawings and bind our report.

Can't wait to get down to Cocoa Beach!


Senior Design's Complete

Monday, May 10, 2010


It's been a crazy-busy semester, but we completed the primary design for LEVITATE last Monday (5/4). We presented the design to the UW community this past Wednesday; see the 46 minute mark in the presentation video. See also our final report (and bear in mind that the group collectively had 6 hours of sleep in the three preceding days...).

Next up we're heading to Madison East High School to participate in their annual Math Week event. We hope to show the students how useful and pervasive math is in engineering and cool projects.

After the outreach event we'll be heading to the RASC-AL competition in Cocoa Beach, FL, June 7-9. For this competition we'll be polishing some of the rough edges, especially the power, communications, and living elements. Before the competition we'll also project our design into a possible lunar exploration scenario to evaluate the vehicles operation.

As always, drop a comment or give us a tweet (@uw_levitate)


Friday, May 7, 2010


Hey Everyone!

We presented our design on Wednesday. It went very well and we had a lot of fun wrapping it up. A few more changes need to be made for the RASC-AL competition, but nothing too serious. Here is a picture of our final design.

End is in sight

Thursday, April 29, 2010


Sorry for not posting in a while but we are just swamped! Today is April the 30th and our final report is due on Monday, the 3rd so we're furiously trying to finish up now. We've been going through mountain dew and coffee by the gall full trying to keep ourselves motivated. As of now, we've got 345 engineering drawings in our folder and we anticipate another 150 to 200 in next coming days. We're looking to finish the drawings by Friday and work on our final report and presentations after that.
We will also be presenting at East High School's Math Week on May 18th. We encourage anyone interested in hearing about our project and space in general to attend!

Coming Together

Sunday, March 21, 2010


Hey everyone, Kevin here. Today is Sunday the 21st of March. Tomorrow we have a pretty substantial report due for our design class. At this point it is our responsibility to have the design nearly finalized and I think we are panicing a little! Most of our group was here at engineering hall last night (morning) until past 6am working on this design and we anticipate being up late again tonight! Fortunately some of us were able to break away for a while to watch the badgers get slaughtered by cornell.
All in all, even though we feel behind, I am optimistic about how mcuh we have really gotten done. The life support systems are almost all modeled in Solidworks, the fuel tanks and engine have been spec'ed, the structural frame has undergone some vibrational analysis and the crew cabin is starting to take serious shape. While I'm running on minimal amounts of sleep at the moment, I feel confident that we can hammer this out by the end of the semester. I'm looking forward to finishing up the design!

Damping Update

Saturday, March 20, 2010


Update on the damping system. We decided to go with dry damping (Couloumb Friction) to damp the landing. Essentially, the system will work like car brakes, using plates to rub against each other to create friction. We have done some preliminary calculations to see the response of LEVITATE when it touches down. Here is a graph showing the response, or the motion the crew will feel when they land.