David, Jerome; Estenoz, Matthew; Kamal, Wasif; Liffrig, Matthew; Nevalga, Aaron; O’Connell, Sean; & Ortiz, Bridgette.
The Project Icarus heliostat design is intended to be simple and easy to manufacture; it does not require complex parts such as bearings or planetary gear trains. It is constructed mostly of 3-D printed parts to ensure the price is within budget, the design remains simplistic, and to facilitate rapid prototyping. A 1:5 gear ratio along both the azimuth and elevation axes ensure step accuracy within 0.5° in each direction. The spur gears are simply pressed against each other with sliding fits. The gears have pins that are matched to locating holes that maintain proper spacing. In addition, this design allows the motors to be positioned without bolts. The heliostat also features proper and unique casing to protect the internal components from the harsh Las Vegas environment. The casing and components are incredibly easy to assemble and disassemble. The gear systems are actuated by Nema-17 stepper motors and use an ESP32 microcontroller board to communicate commands from a central module. Two micro limit switches are placed onto the design to prevent over rotation. Overall, the cost of the design was calculated to be$40.30 which account for the shaft collar, heat set screw, and plastic printed components.