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Kill Switches

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  • Kill Switches

    Hi Everyone,

    Can anyone out there share a little on how you implemented the remote kill switch? We were looking at several low-tech options as well as some commercial applications. What has worked for you in the past?

    Thanks in advance for any input!

    Michigan RobotX

  • #2
    Hi Michigan RobotX,

    If you have the engineering capacity I would suggest you develop your own kill system and architecture instead of getting it completely off the shelf lest you get locked into OEM supply chain and allows for customisation for the reliable architecture that you would need for safe continuous ASV operations.

    For us, our kill system is a custom independent daughter board which communicates directly to its own dedicated radio. It directly controls a contactor switching circuit which controls the power to the power controllers to drive the OBMs. The kill system communicates with the rest of the system over CAN Bus. The other thing that is shared is power. We have provisions for a short range kill box and long range kill over the Operator Control station which has a long range base station antenna system.

    In contingency cases we have designed the following:
    Loss of control over any of the other daughterboards or to the SBC -> Kill system is not affected, the hardware kill will continue to function
    Sudden Power failure to kill system only- default state of contactor is Normally Open, thrusters will deactivate
    Short circuit of power to the kill system with undetermined state on the MCU output-> Thrusters can be deactivated via remote controllers or over the datalink(basically via the rest of the system)
    Short circuit of everything: Hopefully we will never reach such a state because that would mean we need a third redundancy system haha

    Hope this helps!