CSE Students Prepare for the 2014 CanSat Competition
The 2014 CanSat Competition - an American Astronomical Society (AAS), American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) sponsored competition - will be taking place in Burkett, Texas from June 13-15.
The competition requires a team of 10 undergraduate engineers from multiple different countries to design, build, test and launch an atmospheric probe - otherwise known as a "CanSat". The team's probe must be designed to descend safely without the use of a parachute and protect a standard egg upon landing. The CanSat competition gives students the fulfillment of being involved with the end-to-end life cycle of a complex engineering project - from conceptual design, through integration and test, actual operation of the system, and concluding with a post-mission summary and debrief.
The competition has four separate scoring components: a preliminary design review, a critical design review, the actual flight operation, and a post flight review.
In order to prepare for the competition, the two University of Minnesota teams - "Team Minn-SAT-a" and "Team Skyfall" - are diligently working on test-launching their probes. Both teams' recent launches were successful. Team Minn-SAT-a is using solar panels to power its sensors, auto-rotating propeller blades, and XBEE radio to stream flight data wirelessly to the ground station. The two teams still have their share of work before the competition, but are confident in their CanSats this year.Don't forget to change the title of the page too!
"We are extremely excited to travel to Texas to compete in the international competition," said Daniel Bickelhaupt, Project Leader for Team Minn-SAT-a. "Both teams have had successful test launches in the past month, which have validated our CanSat's design and should help give us a leg up on the competition."
Last year, the U of M team - "Iron Gopher" - came in 6th place out of a total of 22 teams. This year, the two teams are hoping to place in the top five.