A team is being formed for our second effort at competing in the AAS / AIAA CanSat Competition (Official Site). The members of last year's team will be passing on their hardware and knowledge to the new members, who will have the advantage of being able to learn from their efforts.
In this competition, which is open to high school
and university students from Canada, the USA and
Mexico, students are given the opportunity to
take part in a design-build-launch competition
for space-related topics. Similar contests exist
in other fields of engineering, but the majority
of Space related competitions, especially at the
high school/undergraduate level are paper design
only, much like the 4th Year Satellite project
held at Carleton. While these are worthwhile activities,
there are certain aspects of experience gained
only through taking part in an end-to-end life
cycle of a complex engineering project, from design
to integration and testing, re-design, application,
in this case launching, and finally a post-mission
debrief and summary report.
The competition allows students to develop a deployable
Satellite designed to fit into a large aluminum
drink can, under the strict specifications released
by the competition organizing committee.
The most basic of these specifications include:
Building a CanSat that will land in an
2. The descent rate cannot exceed 15 feet/sec
and must be proven with sensor data.
3. Upon landing, release the parachute from the
4. Send telemetry data indicating altitude during
descent in 5 second intervals or faster.
5. The CanSat shall not exceed 500 grams mass.
6. The CanSat shall be 2.6 inches diameter and
not exceed 8 inches in height.
7. Parachute is to be automatically deployed when
the CanSat is deployed.
8. The CanSat power must last for at least one hour.
9. The cost of the CanSat hardware must not exceed
Beyond these basic specifications, there includes
two bonus assignments, such as 1) including a
camera in the design to take aerial pictures of
the horizon and 360 degree panoramic photographs,
or 2) landing as close as possible to the latitude/longitudinal
coordinates given to the teams after the CanSat
has been deployed.
Being an Engineering project, full documentation
must be kept, including a Preliminary Design Report
(PDR) which must be submitted early on in the
competition. Also, a Critical Design Report (CDR),
which must be accompanied by a Presentation of
the Teams design, findings and failure analysis,
if necessary, must be presented at the competition,
generally held in June.
Were still looking for interested and dedicated
Team Members! Simply click the JOIN link or come
out to a meeting! For more information check The CanSat