We Have Lift Off

A team of Alleyn’s students have been working incredible hard in their own time to reach the National Finals of the ESERO CanSat competition - the European Space Agency competition to build a working satellite within the dimensions of a soft drink can.  

The highlight of the UK CanSat competition is the launch event, where each CanSat is launched to test its primary mission to successfully launch and secondary missions - in the Alleyn’s team case - to analyse pollution levels and look at if it is under heavy forces. 
 
Year 12 student, Ned, tells us more about his experience of the competition: 

After a whole years work, a team of Year 12 students finally finished building our satellite in a can for the CanSat competition. The CanSat competition is an event held by the European Space Agency every year and involves teams of school students participating in constructing and testing can shaped satellites. The students face a wide variety of STEM based problems, helping us to learn new skills, improve developing areas of knowledge and work more effectively as a team.  

On Wednesday 23 June the Alleyn’s CanSat team travelled to York to launch our satellite on a disused airfield. The launch was a significant learning experience for everyone involved. Each member of the team contributed to, and took something from the event, ready to apply the skills that had been learnt throughout the year. Unfortunately, when the capsule was launched the connection between the rocket and the ground station was lost, however the team had prepared for such an event and the data was automatically backed up onto the on-board SD card. This data was then retrieved, and a report was written up and sent to the judges from York University and members of the ESERO for review. 

This project has required an enormous amount of independence, where we had to teach ourselves a wide range of skills including computer programming, soldering, using the 2D laser cutter and 3D printer along with a wide range of DT skills. The teamwork has been impressive as all the different parts of the project have been integrated together by the team to make the working CanSat. 

Although challenging, this project has been fulfilling for all involved and a lot of fun. 

Huge congratulations to the whole team on their exceptional hard work and effort. The launch data has been validated and processed by a python program written by one of the team to produce graphs of all the atmospheric data. This will now be collated into a 15 minute presentation and sent to the judges. 

We look forward to hearing the final results at the end of July!