Meet the team: Eclipse

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ESA / Education / CanSat
Teacher: Stephen Patterson
Team members: Matthew Willetts (team leader, group leader of research & development), Alexander Turdean (group leader of fabrication & materials), Bryant Tan (group leader of electronics & programming), Jacob Ader (research & development), Cameron Lemon (research & development), Edward Scallan (fabrication & materials), John Beckett (fabrication & materials), Tim Palmer (fabrication & materials), Seah Quah (electronics & programming), Mihir Bhushan (electronics & programming)
School: St. Paul’s School, London
Country: United Kingdom

Description of the CanSat Missions:

The CanSat would act as a Dropsonde, producing a wind profile of its descent to facilitate the accurate placement of the drop of a hypothetical second payload.
How the cansat is moved by the wind during the descent can be turned into accurate data about wind velocities at different altitudes.
Knowing wind patterns can significantly improve the precision of airdrop placement if the wind is corrected for in the release of a payload.


We have added a digital compass to the design of the CanSat allowing us to calculate the direction of acceleration as is necessary for us to work out wind velocity. We have also added a GPS antenna that allows us to get a good signal, etched a custom designed PCB for the GPS chip to interface with the CanSat, and lathed a new CanSat body and lid out of aluminium that is lighter and stronger than our previous designs.

We have also written a set of programs for the ground-station to allow us to extract data from the packet engine, calculate our wind profile and visualise the result. We have created a new transmission protocol to allow us to send all our data at small time increments, added an EEPROM in case of radio link failure, and recalibrated the temperature sensor. We have also carried out a balloon test to test the electronics, and a test is planned for the parachutes.