Meet the team: Aspire

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ESA / Education / CanSat
Teacher: Dr Stephen Patterson
Team members: Will Kaufhold (Team Leader / Systems and Control), Alex Foster (Materials and Design / P.R and Outreach), Neil Pabari (Materials and Design), Will Martin (Electronics and Programming), Erik Sullivan (Electronics and Programming), Sahl Khan (Electronics and Programming), Stuart Ashforth (Systems and Control), Philip Dinenis (Systems and Control), Raj Dua (Systems and Control), James Coxon (Systems and Control / Sponsorship)
School: St Paul’s School, Barnes
Country: England, Great Britain

Description of the CanSat missions:

We aim to direct our CanSat to a specific area on the ground, having pre-programmed said location into a GPS on the CanSat itself. This will mimic the auto correction mechanisms of long-term, unmanned satellites. We aim to integrate some degree of AI into the project, where the self-correction system works off a feedback from the GPS in real time.


Team Aspire is based upon the idea of aerial autonomy. We are in the process of constructing a Coca-Cola sized paraglider with attached motor. A program mirrors the through process of a pilot, and servomotors controlling break lines attached to the tail of the canopy effect a rotation. The control of angle of attack and fly to fall ratio is modulated by use of a deployable rotor, which generates thrust, in an identical manner to a modern paramotorist. Thus we aim to land on a position pre-defined by GPS.

We were recently very pleased to hear from the Institute of Mechanical Engineers who intend to feature our team in one of their monthly magazines. On the other hand, we are making contact with a reporter for Radio 4, and journalist for the Guardian and Observer: Samira Ahmed. We aim to publicise our efforts, and the advantages of studying the natural and mathematical sciences to a higher level. Consequently, we are also in the process of making contact with Jasmine Malone, a features writer for the Daily Telegraph. The national and international presence of all of the aforementioned newspapers should help us to gain further sponsorship, and to promote CanSat challenges on an multi-national basis.