ESA title

Meet the team: Yes, we cansat!

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ESA / Education / CanSat
Teacher: Stefan Zauner
Team members: Ludwig Fichtinger (team leader), Michael Heilingbrunner (programming and marketing), Gerald Hofmarcher (electronics and programming), Anton Hoessl (team leader, database connections), Tobias Kain (programming and antenna design), Dustin Kinast (database connections, marketing and programming), Lukas Kirchner (software development), Manuel Krenn (electronics and hardware design), Benjamin Sirninger (antenna design, programming), Robert Skawinski (electronics and programming)
School: Höhere Technische Lehranstalt für Informationstechnologie, Ybbs an der Donau (Technical High School for Information Technology)
Country: Austria

Description of the CanSat missions:

Our Cansat will be designed to measure the strength and anisotropies of the ultraviolet radiation in direct or reverse flight direction.
In space it could be used to analyse fixed stars, the cosmic background radiation field, to find pulsars or high density gas congregations.
In the course of the flight Cansat measures and transmits global positioning data, e.g. Cansat system time, coordinates and sea level. This data will be transmitted using our own protocol.
All the sensor data should be backed up in a non-volatile memory in Cansat if transmission should fail.
A video camera will be implemented to record the flight phase and to get some amazing pictures of the trip.
The students will develop their own omnidirectional antenna. A receiver will be coupled with a self-made electronic interface to couple received data to a database running on a laptop. This data can be analysed and visualized in freely configurable graphs. The actual flight path should be viewed in mapping software.
A Yagi Antenna will be designed and constructed by us. The mobile base station will also have an implemented GPS module. A display should show the actual positions of the CanSat, the mobile base station, the distance between them and a field strength meter of the CanSat receive signal to use it as a kind of digital compass to find the CanSat’s touchdown location easily.


CanSat progress:

Up to now we have successfully finished our first CanSat prototype which contains the CanSat A, B and C printed circuit boards. In the next step we'll implement the parachute and do test flights with the CanSat. All sensors are working well.

Mobile Ground Station:

We finished the design of both static ground stations and one mobile ground station. An LCD-display shows the positions of the CanSat and the ground station, the distance between them and the radio signal strength of CanSat's receive signal and its sea level. It can be used as digital compass to find the CanSat's touchdown location.

The antennas have been optimized once more. We changed from PL203 to N standard in combination with SMA connectors and we use some low-loss antenna cables to connect the ground stations with our antennas. The receivers are coupled via USB to laptops using selfmade java software code for data handling and error correction. Writing in a database works stably, the vizualisation program also runs fine in real time.

CanSat's travel path can be viewed in mapping software.