Ad Astra - to the stars
What is happening with the temperature and the air pressure during a flight with the CanSat-rocket.
How can objects, distributed on the ground be precisely located from the air? To answer these questions, we are developing a small satellite - a CanSat.
We are the Team Ad Astra from Halle (Saale) in Saxony-Anhalt.
We are connected by our shared interest in science, air and space technology, astronomy and technics.
Because a CanSat is a simulation of a real space mission and includes all these sub-areas, the CanSat competition is an interesting challenge for us. Our satellite will measure and record air pressure and temperature.
In addition, a camera will be installed, which will make it possible to take aerial photographs. Their analysis shall later provide information about the position and type of objects distributed on the ground.
"A CanSat is a "satellite" the size of a soda can that is designed, built and programmed by teams of students.
This mini-satellite is launched by a rocket to an altitude of hundreds of meters and then falls to the ground on a parachute.
During this process, the satellite is designed to take measurements and perform other tasks for which it has been designed.
A CanSat serves as a model of a real space mission because it goes through essentially the same phases that a real space mission goes through:
Planning the mission, constructing the satellite, testing the individual components and the entire system, conducting the mission, processing and analyzing the data,
communication of the results. In this way, the CanSat competition offers dedicated and talented students the opportunity for a first practical and authentic experience with a space project.
The German CanSat Competition is integrated into the international competition of the European Space Agency (ESA). The winners of the German competition are qualified to participate in the European competition."
(Source CanSat Germany)
The CanSat is launched from a rocket and ejected at an altitude of about 1 km. During the flight, the CanSat is supposed to fulfill two missions:
The CanSat should measure temperature and air pressure, detect fall speed and altitude, and create a temperature profile using this data.
The second task that must be fulfilled, is the detection and localization of objects located on the ground. In this way, a map of these objects should be created that is as precise and to scale.
You can find more information here, on the homepage of CanSat Germany:
Hard- and software of our CanSat are extremely complex. That everything works as it should work (that our CanSat is able to execute the missions) took us a lot of work and effort. Here we give a short overview about the most important things of our CanSat
Our CanSat is protected during flight by a protective cover. It is made of carbon (carbon fiber reinforced polymers) and has two holes, one for the sensors so that they have direct contact with the surrounding air and one for the piper so that its signal is not absorbed by the cover.
A ballute is used as the recovery system for our CanSat. The word "ballute" is a portmanteau of the words "ballon" and "parachute", which also describes what a ballute is. The ballute guarantees the CanSat a stable flight behavior.
Our CanSat has two redundant systems. Each Arduino has its own camera installed and all important sensors are duplicated. This guarantees that if one of the systems fails, we still get all the important data for the analysis.