Introduction to CanSat

What is a CanSat?

img_1360A CanSat is a representation of a real satellite, integrated within the volume and shape of a soft drink can (330 ml). The challenge for the students is to fit all the major subsystems found in a satellite, such as power, sensors and a communication system, into this minimal volume. The CanSat is then launched to an altitude of a few hundred meters by a rocket or dropped from a platform, a drone or captive balloon, and its mission begins: to carry out a scientific experiment and achieve a safe landing.

CanSats offer a unique opportunity for students to have a first practical experience of a real space projects. They are responsible for all aspects: selecting its mission, designing the CanSat, integrating the components, programming the on-board computer, testing, preparing for launch and then analysing the data.

There different CanSat-kits

In this documentation three different CanSat kits have been described:

The version 3 and the version 6.2 CanSat-kits are both based on an Arduino Uno board and a sensor shield board. The NAROM 2018 is based on a Teensy 3.5 and is programmed in the Arduino programming language like the other versions.

Arduino is an open-source electronics prototyping platform based on flexible, easy-to-use hardware and software. It’s intended for artists, designers, hobbyists, and anyone interested in creating interactive objects or environments. Arduino can sense the environment by receiving input from a variety of sensors and can affect its surroundings by controlling lights, motors, and other actuators.

Here are some examples on Arduino projects:

Arduino Uno R3 (Wikipedia)

Arduino Uno R3 (Wikipedia)

·         Make an automatic night light which switches on when its dark

·         Intrusion alarm

·         Thermostat

·         Line Follower Robot

·         Ham radio Morse code keyed/propagation beacon.

·         Graphical calculator that graphs serial inputs on a graphical LCD.

·         Wi-Fi controlled RC-Car

Many more ideas can be found at http://arduino.cc/playground/Projects/Ideas

Version 3 CanSat kit:

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Sensor Shield (Version 3) with components placed on an Arduino Uno

The version 3 CanSat shield

The sensor shield card has been developed at the University of Aalborg by Professor Jens Dalsgaard Nielsen and Simon Jensen. The shield has been designed to include:

  • Communication radio (APC220) with antenna
  • Pressure sensor (MPX4115A)
  • Temperature sensor (LM35DZ)
  • Temperature sensor (NTC 10k)
  • Three axis accelerometer ±3/9g (MMA7341LC)
  • SD storage card (OpenLog)

You can find information, building instructions and a lot more for the version 3 CanSat here.

Version 6.2 CanSat kit:

Sensor shield version 6.2 with components placed on an Arduino Uno

The version 6.2 CanSat shield

The sensor shield card has been developed at the University of Aalborg by Professor Jens Dalsgaard Nielsen and Simon Jensen. The shield has been designed to include:

  • Communication radio (APC220) with antenna
  • Temperature sensor (NTC 10k)
  • a multiple sensor package GY-91, with pressure sensor, accelerometer, magnetometer and gyroscope
  • MicroSD storage card (OpenLog)

You can find information, building instructions and a lot more for the version 6.2 CanSat here.

 

The NAROM 2018 CanSat kit:

NAROM 2018 CanSat shield with components

The NAROM 2018 CanSat shield, up- and down side

The NAROM 2018 CanSat kit is based on a Teensy 3.5 processor and includes an analogue temperature sensor and a digital sensor package GY-91.

 

 

You can find information, building instructions and a lot more for the NAROM 2018 CanSat here.