CanSat Lift-off in European Finale
Here the activities of the Astra Aethers team are shared in a BLOG.
This week, our crowdfunding project went live via TaunaCrowd. Our goal: 2350 € in order to cover transportation costs and other technical expenses. For every amount over 10 €, TaunaCrowd will donate an additional 5 €. There will also be rewards from us for donating.
Feel free to check out the donation portal: https://www.taunacrowd.de/astraaether-europafinale
We are a bit further with the last technical problems of the CanSat, but are still waiting for parts to be delivered there in order to continue. What is getting closer now is the pre-flight report, which we now have to finish writing. In the coming week, this will be our highest priority.
Over the last few weeks, we have been busy putting the improved design of the CanSat into practice and building it. The largest hurdles have now been overcome, but there are still small optimizations to be made to the reaction wheel and the integration of the NIR camera. This will be our highest priority for this week!
Within the European competition it is mandatory to have a continuous radio signal to the ground station. In order to be able to guarantee this during the real mission, we carried out some radio tests today in Rheingau, Germany.
By a happy coincidence we met Mr. Guischard, the fire director of the local fire department, at a dance evening at the Karabey dance school. He generously organized a press conference for us at the Bad Homburg Fire Department, which we successfully held today. Present were various newspapers as well as our sponsor, Mr. Karabey, and potential new supporters. Before the press conference, we were given an explanation of the modern measurement technology used in disaster control. During the conference, we presented both the progress of the national competition and the upcoming challenges, highlighting in particular our secondary mission. Afterwards, we were able to answer further questions in a conversation.
We are pleased to have received media and financial support, as well as the possibility of closer cooperation with the fire department in our mission to identify fire hazards.
In view of the European final of the CanSat competition, we have redesigned our satellite to integrate new, better components with a more efficient design. In this respect, we had to design new PCBs, which have been ordered today and will hopefully arrive soon. Then we can test the first prototypes of the new satellite.
During this week, which was characterized by sleepless nights, our team was in Bremen. There we visited OHB, ArianeGroup, DLR and ZARM. Furthermore, presentations took place in which we presented ourselves and our CanSat to the jury. But the most important thing was the launch day on Wednesday. On this day our CanSat was launched in a rocket to a height of about 700 m. The following day the presentations about the evaluation of the data collected during the flight followed. Despite many obstacles, such as wobble contacts, which occurred during the week of the launch campaign, we were able to have a partially functioning satellite launched. Strong perseverance, teamwork and extraordinary presentations helped us to win first place. This means that we will now represent Germany in the European finals of the CanSat competition.
Since there were so many ups and downs this week that we can't tell you all about in one post, here is more information and pictures.
Today we handed in our final report. In this 31-page document we elaborated our documentation about our work in the CanSat competition.
On February 24 we had our sponsor meeting with eBiz Consulting and it was a great success. We were warmly welcomed and served a delicious lunch. It was a great opportunity to connect with the team. At the beginning of the meeting, we presented our interim status to the eBiz representatives. We detailed our progress and outlined the next steps for our project. We received positive feedback from eBiz. Finally, we answered questions that eBiz had during the meeting. These questions were mainly about the technical aspects of our project and the challenges we have in implementing it. By answering these questions, we were able to make sure we were all on the same page and that our project could move forward smoothly. Overall, the sponsor meeting with eBiz Consulting was a complete success. We would like to thank eBiz for the valuable support they have given us so far and for their continued collaboration on our project.
On Friday, a training for our team took place at the University of Trier, which gave us an understanding of the analysis of satellite data. A whole semester module was compressed into a three-hour lecture. The data came from the European Space Agency ESA and were accordingly very extensive and complex.
However, the training was very well structured and easy to understand, so that we all quickly got an overview of the most important aspects of data evaluation. Our queries were answered in detail and supported with expert knowledge.
After this training, we have developed a comprehensive understanding of data evaluation of satellite data and are confident that we will be able not only to achieve correct results in terms of content, but also to create descriptive presentations. The lecture showed us that it is possible to present even very complex data in an understandable way.
Overall, the training was a very valuable experience for our team, which will help us in the analysis of our satellite data. We are grateful for the support!
Today was the first of three days of filming with the "Sendung mit der Maus". We were accompanied during our drop test. In order to experimentally determine the ideal parachute size calculated beforehand, we threw our CanSat from the school tower. The weather was great and we all had a lot of fun. We are looking forward to the next shooting day in March to present the technology behind the satellite.
Today we met with two students at the University of Stuttgart. They themselves are part of a group of students who build model satellites that have already been in space. They take part in various competitions themselves and among them are even former KFG students and former CanSat winners. Soon their satellite will be launched into orbit. We were also told how their homemade rockets are manufactured, what processes are necessary and how their teamwork is coordinated. It was a very interesting day, where we and the whole LemaS-AG got a deep insight into professional working methods on the subject of aerospace technology.
Today we visited the company The Vatrix in Frankfurt as part of the LemaS project. Over a period of three hours, we presented the various projects to each other. We are very enthusiastic about the VR and AR technology that The Vatrix markets in an educational context. Furthermore, we see a huge potential in their solutions to bring digital elements closer to younger students. Therefore, we believe a future collaboration is a good possibility. We would like to thank The Vatrix for giving us the opportunity to introduce ourselves and their VR and AR technology.
Today our "Breadboard CanSat" was finished. That means, all sensors are wired as they will be installed in the later CanSat. This gives us the possibility to develop the program of the CanSat already before the PCBs are there and the finished CanSat is built.
Today was the open day of our school. As part of our self-directed LemaS-MINT-AG, we offered fourth graders to solder a circuit of 3 LEDs and a battery, which was built into a self-printed smiley that could be taken home. Furthermore, we informed young students and parents about KFG's offers to support gifted students and to participate in extracurricular competitions.
In the meantime, the PCBs and all other parts necessary for the CanSat have been ordered. We plan that in the next two weeks at the latest all parts will have arrived and we can then finish building the CanSat.
Today our first PCBs arrived, as planned in our schedule. Sadly, we made a mistake, which makes the pinholes too small and we have to design new PCBs.
Today we submitted the interim report for the CanSat competition. In this we inform the organizers about our current status and get direct feedback on it.
Today we entered into a scientific exchange with Prof. Dr. Udelhoven. Mr. Udelhoven teaches at the University of Trier and is project leader of the German BrandSat mission. This is a real satellite mission that serves to determine forest fire hazards. Therefore he is the ideal contact person for our mission. We had the opportunity to exchange information about our satellite mission and the implementation of the BrandSat mission. The conference so far has been very educational and we hope that the exchange will continue to be so profitable over the next months.
Many thanks for the support!
Today we held one of two meetings for fourth and fifth graders to give you a first insight into the STEM field. We introduced you to 3D modeling in the context of 3D printing. Afterwards you created labyrinths in teamwork with Tinkercad, which we will print for you until the next meeting.
Linus and Alina with Andreas Gernhard (CEO Hein+Gernhard)
After we have devoted ourselves extensively to the search for sponsors, we are now happy to announce that Jimdo, eBiz Consulting, Tanzschule Karabey, kit-technologies, taunus investments and Hein+Gernhard have joined us as sponsors. This allows us to run this website, to develop our satellite without any financial problems and also to have parts of highest quality produced.
Therefore a big thank you!
On 19.11 two of our team members, Alina and Linus, went to a Dancenight at their dance school: "Karabey". After a nice talk with Mr. Karabey the night before, it is clear - the Karabey Dance School supports us again this year as a sponsor. So they were allowed to give a little speech at the ball in front of all present, informing parents as well as students about the CanSat competition. This speech resulted in a new contact with a metal processing company, which may also soon become an official sponsor. All in all, a very nice evening at Karabey Dance School.
The speech can be viewed in full on our Insta account (astraaether). Feel free to stop by and take a look.
Today, part of our team was at the world's largest exhibition of 3D printing technologies. Over 800 companies presented their products and research. We tried to get in touch with as many of these companies as possible and tell them about our participation in the competition. We gained a lot from the conversations. In addition, we were able to expand our network. Whether this will result in long-term support with sponsors will emerge in the coming days. We hope for the best.
Today the kick-off event of the CanSat competition took place. This is a video conference with all participating teams and the organizers of the competition. Thereby we got to know the team members as well as their exciting missions. Of course, we were also allowed to present ourselves and our secondary mission. Our conclusion: A great meeting! We are looking forward to the upcoming competition!
We already have the first prototype of what is probably our most difficult part of the competition: the Reaciton Wheel. Slight nudges and changes in the rotation are compensated. Some bugs still need to be fixed, otherwise it's a great start!
Today we received the confirmation mail - we are among the top 10 teams Germany-wide and are allowed to participate in the German CanSat competition 2022/23. There is a chance to participate on a European level. We are very happy to have received this chance and go straight to work!
All older BLOG updates can be found in the BLOG Archive.
Currently we participate in the CanSat competition, which is very costly due to its intensity. Therefore, we thank our sponsors:
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