From 13.03 to 17.03 all participating teams met in Bremen. The daily program included presentations to the jury, visits to DLR, ArianeGroup, OHB, and other companies. Here we report on all the highs and lows of the launch campaign.
On Monday, we traveled to Bremen. Besides a visit to ZARM, the focus was on introducing all the teams and getting to know each other. During all the events it was a nice togetherness and we met a lot of cool people. However, we were also stressed because our satellite just started to give us wobbles. Although we already did tests on the train ride, it meant turning night into day and working on a solution for a new satellite.
Despite all the work, we were not able to present a working CanSat until the morning of the second day. While Hongye, Linus, and Alina held the poster presentation and presented the working CanSat in theory to the jury, we continued working on the CanSat in the hostel, overtired. Although solutions were found again and again, which were all good in themselves, they always broke down due to unnecessary mistakes made in a hectic rush. Thus we were able to hand over a CanSat at the technical acceptance - i.e. the delivery of the satellite - with a fraction of the installed technology compared to our original satellite. In the evening, we had focused on building a simple satellite to fulfill the primary mission from components kindly given to us by various other teams, in order to provide the Sendung mit der Maus with more data in an unofficial launch.
The only program item for the day was launching the satellites. Throughout the day, the "Sendung mit der Maus" watched over our shoulder and followed the completion of the primary mission CanSat. In the end, however, we also destroyed it by an accidental short circuit. But despite all the obstacles our own CanSat was able to record the best camera images in 9 years of CanSat competition. In the evening we quickly started to evaluate the data in order to be able to present them the next day.
During the night until morning we started working on the final presentation of the evaluated data. By not limiting ourselves to the pure evaluation of the data, but also introducing further error analyses and improvements, we were able to deliver a thoroughly solid presentation. From this point on we finally had time for relaxation. We explored Bremen, visited the local art museum and sang karaoke with other teams.
On the last day, we had an exciting visit to ArianeGroup, followed by the award ceremony. Through very good presentations during this week, as well as professional work over the last six months, we were able to take first place. This qualifies us as the representative of Germany for the European CanSat competition 2022/23. We are happy!
It was a really crazy week. There were an incredible number of lows, precisely due to the fact that our CanSat didn't work as intended. Plus a lack of sleep like hardly anyone on our team has ever experienced. But continuing to work was worth it. Giving up was never an option for us. So we kept working even at 5 a.m., despite hopeless odds of producing a working CanSat. The hard work in the months before was, of course, the basis for this. But the competition went beyond that. Many teams tried to carry out a mission with one camera, of which unfortunately no other team had managed to capture images. But it was during the data analysis phase that the scientific work came out, which was more important to all of us beyond the competition. Data was shared so that all teams could analyze data - even if not yours - in their own way. Therefore, we also shared our camera data with many other teams. Because it is important to mention that the night before, when we wanted to build a CanSat with technical content for the Sendung mit der Maus, we were supported by almost all teams with help in various ways. A big thank you for that as well.
Even though it was a competition we were attending this week, it didn't feel like one. Despite the ultimately competitive aspect, for the most part there was collaboration, which allowed us to meet many other students interested in technology. This experience was truly unique for us, so we would like to thank all the other participating teams from the bottom of our hearts.