… why the European CanSat competition of course! And there is a 1 in 10 chance of teams winning the Scottish CanSat Competition.
Other questions which can be answered in a similar way
- How many high school teams does it take to make a Scottish competition – 10, spanning seven regions across Scotland.
- What can explore, rove, measure, calibrate, photograph, record and fly 1km into the air to win a competition – a CanSat can.
- What is the maximum number of experiments you can you fit in a soft drinks can – well six at least it would seem…
- What has no wings, but flies; no legs but lands; no brain but analyses; and no body, but senses? A CanSat.
- Does it ‘do what is says on the tin’ – absolutely not it does a whole lot more, and most of it very technical and impressive…
Progress so far
Activity is moving apace in the competition with the 10 teams having submitted their first review in December (Critical Design Review) to a very high standard! The judges were very impressed with the quality and effort put into the submissions – organisation, planning, and outreach were all to a high standard, nevermind the technical progress and nouse of the teams.
Team names are: Team Alpha, Team Apogee, Titan, Dollar CanSat, MacCanX, Solatomic,Team Dynamo, Orbitech, Zvedza and Leven Orbit. And mission#2 keywords across the teams include: rovers, GPS, solar panels, soil samples, wind, UVA, CO2, radiation and altitude to name but a few!
A great start to the competition, and a high standard to keep up with over the next few months. The next submission is mid-Feb, so keep up the good work teams!
Microlighting and CanSat
As a (related) aside, there is a series on BBC2 on Mondays (9pm) called Wonderland, and I happened to watch episode3 of 8: “The Real Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines“. This episode (which I saw repeated BBC2 Tues 8pm) was an eye-opener and real insight into the ingenuity, passion and foolhardiness of microlight-ers. It followed their Round Britain Rally challenge, where the teams needed all their skill and expertise to clock up air miles (unfortunately not the ones you can spend) and navigate – and return safely – around Britain.
This was no mean task seeing as they were sitting in “effectively a chainsaw attached to a deckchair”. The dangers are amazingly high: “flimsy, often home-made, and putting your life in the hands of often unreliable engine” often tends to be; nevermind obstacles such as pylons, weather; but these enthusiasts persist. I wonder if they did a risk assessment/risk register?? It was truly eye opening and impressive, and very possibly captures the true spirit of aviation!
The reason this is related to the Scottish CanSat Competition is that each team’s CanSat will be launched (safely and by experts) via microlight at Stathaven airfield in March. This venue is owned and operated by The Scottish Flying Club, so all eventualities and safety measures will be covered: we’re in safe hands!
…although I’m glad I’m not the one in the air – I’ll leave that to the experts!