A TY initiative hosted by IT Sligo to build and launch a mini-satellite.

IT Sligo and the Dept of Computing & Creative Practices played host to the first in a series of workshops helping TY students build a mini-satellite.

We were delighted to welcome to campus:

  1. staff and students from
    • Summerhill College
    • Mercy College
    • Ursuline College
    • Sligo Grammar School
  2. staff and students of
    • Dept Computing & Creative Practices, IT Sligo
    • Dept Mechanical & Electronic Engineering, IT Sligo
  3. Brenda Horner of Horner-APG Ltd.
  4. Dr. Eamon Connolly of CEIA (Cork's Technology Network)

Our TY guests got their first look at the kit. Over the course of the day the pieces took shape and code fired up the brains of the satellite - an Arduino Uno. Progress was swift and by the end of the day, many had comms up and running which will later be called on to handle the stream of data gathered by the satellite 'in flight' and captured at the ground station for analysis.

Our next step is to build up some soldering skills so that the satellite can be enhanced with sensors and provide a more stable platform for the electronics in flight.

Aside from the electronics and computing components, there's work to be done on promoting the project, manipulating the data once received and designing a parachute to protect the satellite on 're-entry'.

CANSAT is a European Space Agency competition for 2nd Level Students (transition year and upwards) run by ESERO Ireland in association with Cork Electronic Industries Association and Institutes of Technology.

Date Activity
23rd Nov 2016 CanSat Workshop 1 - Teachers & Mentors & Student Workshop
Early Dec 2016 CanSat Workshop 2 – Arduino set-up & Primary Mission sensors
Jan 2017 CanSat Workshop 3 – Soldering & calibration/testing
Early Feb 2017 CanSat Workshop 4 – CanSat shell & support mechanical design
Late Jan 2017 CanSat Workshop 5 – Practice/trial presentations
Late Feb 2017 CanSat Workshop 6 – data handling, Parachute design, final adjustments to CanSat
Early Mar 2017 NorthWest Regional Final @ ITS
Mid Apr 2017 Irish National Final @ Birr Castle

What is CanSat?

A CanSat is a miniature satellite, built inside a empty soft drink can. Thanks to our good friends at Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) and ESERO, competing teams will receive all they need to build a satellite.

CanSat Competition

Teams of school students compete to design, build and test a mini-satellite or CanSat. The competition gives students a feeling of excitement and technological achievement by launching their own satellite and gives them their first practical experience of a real space project. This is actual hardware and software working in unison with real mission objectives.

Your Mission … should you choose to accept it...

Fit all the major subsystems found in a satellite such as power, sensors and communications in a CanSat Engineer a parachute to ensure the can has a gentle landing Carry out scientific experiments (e.g. measure air pressure) and send this data to an earth based computer via wireless link Entry is open to 4-6 second level students (Transition Year, Fifth Year and Sixth Year) per team

What help will you get

ITS will support participating schools by providing access to state-of the-art labs, technical support and industry mentors for the competing teams. Each team and their teacher will be provided with a kit, an introduction course and on-going technical support from a dedicated technical mentor.

Enquiries to Paul Powell by email (paul.powell@itsligo.ie)

Thanks to all who attended the first workshop. Photos below.