Saturday, 1 July 2017

Report about day 4 (presentations of the mission results)

Today all the teams had held a 8 minute long presentation about their mission results. We might also upload our presentation on our YouTube channel.

At the moment we all are waiting for the jury verdict. Thus additional information will follow soon.

Report about day 3 (launch day)

Yesterday we launched the CanSats. The weather conditions were less than optimal. It rained the whole day and it was foggy. This was a problem for all the teams, especially for us because our secondary mission is based on pictures taken by the CanSat during its fall.
But this was not our only problem. At launch, we suddenly lost connection to the BMP280, which task it is to measure air pressure and temperature. Coincidentally, we took the following picture.

We assume that the BMP was positioned directly over the marked screw, which we think hit the BMP quite hard at the launch of the rocket. Thus we could not create a complete temperature and a pressure profile nor calculate the derived values for barometric height and descent speed.

This is quite a problem for us, because our CanSat is programmed to only start taking pictures at a certain height, which was not possible.
Fortunatly, we wanted to isolate the components from each other in case one of them fails and thus we added a button to our ground station to trigger the flight mode manually.

The next problem we faced was that we could not find our CanSat even after two long periods of searching despite having GPS data. Thus we could not recover all the data (in-flight taken pictures and the complete logs).

One of our lessons learned from this is that it would be worthwhile to have a redundant set of sensors, which work independently, to measure the data required for the primary mission. This would come at comparably low costs and effort, but would secure us against such misshapen. Further, we could have provided some sort of mechanical shield or cage for the sensor that would have protected it.

In conclusion the launch was very disappointing.

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Report about day 1 and 2

Yesterday evening we met the other teams from all over Europe for the first time during the opening ceremony and the social dinner. Afterwards, we finished our work on the parachute and created the 5 minute-presentation for today.

Today we drove at 8:00 am to the airfield Rotenburg Wümme for the technical inspection of the CanSats, the drop test, and the short presentation.

view of the runway

After we held our presentation, we passed the technical inspection and the drop test. At the drop test our CanSat was dropped off by a drone at a height of 50 meter. It was required that the parachute would not slow down the fall too much. A maximum fall time of 7 seconds was allowed for. Our drop took 6 seconds, so we have permission to fly tomorrow! Our CanSat also survived the drop-test unscathed, only the batteries moved slightly.

The certificate of the technical inspection and the drop-test

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

RIP CanSat No. 2

Today we made a routine inspection and found a hardware fault at the Pi 3 from our second CanSat. We assume that a part of a chip of the camera interface was broken off.

here we circled the broken element
So we will only be able to use our first CanSat at the competition. Now we plan to use the second CanSat as a dummy during the competition. 

Monday, 26 June 2017

A dummy for our CanSat

Today we finished our dummy required for the drop test. This test is part of the inspection that our CanSat has to go through on the 2 launch day.

here the sideview
The drop test is made to check whether our CanSats meet the specified sink rate. For this test it is important that the dimensions and the weight, as well as the parachute fastening, are exactly the same.
Therefore the satellite will be brought to a height of 50 m by a drone and from there it will be dropped.
Our sink rate should be around 8 m/s (for the competition is a sink rate between 8 m/s  and 11 m/s recommend) sothat we should take good pictures.

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Closing competition

The "hot phase" of competition is getting closer and closer. Wednesday is the day when we will get to know the other teams personally, and already on Friday our satellites will start if they pass the inspection on the day before.

The latest preparations are currently under way. Both CanSats are ready to go and meet the guidelines of the competition. The radio path is also stable and the ground station has been programmed.

We will always keep you up-to-date with daily reports. So it is worthwhile to visit our blog more often.

And of course we wish all teams a good flight and nice days!

Friday, 23 June 2017

Revision of the additional weight

Today we optimized our lead plates being used as additional weight. We added recesses for the cables.

first version of the lead plate...
and here the second version of the lead plate

Now it is easier to insert the CanSat into the outer casing. Now the plates weigh 8 g less (~82g).

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Brief report about our four radio tests:

We have done four radio tests. Our communication works via WiFi and therefore we need a WiFi adapter for the ground station. The CanSat has an already integrated WiFi module.

The results we got from these tests were interestingly varied.

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Finished outer casings

Today we finished our work on the outer casings. It should protect our CanSat against rain and other meterological effects and of course it should give the CanSat a cool look.
In all we made three outer casings, so we should be prepared if one of them fails.

Interested in how those were manufactured?

Friday, 16 June 2017


Today we finished our work on the second CanSat. It is a replica of the first one. This means we now have a replacement should one of the CanSats not work.

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Additional weight for our CanSat

The guidelines require the CanSat to weigh between 300 and 350 grams. Because our CanSat only weighs 220 grams we needed to add at least additional 80 grams of extra weight to reach the minium weight.

We choose to use lead as extra weight again because of its high density and softness, but this time, instead of strapping strips of lead to the batteries with cable ties we choose to melt the lead in the same form our circuit boards are.

By doing so we are able to simply bolt the lead plate onto our CanSat like our circuit boards. The plate will be fixed to the bottom part of our CanSat in order to help stabilize the fall so our CanSat can take some steadier pictures.

mold drying
the materials we used

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Further progress of our work on the CanSat

Till now we managed to produce a new and a much better version of our CanSat. And this is how it now looks like:

Monday, 22 May 2017

First progress

The meetings of Jan Philipp and Damian were in order to continue working on a new and a much better version of their CanSat without a radio module. And the results of their work from the 17th to the 20th of May are :

  • They were able to save some space for other elements of the CanSat, in which they desoldered some unnecessary or unneeded elements of the Raspberry Pi 3.
These unneeded elements are one of two USB interfaces, the ethernet Interface and some Pins.

  •  They also built the orientation module and the camera/sensor module all over again, but the sensors of the camera/sensor module were left the same. However the camera/sensor module has gotten a new PiCam and a new order of its elements (see here).
  • The connection between the sensors is now more intelligible, because colored cables were added and the harness cables (wire harnesses )were knotted. 

Finally, no more chaos!

That is it till now, but it is not over yet.

We are back!

Finally, we have finished our exams so we can start working on our CanSat again! 


Our present plan foresees that we will keep our secondary mission, but we will improve it! Thus, individual technical components will be replaced. The Pi 2 B will be replaced by a Raspberry Pi 3, so more power is available for our software. As well, the current version (V1.3) of the PiCam will be replaced by the more recent one (V2).
Our basic concept of construction (boards with elements held together by 3mm threaded rods) has proven itself and will be therefore unchanged adopted.
As an innovation, we are currently testing whether we can replace the radio connection by a WLAN connection so that we can save the T-Minus radio module. To capture the signals we want to use a WLAN directional antenna. consequently, we are looking for a non-metallic shell for our CanSat, because our existing aluminum sheath would shield the WLAN.
The recovery unit should also be optimized. So we want to extend the joint between CanSat and the parachute (from 15 cm to> 50 cm) to counteract the pendulum movements during the fall.

That the current competition will take place internationally, so we will continue this blog in English.

More details / information will follow soon.

Friday, 23 December 2016


We are very pleased to announce that "Sparkasse Bremen" (a German bank) will support our project with 1800€.
We are very much looking forward to this generous support as part of the "Bremen macht Helden" sponsorship program of Sparkasse Bremen.

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

How is it going now?

After, or by winning the German CanSat competition, we are qualified for the European level. But what does it mean now? What goals have we set ourselves?

The "actual" European CanSat competition 2017 with the rockets launching and presentations will take place in Bremen, Germany from 28.06.17 until 02.07.17. The working time for these intensive days has already begun. There were two interesting candidates: Portugal or Norway.
As a result of the competition being "international", we will continue our blog in English .

What goals have we set ourselves?

We have to do a little fine operations on the hardware as well as on the software. In concrete terms, this means for the hardware, the following:
First, that the rate of measurement errors at the sensors has to be minimized or eliminated.
Second,  to select and install a new camera (ISO values ​​have to adapt more quickly - further minimize the green hue/tint on our pictures , the shake and the blur).
Third, the reliable wireless connection of the CanSats could still be increased (works so far with a reliability of approx. 70%).
Fourth, computer has to be changed, because the Raspberry Pi 2 from the RAM is not enough for our program or takes too much time.
This is dependent on the improving progress of the software. So it could happen that we have to change our design again.

Friday, 30 September 2016

We have a reason to celebrate !!!

Today, after the very interesting tour of the Airbus, the award ceremony took place. Beforehand is to say that the distance between the teams was very tight.

We are pleased to announce that we have been awarded the 1st place in the German CanSat competition 2016. In doing so, we have qualified for the participation as representatives of Germany in the European competition.

We are all very much looking forward to it and would like to thank our sponsors - "encoway" and our school club -, which have made our success possible.

Our certificate

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Evaluation and presentations

Today the presentations of the results of our missions took place. It was very interesting to watch the 10 minute long presentation of each team and to compare our results / conclusions with them.

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

5, 4, 3, 2,1 - Here we go!

Today was the big day where all satellites ,always two of them in a rocket were allowed to start.The launch took place at the airport Rotenburg (Wümme).

360° panorama from the airfield .Click to enlarge the picture

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Impressions of the two first days of the competition

Since monday ,the week of the competition has already started. The opening event took place in Bremen / Germany exactly at ZARM (directly under the Bremer Fallturm/fall tower). And there, we finally had the opportunity to meet the 9 other CanSat teams from all over Germany and also to inspect the fall tower.

Monday, 26 September 2016

Results of sponsoring search

We are very glad to announce that we have found another sponsor next to our school club!

Our new sponsor is the software development company encoway GmbH and we are very grateful for their financial support in the amount of 500 €.

We appreciate it!

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Results of sponsoring search

We wanted to let you know that our school’s association will provide us with financial support.
In addition to the already sponsored 100 € entry fee, we have been secured again up to 200 €. We are very happy about this.

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Test of the radio link

At our last meeting we tested the radio link between our CanSat and the ground station.

Saturday, 3 September 2016

Power Weekend

Interested in what is meant?

Alexander von Humboldt discovered ...

This was the motto of our school festival, which took place on the premises of our school on Thursday, the 1st of September. Of course, we were also represented there with a booth.

Tuesday, 19 July 2016