CanSat in Greece 2017

CanSat in Greece is the Greek preliminary phase for the European space competition CanSats in Europe organized by ESA, in which high school students participate, by creating a unique project involving the building of a soda can sized educational satellite. The forming of a national competition was an idea proposed to IEEE NTUA Student Branch engineering students that had previously competed in CanSats in Europe with the “Icaromenippus 3D” project.

What is a CanSAT ? (by ESA)

The CanSats in Europe on-line platform aims to provide information about CanSat-related activities taking place in Europe, in particular the European CanSat Competitions.

CanSats in Europe is an initiative of the European Space Agency (ESA), which also supports national CanSat events with the help of local organisations. These organisations are collaborating to increase the support for CanSat activities in Europe.

A CanSat is a simulation of a real satellite, integrated within the volume and shape of a soft drink can. The challenge for the students is to fit all the major subsystems found in a satellite, such as power, sensors and a communication system, into this minimal volume. The CanSat is then launched to an altitude of a few hundred metres by a rocket or dropped from a platform or captive balloon and its mission begins: to carry out a scientific experiment and achieve a safe landing.

CanSat-in-GREECE-2017-logoCanSats offer a unique opportunity for students to have a first practical experience of a real space project. They are responsible for all aspects: designing the CanSat, selecting its mission, integrating the components, testing, preparing for launch and then analysing the data.

Ever since, all of our volunteers work hard towards making it happen and therefore solidifying our country’s involvement in space competitions, creating a related student community as well us provide all Greek students the chance to participate and have their dream project come to life. It is important to note the thirst of Greek students to participate in such projects as not only there have been Greek participation’s in all previous European competitions, but also this year more than 212 students applied in teams at the Greek competition.

This whole organization would not exist if it wasn’t for our 30 volunteers that work hard towards its becoming, as they share the same passions with all those students and are very eager to help them make their dreams come true.

Unfortunately, our efforts are not enough on their own since we have a demanding budget due to side events, teacher workshops and a rocket launch included in our main event that bring up accommodation, catering and transfer expenses etc. Even more so, the Greek government or the ministry of education are not able to offer us any support due to the economical difficulties our country has been facing.

CanSat-in-GREECE-2017-teamAnd that’s why we need your help! Even by putting in all our effort and good will, we still can’t manage to fully provide young people with the opportunity to have the experience and opportunity they so much crave for – something that their educational system never did for them. Even the smallest donation is priceless and comforting that there are people out there who care and support us!
What is CanSat in Greece?

CanSat in Greece is a Greek space competition for high school students. It stands as a preliminary phase of the European competition CanSats in Europe, organised by the European Space Agency (ESA). The competition is addressed to high-school students aiming at their familiarization with technologies used in a satellite. Each school forms a team of 4-6 High-school students, who are tasked with envisioning a research mission and building a soda can sized educational satellite from the ground up to carry it out. The satellite is then launched by a rocket reaching altitude of 1km and during its landing, with the help of a parachute, it executes a unique mission chosen by each team of students.

Why is CanSat in Greece important ?

The idea for organizing CanSat in Greece occurred in November 2015 when during a discussion about new ideas and innovative actions hosted by the student organisation IEEE NTUA Student Branch undergraduate students, Ilias Psyroukis, Ilias Theodoridis and Stratis Tsirtsis proposed the formation of a Greek competition according to the European standards. Those three undergraduate students had participated in the European CanSat competition in 2012 as members of the Icaromenippus 3D student team of the 3rd General Lyceum of Mytilene, claiming the second place. Continuing their journey in the technological field, they started studying at the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering of the National Technical University of Athens. Driven by their desire to provide Greek students with the unique experience of the CanSat competition, they decided to organize the national CanSat in Greece competition for the first time, as members of the IEEE NTUA Student Branch.

The establishment of the CanSat in Greece competition at an annual and nation-wide level  is a vision that all our volunteers share and work passionately towards. The goal of the competition is to both solidify Greece’s involvement in the European space competitions and create and later on nurture a community of students which will turn its attention to space and will recognize the arising opportunities.

The CanSat in Greece competition provides all participating students with the opportunity to go through all the phases followed in the implementation of a real space program, including the selection of the mission, the designing of the satellite, the market research, the economical search of the needed parts, the construction of the satellite, the testing and the launch, all way to the analysis and presentation of the data collected.

Through this procedure, the students:

Acquire new expertise in physics and programming and learn how to implement them Get in touch with up-to-date technologies used in a plethora of technological fields Familiarize with the methodology in which research is based on Achieve better results through cooperation and teamwork Practice their communication skills.

Mission: Launching your Dreams !

The organisation of the CanSat in Europe competition started in 2010 from the European Space Agency (ESA). Since then, six European competitions have taken place, with Greece counting as many entries. The Greek missions have claimed second place two times before, in 2012 and 2014. The Greek entries until today in CanSat in Europe competition:

2010: Icaromenippus, 3rd General Lyceum of Mytilene
2012: Icaromenippus 3D, 3rd General Lyceum of Mytilene (2nd place)
2014: Aristarchus, 3rd General Lyceum of Mytilene (2nd place)
2014: ViannoSat, General Lyceum of Viannos
2015: G-Rosseta, (SEK of Agii Anargiri)
2016: DIASat, General Lyceum of Gazi

“Inside” a Can-Satellite

A CanSat is a simulation of a real satellite, integrated within the volume and shape of a soft drink can. The challenge for the students is to fit all the major subsystems found in a satellite, such as power, sensors and a communication system, into this minimal volume. The CanSat is then launched to an altitude of a few hundred meters by a rocket and its mission begins: to carry out a scientific experiment and achieve a safe landing. The brains of a typical CanSat is an Arduino microprocessor. Arduino is an open-source electronics platform based on easy-to-use hardware and software. Arduino boards are able to read inputs – light on a sensor, a finger on a button, or a Twitter message – and turn it into an output – activating a motor, turning on an LED, publishing something online. You can tell your board what to do by sending a set of instructions to the micro-controller on the board.

Over the years Arduino has been the brain of thousands of projects, from everyday objects to complex scientific instruments such as CanSats. Teams are free to use whatever other modules they want that fit their missions’ objective. For example they can add temperature, pressure, light or any other available sensors, GPS modules, motors, cameras, transceiver systems etc. CanSats are launched using a semi-professional 1.5m Rocket, typically “Intruder” or “Patriot” kind.

more : CanSAT in Greece

more : CanSAT via Indiegogo