Saturday, June 14, 2008

2008 CanSat Competition Under Way

As RLV News posted yesterday, the big U.S. 2008 CanSat Competition (there are big ones in other countries, and there are small ones too) is being held this weekend in the Amarillo Texas region. The location is the launch site of POTROCS (Panhandle of Texas Rocketry Society), a Tripoli high power rocketry chapter.

The main mission of launching, landing, monitoring, and possibly uprighting the CanSat within specified parameters isn't the only challenge. The bonus points for the mission remind me of the Mars Phoenix lander for some reason. They include a 360 panaramic image, digging at least 5 grams of soil, measuring ground and subsurface temperature, meteorological measurements, and precise landing. There are 5 cash prizes; the largest is $2500.

Kirk Kittell has mapped out a trip to Amarillo to broadcast the competition for the AAS. You can see the AAS media plans and schedule for the competition at their CanSat site. They include live blogging, Flickr photos, Slideshare slide presentations, YouTube videos, Facebook results, and more. See their site for links to all of these - but although the links work there's not much to see at the time I'm posting this since the main event hasn't happened yet. Be patient ...

Twenty university teams are listed for the competition. Here are links to a couple that I found web pages for:

UNH WildCats - new team from the University of New Hampshire with an entry called WildCatSat

Michigan Tech CanSat - SNOES project - Self Navigating Optics Emplacement System - any reference to excessive snow in their acronym is purely coincidental, I'm sure. (I don't think that 35 foot snow "thermometer" I linked to would be good for CanSat bonus point measurements anyway). On my browser I had to scroll down to see the actual content.

Update (Sunday Jun 15) - From the AAS site:

We have a spotty internet connection this morning, making it quite difficult to upload photos and presentations. We’ll still post to Twitter, but the rest may have to wait until Monday. Sorry about that — we thought we were going to do something cool for you from the site…