Manchester CanSat Project

This year, the Manchester CanSat (short for can-sized satellite) Project (MCP) entered the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), and American Astronautical Society (AAS) organised CanSat Competition in Texas, USA.

MCP team members launch one of their satellites

This year the competition challenged teams to design and build a deployable solar powered atmospheric sampling glider which transmits live data to a ground station. The competition covers a full engineering project life cycle, starting with a requirements review and conceptual designs right through to a flight-test and post flight review. Not only that but the competition also accurately mirrors an industry project on a technical level as it is truly inter-disciplinary, with knowledge required of every major subsystem.

From the 9th to the 11th June a team from the University of Manchester competed in this competition. Overall the team placed 6th out of 40 teams competing at the launch weekend and 87 initial entries from around the world.

The team included the following undergraduate and postgraduate students:

-    Matthew Hogg (Final year aerospace engineer)

-    Ravyansh Yadav (Final year aerospace engineer)

-    Gautam Gorasia (Vaz) (Final year aerospace engineer)

-    Nicholas Wong (Final year aerospace engineer)

-    Iuliu Ardelean (Second-year aerospace engineer)

-    Zuzanna Nagadowska (First-year aerospace engineer)

-    Robert Stana (Second-year computer scientist)

-    Lawrence France (Third-year physicist)

-    Rui Wu (Second-year MACE PhD)

-    Lavanan Vengadasalam (Second-year MACE PhD)

In recognition of the work towards teaching other students and team’s effort in the AIAA competition, the MCP were awarded the ‘Project of the Year’ award at the 2017 National Student Space Conference. Furthermore, the MCP team were invited to speak at the Kingston Space Propulsion Forum.

The success of the team has attracted external interest and a financial sponsorship from Airbus Group. The project has also attracted staff and students from other universities who are interested in learning how they can establish a project mirroring the MCP.

The team has not done all of this alone, many people have helped us along the way. The MCP would like to thank a number of people:

  • Dr Iain Dupere for facilitating the communication with Airbus Group 
  •  The technicians in the George Begg Building, especially Brian Clancy, Dave Goulding and Natalie Parish
  • Eddie Whitehouse for his support
  • Alex Bennett’s for his advice throughout the year  
  •  Ian Lunnon for his advanced technical support
  • Dr Sree Shankhachur Roy (Northwest Composites Centre) for manufacturing a superb fibreglass container
  • Kerry Mycock and her team for their first-class administrative support throughout the year
  •  Dr Nicholas Crisp for building rockets for the UK Launch
  • Dr Kate Smith, who has mentored the MCP team throughout the year and allowed us to make the most of every opportunity

(above) The MCP satellite entered into the Texas CanSat Competition



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