St. John’s School in Leatherhead crowned winners of the UK CanSat Competition 2022
The UK CanSat Competition Finals were held across three days at the National STEM Learning Centre in York, and at Elvington Airfield. 120 teams signed up to take part in the competition this year, and eight of those made it to the final after six months of hard work and dedication designing, building and coding their own space project.
During launch day the CanSats were launched by small rockets to a height of around 400 metres, descended back to Earth with their parachutes and transmitted data back to the teams’ ground stations. Each team was tasked with a primary mission and a secondary mission. For the primary mission, each CanSat had to measure air pressure and temperature during its decent and transmit this data to a ground station once a second. For the secondary mission students could design their own investigation, with each team coming up with amazing ideas of what their CanSats could be used for and measure.
All of the students overcame many challenges during the competition, from fixing mechanical problems to re-writing code at the airfield, and showed great teamwork not only within their teams but with other schools. A notable example of this was two teams who experienced transmitting and receiving problems working together to gather data and share results.
For the last day of the competition the teams presented their projects and findings to the jury of judges, made up of space industry and academia experts. The judging panel was also joined by Daisy Richardson who was part of the 2018 winning CanSat team, and has now gone on to work in the space industry in part due to her experiences with CanSat.
After a very tough judging the top three teams were announced as:
Winners: St Johns School, Leatherhead
Team Eagles wanted to use their CanSat to determine the suitability of an Exoplanet for supporting human life and to calculate survival using a range of sensors. As well as air pressure and temperature they measured Oxygen, CO2, humidity, UV light and Carbon Monoxide. Their CanSat then looked at the data collected, scored the risks and decided if the Exoplanet was suitable for further research.
Second Place: WMG Academy
Team Boreas wanted to use their CanSat to better understand the state of permafrost in the artic circle, and the release of greenhouse gases that it holds as the permafrost melts. Their CanSat could measure CO2, Methane, ground temperature, the nature of the terrain it landed on, the physical location of the CanSat and the light level on the ground and being absorbed. Their CanSat had retractable landing legs that could move the CanSat upright if it landed on its side, and solar panels on a rotating platform that moved to the direction of most sunlight.
Third Place: St Johns School, Marlborough
Team EnviroSat designed their CanSat to use an infrared thermal imaging camera and a particle matter sensor to prove the geographical theory of the “Urban Heat Island" effect, which is when carbon dioxide concentration in the air goes up, temperature also goes up, and vice versa. Using a particulate matter sensor they took readings of CO2 levels, along with other gases in the atmosphere, as their CanSat made its descent. They then compared readings to the infrared thermal images taken by the CanSat to try and find a correlation to support their theory.
The winning team will now go on to compete in the European Space Agency (ESA) European final in Bologna, Italy on the 20-25 July. Good luck to Team Eagles!
The UK CanSat Competition is funded by ESA, the UK Space Agency, and LaunchUK (the UK Space Agency’s Spaceflight Programme).