Rocket launch, reentry, science. The real deal.


The CanSat competition is a design-build-fly competition held in Burkett, Texas, that provides teams with an opportunity to experience the design life-cycle of an aerospace system. The CanSat competition is designed to reflect a typical aerospace program on a small scale and includes all aspects of an aerospace program from the preliminary design review to post mission review. 2014-2015 will mark the first year that RSX prepares for, and participates in the CanSat competition.

Mission Overview

The 2015 mission simulates a Science Vehicle traveling through a planetary atmosphere sampling the atmospheric composition during descent. The overall CanSat system is composed of two primary components, a Science Vehicle and a re-entry Container that protects the vehicle during ascent, “near-apogee” deployment from the rocket and initial re-entry/descent.

When initially deployed from the rocket, the re-entry Container shall descend via parachute with the Science Vehicle secured within the Container. At any desired point after the initial deployment from the rocket the Container and Science Vehicle shall separate and the Science Vehicle will begin normal operations. When the Science Vehicle is released from the Container, it shall use passive helicopter/auto-gyro recovery method reduce its descent rate to less than 10 meters/second. The Science Vehicle must stabilize and descend properly at a minimum altitude of 300 meters.

During descent, the Science Vehicle shall record video in the nadir (Earth pointing) direction until it lands. The video camera must be stabilized in real time during descent so that the video image of the ground is not spinning. The Science Vehicle shall collect telemetry data during descent which includes; altitude based on barometric air pressure, outside air temperature, inside temperature, flight software state, stabilization parameters, battery voltage, and bonus telemetry. The data shall be transmitted at a 1 Hz rate to a ground station. The Science Vehicle shall hold one large raw hen’s egg and protect it from breaking during the mission.