A group of enthusiastic STEM students in the Fourth Year have embraced a Middle School STEM Project, to enter their own satellite into a national competition. 

The CanSat competition, run by the European Space Agency, provides students with the opportunity to have practical experience working on a small-scale space project. They are tasked with designing and building their own simulation of a real satellite, integrated within the volume and shape of a soft drink can.  

The challenge for 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 Trinity team shared the tasks between themselves, based on their expertise, and are currently testing their CanSat. They have been invited to an event to launch it on a small rocket, with their CanSat returning to Earth using a parachute also designed by the students. 

Iwo Ligeza is Project Manager and is responsible for producing the design review documentation required by the competition judges. He said, “I’ve really liked seeing how everyone’s different skills have turned a set of ideas into reality. We’ve been working together effectively, with everyone supporting each other. Each element has required support from different departments too: we’ve worked with DT to 3D print our casing; Art has helped us sew the parachute; Computing would have helped us with coding if our coding expert wasn’t so good; and the Physics department provided wiring for our GPS and lighting systems. We’re all very committed to seeing this through, we want to win!”  

Mr Manchester, who runs the STEM club says, “I have been really impressed with how this project has come together. The students have worked on separate bits which particularly interest them or if they have skills in a certain area, but the teamwork has been fantastic and is a major factor in the success of this project.” 

The team consists of: Iwo Ligeza, Project Manager; Ayush Shetty – Technical Manager, who oversees all the electrical, programming and structural engineering components; James Legge, Structural Engineer, who designs the satellite casing; Debarun Deb, Electrical Engineer and Programmer; designs the satellite’s onboard computer; Aaron George – Electrical Engineer and Programmer; Vedanth Raghavendar, Recovery Engineer, who designs and tests the satellite parachute; Dev Singhal, Recovery Engineer; Adrian Wong, Outreach Lead who is responsible for promoting the CanSat project within the school and the scientific merit of the project. 

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