Thursday, 31 March 2016


This month, we met multiple times in order to work on our project, including two meetings during our holidays this week that very quite efficient.

Our present challenges are choosing and implementing a proper procedure for taking our air samples, getting an overview of all components that have to fit in our CanSat and also preparing the CDR report that has to document our mission, procedure and progress to ESA.

We split up tasks so that while parts of the team wrote the report or constructed the CanSat's components with a 3D-modeling software called SolidWorks, others developed multiple ways of implementation of a proper triggering mechanism of the air samples.

The air samples will be taken with vacuettes, very solid plastic containers that are pre-evacuated and that have got a membrane that closes very tightly after it is punctured. Given that this membrane is very thick and tough (see photo below), it is quite difficult to do so.

On the one hand, it is almost impossible to puncture the material with rather thick needles or similar equipment, so given that vacuettes are made to work with cannulas, we choose to also work with cannula needles.

On the other hand, very great strength is needed to do the punctation. Up to now, we have discarded the procedure with a rotating panel that was mentioned in a previous post as well as another that would have been solenoid-run because they don't provide enough strength to punctate the vacuette as well as secure the air samples. We currently think of a servomotor-run mechanism. Being provided 9V only, the servomotor (see below) is much stronger than e.g. solenoids.

We are hopeful and optimistic that this procedure will work out, so in the next time, we'll prepare an experimental setup including a vacuette, cannula and servomotor in order to test the mechaism and its strength. And of course, we'll always keep you updated!