Thursday, 23 June 2016

Day 2 - Test Flight and Initial Presentation

After the opening ceremony that took place this morning, we started to do the last preparations for our test flight. Before the test flight, each CanSat had to be completely mounted. There was also a safety briefing that made sure that everyone followed the most important directives, like the maximum height and diameter of the CanSat.

During the test flight itself, each team was expected to put up their ground support equipment in order to try and receive data from their CanSat. A so-called Flight Test Student Engineer was then flying in a sailplane and dropped the CanSat from a height of about 100m (the picture below shows ours as well as the UK's and Finland's Flight Test Student Engineer in front of the plane). Dependant on the outcome of this final test, each team got either a GO or a NO GO status. Those with a NO GO then had the opportunity of improving what went wrong and repeating the test.

Fortunately, we were able to receive our CanSat's data and could see very well that our parachute opened without any problems. The calculated descent rate was at 9.81 m/s which is perfectly following the directive of 8-11 m/s. The team that was responsible for the implementation of the test flights was as content as we were, so we got a GO at first attempt. Especially with last year's scenario of receiving no data at all at the back of our heads, this was very relieving.

In the afternoon, there was the initial jury presentation. Within five minutes, we had to present our team, mission, implementation, tests and everything else of importance. During the following five minutes of question and answer, especially our helix antenna and gas chromatograph attracted the jury's attention.

Tonight, we will be carrying out the very last preparations and finishing assembling our CanSat for the lauch that will take place tomorrow.

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