Five University of Hawaiʻi Maui College students built a simulated satellite the size of a soda can for an international competition and rocket launch, UH reports. The payload system design team was called UHMCanSat and placed 27th out of hundreds of competing universities in the American Astronautical Society 2023 CanSat Competition in Blacksburg, Virginia in June.
Team UHMCanSat was composed of students Christian Falcon, Angelica Juarez, Joe Vincent Yuro, Christian Yadao and Justin Lucas Bio, with faculty instructor Jung Park, associate professor of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
The competition challenged teams to design a scientific payload for collecting sensor data during flight, according to UH News. The payload and its container had to be designed to withstand the forces of a rocket launch up to 725 meters. After the final reviews, the competition selected the top 40 teams, 20 from the United States and 20 international, to move on to launch their payloads in a rocket.
“Not only has this project given each of us a strong piece to add to our resumes, but we also have learned many valuable lessons in multiple aspects of engineering, such as programming, electronics design and mechanical engineering,” said Falcon, the UHMCanSat team leader. “Although we might not have won the competition, I feel that I can consider this as a win for myself in that I have learned many lessons in project management, proper engineering ethic, and the fact we created a working flight-ready payload that was launched in a rocket.”
The workload was divided into several subsystems for easier project management. These subsystems included the sensor subsystem, the descent control subsystem, the mechanical subsystem, the flight software, the electrical power subsystem and the ground control station.
“You learn things you wouldn’t learn in a classroom, only through hands-on experience,” said Bio, electrical team member. “We’ve been exposed to so many facets of engineering, project management and teamwork. Through designing, building and testing our CanSat, it taught us the importance of technical proficiency and soft skills in a real engineering setting. Being able to communicate and collaborate with people are indispensable skills I will take with me everywhere.”
- Related UH News stories
From LEGOs to AI: Christian Falcon’s eclectic, electric educational journey, May 18, 2023
UH Maui College students shoot for the Moon, Nov. 4, 2021
*Story courtesy UH News