MCS CanSat team take part in Regional Finals in the AIT


On Wednesday the 13th of March, a ‘Curiosity’ team of four TY students from Moate Community School- Melanie Arnold, Darragh Counihan, Irene Murphy and Luke Smyth – and their mentors Ms Margaret Mandal and sixth year student Ronan Murphy, attended the CanSat regional final in the AIT.  Fifth year student Joe Murtagh also mentored the team over the past few months.

The CanSat competition is an education project run by the European Space Education Resource Office (ESERO) Ireland in association with CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory. For the project the team had to construct and design a satellite that could record temperature and pressure, and could fit inside a soft drinks can. The can would then be dropped from a height by a drone and on the descent the satellite should transmit data collected to a laptop.

Since November 2018, the group have been taking part in workshops in the AIT facilitated by the AIT and CanSat Ireland. Kevin McDermott and Paul Mulvey gave the group guidance through the project, helped with parachute design and also helped them with communication between their Arduino computer and their software programs on the laptop. Following these workshops, the team designed their can, satellite and parachute which performed each of the mandatory functions.

On the day of the competition, they left the school and made their way to the AIT. Five teams were competing in the midlands regional final. When the teams, arrived they set up their laptops and satellite outside. Due to the weather conditions the drone dropped the cans from a lower height than expected. Moate’s team was third to be dropped. The can landed and data was collected successfully.

After the satellites were dropped the teams prepared their received data to present to the judges. Each team gave a ten minute presentation to a panel of judges about their CanSat project and their experiences. The judges then asked a series of intense questions about their results and satellites.

It was a great day enjoyed by all and the team would like to congratulate Our Lady’s Bower team from Athlone who won the regional final and will continue on to the National Final in May.

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