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Space Flight Society (CanSat) Competition

A project by: SUSF

pledged of £15,000 target

This project did not reach its target.

Completion Date: Sun 17 Mar 2019

The University of Southampton's Student Excellence Fund provides matched funding opportunities for student-led projects - which help to improve facilities and equipment, as well as financial support for student clubs and societies.

The American Astronautical Society’s annual student design-build-launch competition.

project Synopsis

A competition involving us in an end-to-end life cycle of a complex engineering project, designing and building a conceptual satellite (CanSat) to be launched in Stephenville, Texas.

This competition is sponsored by major companies in the space industry (NASA, Lockheed Martin, SIEMENS, US Naval Research Laboratory), giving all those involved an immersion into the industry. This is an excellent opportunity for students to network and get involved with those presently involved in the space sector.

Most space-related competitions are paper design competitions, however this one spans two semesters involving us in a complex project structured in a similar way as to what will be expected in our future careers. This not only involves us applying knowledge learnt on our courses but also engages us in a vast array of engineering disciplines. This will give us a much more enriched wealth of knowledge that we can bring to our future careers, which would not normally be received on our courses alone.

(further information may be found here: www.cansatcompetition.com)

Who are we?

We are a team of students (part of the Southampton University Space Flight Society, SUSF) looking to take part in The CanSat Competition 2018/19 held at Tarleton State University, Texas, USA. The Team consists of undergraduates at different stages of their respective degrees from first to final year. Our team leads participated in last year’s CanSat competition reaching the final stage in Texas, and we are now looking to progress to win.

our story

What are we doing and why?

We will be building a conceptual satellite, a CanSat, consisting of a container and an autogyro which will deploy a parachute upon release from a rocket at approximately 700m. The autogyro will then be released, controlled by the passive system till landing. Throughout the mission the CanSat will transmit telemetry while also storing it on board.

Why is this important to us?

This competition has already involved us in a steep learning curve and having already dedicated a lot of time to this mission, we hope to bring our design to full fruition. Our team leads have more motivation than most, having competed last year to reach Texas, only to have a technical fault in manufacture finish their competition journey. We are all aiming to achieve high and to have a working design by the end.

What impact can you have?

To any donors looking to enrich the education provided by the University of Southampton we encourage you to lend us support. To achieve this mission will be a tremendous effort and the numbers of skills learnt will be vast for us to use in the future.

Where will the money go?

The minimum number of team members we will need in Texas is 4, however our team consists of 9. Our main aim is to get everyone to Texas to experience every stage, and ensure everyone sees the design become a reality.

Full Team Cost Breakdown:

  • Return Flights: £5517 - £8658
  • Accommodation: £360 - £900
  • Baggage: £180
  • Food in Texas: £360 - £540
  • Car Hire: £206-£412
  • Fuel: £50
  • Technician Time: £200
  • Ground Station: £100
  • Prototyping: £1563.42
  • Hardware: £781.96

Total Maximum: £8766.42-£13385.41

In order to help get our fundraising off the ground the University has agreed to match fund every donation up to £3000 from the donations it receives from its alumni community that support student projects like this one!


All media presented to our network will highlight the efforts you as supporters will have made in getting us through the project. See below for the rewards for each donation tier.

Find us here

On Facebook we advertise our exploits and share media from our testing and development phases, advertising what we have learnt and created.

On Twitter we will regularly post updates on our exploits and achievements.

please Help us succeed!

There are many ways of helping us out! Please share this project with anyone and everyone – on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, by email, telephone, in a chat over the fence or on your blog.

If your company is interested, please feel free to contact Charlie North, the Team Leader.