Limerick students reach new heights with their own satellite

The Coláiste Chiaráin CanSat team (from left) Breian Dunne, Michal Gogloza, Petr Pershin, Nathan Ndlovu, Oscar Gutierrez Roman and Seán O'Sullivan.

A TEAM of intrepid students from County Limerick are aiming to reach new heights this weekend when they compete in the national finals of a competition organised by the European Space Agency.

The CanSat project will see the six students from Coláiste Chiaráin in Croom compete against five other teams from around the country to create a miniature satellite, the size of a soft drink can, with the aim of completing a scientific mission.

Their CanSat creations will be flown on a rocket at Emo Court outside Portlaoise before being jettisoned and parachuting to Earth. Each team will attempt to complete their scientific mission before their CanSat lands safely. The winning team will go on to represent Ireland in the European Final later this summer.

Having qualified from the regional finals at the Munster Technological University in Tralee, the Coláiste Chiaráin team made up of students from various academic backgrounds, has been working diligently over the past few months to prepare for the national competition. Their dedication and hard work have paid off, as they have successfully overcome challenges and obstacles during the design and testing phases.

The students will conduct a primary mission to beam and receive altitude and temperature data to a laptop on the ground.

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They have added their own ideas through the secondary mission to measure the quality of the air, barometric pressure, Global Positioning System and implementing a custom parachute system to ensure a safe landing for the CanSat.

Team member Nathan Ndlovu, said, “We are thrilled to have made it to the national finals, and we are excited to show what we have achieved. It has been a challenging but rewarding experience, and we have learned so much from it. We hope that our success will encourage more students to get involved in STEM activities and pursue their passions.”