Contest: Day 3

Friday: launching day. And what a better way to start the day than to wake up late. We had breakfast in 5 minutes, and put our pants on as we rushed down the stairs to the bus. Our team launched on the second slot, at 1 p.m. We were given back our CanSat ( we had to deliver it at 19:00 the day before, so that we didn’t work on it the night before) and prepared all the necessary equipment, monitors, and programs for the streaming and launch. The can was tested for the eleventh time.

Several last-minute problems arose, such as the German weather. It was due to rain the whole day, and that is why we had to seal most of the CanSat with plastic and cell tape. This later on brought several setbacks, as the accuracy of the sensors diminished, due to a lack of ventilation of the main body. For the streaming, we had to resort to a mobile HotSpot for the data, as the Internet connection on the hangar wasn’t as fast as needed. The parachute was attached to the CanSat, adjusting its centre of gravity. Time for the launch came. Our parachute specialist went off to introduce the satellite in the rocket, while the rest of the team remained at the ground station. One member was in charge of holding still the antennae to get the signal, and another two were assigned to be the casters and managers of all the data stored and transmitted during the streaming, as well as the apps.

We launched. The ascent was a huge blow which momentarily disconnected the batteries, so the whole system rebooted. This supposed a huge delay in the transmission of sensor data. Despite this problem and having some interference, video signal was constant, as it was an independent system in the programme. Data only appeared the last 30 seconds of fall, but it proved the software worked with the utmost perfection (props to our software team), and the display of the Google Earth simulation, as well as the tables with the sensors’ measurements was perfectly explained by our casters to our not-few viewers, as well as giving it a really entertaining approach. The descent was a success. Only the landing failed. In two aspects: the first one, the landing system had no effect, as the can hit sideways. And how come it hit sideways? Because it didn’t fall onto the floor, but onto a roof. In a nutshell, we lost our SD card with the data. We only had the information transmitted through the livestream in code. The rest of the afternoon was spent trying to retrieve the can and helping other teams retrieve theirs as we saw the enterprise who ‘’hosted’’ our Burgoneta was not going to give it back to us.

Back at the hotel, we once again split into two groups. The first one in charge of doing all the 3D modelling and processing of videos. The second one, in charge of the data analysis, graphic modelling and making the final presentation. Some went to sleep at 1 a.m, others at 2, at 3, at 4, and at 5. Long story short, if it hadn’t been for the adrenaline, the following day we would have been completely asleep.

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