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Raise money to support future design competitions

AIAA: CanSat 2016 A Project of Ignite 2016

American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics

What is CanSat?

The CanSat Competition is an annual international student design-build-launch competition for space-related topics, sponsored by groups such as NASA, the Naval Research Laboratory, the American Astronautical Society, and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. The competition is open to teams from universities and colleges from all over the world, and teams must be able to design and build a space-type system and then compete against each other at the end of the academic year.

As a brand new student branch of AIAA, we had several goals for our first year—one of which was to participate in a design competition. We knew that the Design-Build-Fly competition was too outside our reach for our young group, and paper competitions didn't include enough hands-on experience, but CanSat looked like the perfect middle ground. This project will and has given us an opportunity to be involved in the complete life cycle of a real complex engineering project, from conceptual design, through integration and test, and concluding with actual operation of the system. The competition itself is also an amazing opportunity to interact with other student teams and to network with professionals from a wide array of engineering companies and organizations, while at the same time representing the successes of UConn Engineering.

We have been working hard these past few months designing our system, and we are excited to start building. However, we now need to raise money to actually travel to the competition in Burkett, Texas in June.

We want this first project to be successful and to set the bar for the future. Our membership count is now well over 60 and we are continuing to grow, and want to be able to participate in even more next year. By successfully competing in this competition, we open the doors to much, much more.

If we raise more money than we need, we plan on using the funds for future design competitions. This allows us to create a solid foundation for our design competition portion of our AIAA chapter here at UCONN. If we do not raise enough money the same concept will apply. We will try our best to ease the financial responsibility of traveling for our student members.

The 2016 CanSat Mission

The 2016 mission simulates a sensor payload traveling through a planetary atmosphere sampling the atmospheric composition during flight. The overall CanSat system is composed of two primary components, a science vehicle and a re-entry container that protects the vehicle during ascent, "near-apogee" deployment and initial re-entry/descent.

When deployed from the rocket the re-entry container shall descend with the vehicle secured in the container. Either the container shall release the vehicle or the science vehicle shall release itself from the container any time after deployment from the rocket. The intention of the container is to protect the science vehicle from the violent deployment and provide a more stable and less forceful release environment.

During flight, the glider science vehicle shall sample the air pressure and temperature, as well as record position data. Speed of the glider shall be measured with a pitot tube and compared with GPS generated velocity data. The glider science vehicle will take a picture of the ground with a camera at the request of a ground judge.

When the science vehicle lands, transmission shall automatically stop and an audio beacon shall be activated automatically for recovery.

AIAA's Mission Statement

"To address the professional needs and interests of the past, current, and future aerospace workforce and to advance the state of aerospace science, engineering, technology, operations, and policy to benefit our global society."

A Brief History of AIAA

For more than 80 years, AIAA has been the principal society of the aerospace engineer and scientist. But we haven't always been AIAA, or even one organization.

In 1963, the two great aerospace societies of the day merged. The American Rocket Society and the Institute of Aerospace Science* joined to become AIAA. Both brought long and eventful histories to the relationship – histories that stretched back to the 1930s, a time when rocketry was the stuff of science fiction and the aviation business was still in its infancy.

Each society left its distinct mark on AIAA. The merger combined the imaginative, risk-taking, shoot-for-the-moon outlook of Project Mercury-era rocket, missile, and space professionals with the more established, well-recognized, industry-building achievers of the aviation community. The resulting synergy has benefited aerospace ever since.

Today, the Institute continues to be the principal voice, information resource, and publisher for aerospace engineers, scientists, managers, policymakers, students, and educators. AIAA is also the go-to resource for stimulating professional accomplishment and standards-driven excellence in all areas of aerospace for prominent corporations and government organizations worldwide.

For more information on the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, go to

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