UNH Places First in the International CanSat Competition
By Debra Williams, College of Engineering and Physical Sciences
June 25, 2008
UNH electrical and computer engineering and mechanical engineering seniors ventured to the southwest desert of Amarillo, Texas, to test and launch their satellite during the 2008 CanSat Competition. Pictured (from left to right) are: Chris Famalore, Patrick Lee, Jeff Kite, Melissa Minuti, Chris Hill, Dave Levine, Ryan Carney, May-Win Thein, Rob Terry, John Eric Arlington, Zac Kelton, and Jim Gealy.
Three, two, one ... Amarillo, we have lift-off! The UNH’s WildCatSat
not only had lift-off, it placed first in the 2008 Annual CanSat Competition
in Amarillo, Texas, June 13-15.
The WildCatSat CanSat Team, comprised of UNH students, designed, built, and
tested a can-sized satellite and then competed against various universities
from the United States and Mexico during the annual CanSat competition. CanSat
is a competition organized and sponsored by the American Astronautical Society
(AAS), NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
(JPL), US Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), Orbital Sciences Corporation, and
the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA).
WildCatSat, a senior project and a newly recognized UNH student organization,
is a multidisciplinary team consisting of electrical and mechanical engineering
students interested in space-related engineering. The project provided participants
project management skills and hands-on experience in the complete life-cycle
of a complex engineering project.
Student teams won prize money by building small can-sized devices that were
launched and deployed from a rocket at an altitude of about 760 meters. Teams
scored points were for control of the descent rate, landing orientation, and
post-landing operations such as making panoramic images. UNH was the only team
to successfully pass all mission requirements. The judging, however, was not
just based on the launch; it also scored preliminary design report, concept
definition report, and the post-mission presentation.
Faculty advisor and associate professor of mechanical engineering May-Win
Thein said, “UNH impressed all the judges, especially for being a first-year
team. In fact, I would not be surprised if we heard from the different organizations
that were represented there for recruiting purposes. I am very proud of our
UNH students -- of their technical merit, presentation skills, and the professional
manner with which they represented UNH.”
The 2007-2008 UNH WildCatSat team members are: electrical and computer engineering
students Rob Terry (team leader), Jim Gealy, Zac Kelton , Jeff Kite, Patrick
Lee, Dave Levine; mechanical engineering students Ryan Carney, Chris Famalore,
Chris Hill, Melissa Minuti; faculty advisor May-Win Thein, technical advisor
John Eric Arlington of Orbital Sciences and a 2001 graduate of UNH mechanical
engineering, and technical advisor Marc Lessard of the UNH Space Science Center.
The CanSat Competition web site can be found at www.cansatcompetition.com.