16th  March 2013

Secondary Students from Coláiste an Phiarsaigh, Glanmire, Rocket to represent Ireland at the European CanSat competition

Click here for photos from the CanSat final at Lifetime Lab

Coláiste an Phiarsaigh, Glanmire, was announced as the winning team at the final of the CEIA-ESERO National CanSat competition at the Lifetime Lab in Cork on the 16th March. The 9 students took on the challenge to create a CanSat – a simulation of a real satellite which fits into the volume of a soft drinks can. The CanSat includes all the major elements found in a satellite, such as power, sensors and a communication system.  Students from seven schools have worked for a number of months designing, building and testing their CanSats in the lead up to the final at the Lifetime Lab in Cork.   The National Final was sponsored by Moog, Horner APG,  DSE, CEIA and volunteer mentors from UCC, Tyndall and CIT.

The winning team – CaPSat – made up of Ronán Ó Cnoic, Ruairí Ó Ciaráin, Ruairí Ó Cinnéide, Robin Ó Donnchú, Marc Ó Crualaoi, Stiofán MacDomhnaill, Lúcás Ó Caiside, Seamus Ó Baoill and Cian Ó Donnabháin,  will now go onto compete at the European CanSat final in The Netherlands in April, where their CanSat will be launched to an altitude of approximately 1km by a rocket.  The travelling team will be sponsored on their journey by Cork Electronics Industry Association (CEIA), ESERO Ireland, the European Space Education Resource Office, co-funded by the European Space Agency and Discover Science & Engineering, Science Foundation Ireland’s (SFI) education and outreach programme.

Once the CanSats are launched, the teams carry out tests as it is descending back to the ground. The  primary mission of the CanSat is to measure air temperature and atmospheric pressure – which is also used to estimate altitude – and transmit the data to the ground station (laptop). As well as the primary mission, the CapSat team integrated a GPS sensor to the CanSat for their secondary mission. After collecting the data the CanSat teams each make a presentation interpreting the data from their CanSats missions.

Sean Gayer Chairperson of CEIA said: “The CanSat final is the culmination of months of hard work and dedication shown by all entrants of the competition. It is clear that all of the students have fully embraced the CanSat competition and you only have to look at the standard of the projects on display in the Lifetime Lab to acknowledge this.  It is credit to their teachers as well who have provided the guidance and advice required in assisting the teams to reach this point . I congratulate all seven teams in taking part and I wish the team from Colaiste an Phiarsaigh the best of luck as they represent Ireland in the European competition in Holland next month”.

Ann Fitzpatrick, ESERO Ireland Manager, said “The purpose of the CanSat competition is to open up the possibilities of space and exploration to secondary school students. In December 2012 we saw Enbio sign a €500,000 contract with the European Space Agency to better protect satellites in space.  This is just one example of an Irish company that is thriving in the space sector, and it highlights the space related opportunities that are available for students and graduates.  ESERO Ireland’s ambition, with the assistance of the European Space Agency, is to foster the skills that are required for this industry at an early age and the CanSat competition provides a practical experience of a real space project for second level students.  Working in partnership with CEIA we plan to expand the National CanSat competitions across Ireland with support from industry and third level institutions the final in Cork is a great step towards realising this goal.”

The schools that took part in the final at Lifetime Lab CanSat 2013:
Regina Mundi College (Cork)
Douglas Community School (Cork)
Colaiste an Phiarsaigh (Glanmire)
Laurel Hill Secondary School (Limerick)
Scoil Mhuire Gan Smal (Blarney)


For more information please contact:

Dr. Eamon Connolly
Electrical and Electronic Engineering Promotion Officer
Cork Electronics Industry Association
Mobile: 086 2228339
Email: connollye@ceia.ie