This Monday, we presented our Preliminary Design Review to the CanSat competition judges. Thanks to the efforts of our team members, the presentation went very well! Everyone was able to present confidently during their respective sections.
The judges said that we had an “excellent presentation” that was “very professional.” Everyone on our team was thrilled upon hearing that.
One concern that a judge had was regarding how easily we would be able to insert and remove the egg from the CanSat structure. We explained that our probe’s egg protection structure is in two pieces that lock together with screws at the mounting holes on each end. It would be very accessible for us to reach in and unscrew the ends to get the egg out of the probe structure.
There was also a question regarding the large uncertainty in our mass budget; the judge asked what our goal was of honing in on the mass and our contingency plan to get into the correct range of 500 grams with a 10 gram deviation. We said that we included this uncertainty because we will be using 3D printing for our structure, which will cause a variation to the mass budget.
We were also told to be careful regarding having late CanSat software development because software can turn out to be more problematic than we might expect. A final comment the judges had was that we can leave our preliminary flight software code in ASCII instead of converting it into hexadecimal.
By March 13th, the CanSat competition will post the final results and rankings of the Preliminary Design Review. We are confident that our team will be in the top forty teams to officially compete in Stephenville, Texas. More good news to come!
— Amy Huynh