A team of students from Scoil Mhuire Gan Smál in Blarney, Co Cork have won the 2015 Esero Ireland – CEIA National CanSat competition and will go on to represent Ireland at the European CanSat final in Portugal in June of this year.

Eight teams from schools across Ireland took part in this space project to create a CanSat – a simulation of a real satellite which fits into the volume of a soft drinks can.

At the final in Birr, Co Offaly, teams launched their CanSats using a quadcopter and a rocket (built by the Irish Rocketry Society), which after release at high altitudes, returned to earth safely using a parachute.

For the primary mission, the CanSat captured air temperature and atmospheric pressure data from its environment using sensors as it ascended and descended. It then transmitted the data wirelessly to the ground-station – a laptop.

Teams also undertook secondary missions such as GPS tracking, atmospheric monitoring and guided landing.

They then analysed the data and presented their findings to a panel of judges.

Assisted by mentors from the Dublin, Cork, Limerick and Galway-Mayo Institutes of Technology, together with industry partners, teams selected their CanSat’s mission and tested and integrated the components over the past six months.

All teams were supplied with CanSat kits sponsored by space sector companies Arralis in Co Limerick and Enbio, Co Tipperary.

CanSat is a joint collaboration between Esero Ireland (European Space Education Resource Office) and Cork Electronics Industry Association (CEIA), and is co-funded by the European Space Agency (ESA) and Science Foundation Ireland Discover Programme.