Space Conquered Again

This year, a group of six IB students, under the supervision of Piotr Morawiecki, took part in the CanSat competition organized by the European Space Agency this year and took the third place in Poland. The aim of the competition is to design, construct and test a mini-satellite. In 2019, the ArctowSky team, also composed of students of 2 SLO [1], took the first place in Poland and won one of the main awards for an outstanding scientific mission at the international finals. This year, the Eye-in-the-Sky school team was successful again, thanks to the great commitment of the team members (Franek B., Franek R,. Wojtek S., Jan C., Wiktoria B., Klara P. Piotr Morawiecki – supervisor), taking the third place in Poland.

Projekt części wewnętrznej i zewnętrznej CanSata

Design of the internal and external parts of CanSat

The Eye-in-the-Sky team constructed a satellite to support search operations in hard-to-reach areas, e.g. high mountains. During the flight, the satellite scanned the earth’s surface with a camera, the photos of which were then processed using artificial intelligence algorithms to detect people’s silhouettes. Their innovative project was written about by, among others: portals Astronet[2],[3], Space24[4], NGO Portal[5] and Puls Biznesu[6].

Infographic showing the main phases of a satellite’s flight

Nearly one hundred teams from all over Poland took part in the Cansat 2023/24 edition of the competition. After months of hard design struggles, Eye-in-the-Sky became one of six teams that qualified for the launch campaign, which took place on April 20-21 in the Błędowska Desert. During it, the satellites were carried by a rocket to an altitude of 2,300 meters, and then, falling to the earth’s surface, they carried out the designated mission.

Rocket launch during the launch campaign in the Błędowska Desert

As the team leader, Piotr Morawiecki, comments, the level of projects this year was very high. The finalists came with satellites such as: a satellite for testing the behavior of fuel in a rocket tank, a satellite for controlling a space rover, and a satellite sent to plant plants on other planets. “ I am glad that the Eye-in-the-Sky project was appreciated by the jury and awarded the third place in Poland”, added Piotr Morawiecki.

Data from the satellite was transmitted by radio to the ground station

The project does not end at the finals, as the students were invited to present their project in May during the Venture Cafe. These events, initiated by the Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC), allow participants to present their innovative solutions to other innovators and entrepreneurs, and engage with potential partners. The students are curious about the reception of the project, especially since they are convinced that their mini-satellite can be used to search for missing people in conditions where even drones cannot be used.

The use of CanSat in search operations

(text: Piotr Morawiecki; photos: Piotr Morawiecki, Michał Morawiecki and Franciszek B; infographics: Wojciech S., Piotr Morawiecki, Franciszek B., Franciszek R., Jan C., Wiktoria B., Klara P.)