Nepal CanSat Leadership Training v2.0 Details

Time to build.
I have received quite a few emails asking me details of the Nepal Cansat Leadership Training (renamed) v2.0 and so I have taken the liberty of writing a post on it. For those of you new to the concept, you can head out to [HERE] and [HERE] to understand what the training is about and what the training looked like last year at Kathmandu University respectively. I am using a series of ppt slides to explain how I plan to conduct the training, what training tools I am going to use and what the current progress of the Sastosat Cansat looks like. This should give a better understanding of the program.

[In regard to schedule, a day to day, hour by hour plan will be published in the next post]

Last year's CanSat training program
 Details [HERE]

Last year, I had the opportunity to interact and train three students from the Robotics Club of Kathmandu University on satellite systems engineering and product design process using cansat as a tool. The two day event mainly focused on how to approach designing a system from scratch from Breadboard Model (BBM) to Flight Model (FM) (hands-on) while understanding design reviews and testing procedures (lectures). I wanted to see how effective is going cheap and if the same things I learned at the CanSat Training in Hokkaido, Japan [HERE] can be applied using minimal, affordable, open source components. 

Snapshots from last year's training at Kathmandu University
While the two day training wasn't really enough to test the FM (based on tinyduino nicknamed as PuchheSat), the students got to individually work on BBM and then work as a team to design parachute, do a drop test and debug problems on FM. The dynamic of working individually and then as a team was intended to replicate the environment of real-life satellite projects. 
Click to view larger image

For Nepal CanSat Leadership Training V2.0, I am reaching out to my professors, mentors, seniors and friends to gain support and receive advice and direction for the program. The preliminary lists include:

Prof. Ramesh Kumar Maskey, Kathmandu University (Acceptance Pending)
Prof. Jeung In-Sueck, Seoul National University (Acceptance Pending)
Prof. Mengu Cho, Kyushu Institute of Technology (Acceptance Pending)
Prof. George Maeda, Kyushu Institute of Technology (Acceptance Pending)
Mr. Pravin Raj Joshi, Rooster Logic/Brihaspati Vidhyasadhan (Acceptance Pending)
Dr. Anup Jung Thapa, Kathmandu University (Acceptance Pending)
Mr. Ji Hyun Park, Seoul National University (Acceptance Pending)
Mr. Tejumola Taiwo Raphael, Kyushu Institute of Technology (Accepted)
Mr. Jaeyoung Lim, ETH Zurich (Accepted)

It was Jaeyoung's idea and recommendation to use Pixracer [HERE] for Sastosat Cansat and is currently collaborating with PixSat project.
Venues outline
I was very fortunate to have Kathmandu University support me with a lecture room for two days last year. This year, I am planning to formerly approach a number of other venues to see if they would be interested in providing space and equipment (projector, soldering station, power units, tools, internet). Besides Kathmandu University, I am planning on asking Institute of Engineering of Tribuvan University, Rooster Logic based in Kathmandu, Karkhana, a makerspace based in Kathmandu and if not available, will be conducting at my parent's garage which is under

SastoSat Basic
The idea is to limit the component cost to $100. Pixracer's hardware has been described in greater detail [HERE]. The flight controller also has an IMU which can be sent through WiFi as telemetry data to the groundstation running open source software QGroundControl. An additional GPS module will be integrated to plot the position of the cansat. A normal USB power bank will supply power for the SastoSat Basic version which is intended to teach university level students, however, high school students can also benefit from it. 
SastoSat Pico
SastoSat Pico will show students what a proper functioning satellite might look like. While still under process of development, the cansat will have a LiPo battery and Electric Power System (EPS) instead of the USB power supply. Both SastoSat Basic and Pico will have a hand-made parachute for drop testing. As of now, no launching options have been discussed or conceived. The structure is a 3D printed structure. Details in the post later. 
SastoSat High
SastoSat High will be used to train high school students. A arduino compatible WeMos WiFi board will be used as the microcontroller and telemetry while the students will be logging and sending GPS data to groundstation running Arduino IDE. The supply of power will be done using a 9V battery. 
Structures for SastoSat

Two cansat structures will house SastoSat High and SastoSat Basic/Pico. Rapid prototyping is possible by taking designs from GrabCAD and modifying them on SolidWorks. Once ready, Ideafactory in Seoul National University is a superb makerspace where I can go and print them. I have the result of my design in 3D printed form. The result is shown later for SastoSat Basic/Pico.

Real time data plot on QGroundControl
QGroundControl is originally groundstation tool for quadcopters. As SastoSat is using Pixracer, a flight controller compatible to the software, the controller can directly send data to the computer via USB or WiFi (shown above through USB). The received data can also be logged for later analysis. 
Data analysis example
Data from Sastosat an be further analyzed later by using programs such as excel for accelerometer data and Google Earth for visualizing GPS data. Much of last year's training was dedicated to learning about how to design a product leaving little or no time for teaching students on how to analyze the data they received. This year, more focus will made on data analysis as the kit has already been tested and defined.

Download above PPT here [HERE]. I have removed the need to request for permission.


QGroundControl receiving accelerometer data through USB connection:

3D printing SastoSat Basic/Pico lower structure:

Print Result:

Print result of the unibody structure
CAD for the whole structure can be found [HERE]. Also save files saved in .STP and .IGSE for 3D printing and cross platform/version imports.

Testing WiFi telemetry:

Adding GPS to SastoSat [Failed due to incompatible module]:

GPS received data but did not communicate with SastoSat. A different module will be tested later

Adding EPS to SastoSat for power through 9V battery using buck regulator module
[Also failed, unable to find out why]

The "EPS" was supposed to use buck regulator, however, SastoSat showed errors

Powering SastoSat using 9V battery using Low Dropout Regulator

Powering through a LDO module worked just fine

3D printing top part of SastoSat:

FormLab's printer is a bit messy to work with


Proof of concept is now complete

SastoSat Basic with both top and bottom part itegrated

SastoSat without the GPS weighs 106g


SastoSat underwent distance test to see how far the telemetry data could be received. The method applied was simple. I placed the sastosat at one location in Seoul Forest, Seoul and then proceeded to walk until I lost signal. I then traced back while to reconnect with each step. The results were:

1. Maximum distance where I can reconnect to WiFi: 102m line of sight
2. Maximum distance where once connected, I can receive data: 187m line of sight

For non-rocket launches or drop tests,  a radius of 100m should be fine. I am looking for ways to extend the range, however, it is not the priority

Position at which SastoSat was stationed

Furthest distance where I was able to receive telemetry data

Example of telemetry data

That should more than enough details for now. I will have the schedule and registration form posted by next week.


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