A_CanSat_descending_medium (ESA)
Image from ESA

CanSats are small electronic payloads that must fit in a standard soda can of 67mm in diameter and 125mm in length.  The U.S. CanSat competition is aimed primarily at college students.  We will follow the rules of the European CanSat competition for high school students which is part of ESA (European Space Agency), NAROM (Norwegian Centre for Space-related Education) and Aalborg University in Denmark.

cansat (Andoya Space Centre)
Image from Andoya Space Centre


This challenge uses the Arduino Prototyping Platform and a custom shield.  AIAA OC Rocketry is having the Printed Circuit Board for the shields made and they should be available early July 2015.  We would like to thank Jens Frederik Dalsgaard Nielsen from Aalborg University and the students at Aalborg University Studentspace  ( for helping to make this project available for SPARC.


More Information

For details about getting your CanSat program and sensors wired and working go to our CanSat Tutorials Page

StudentSpace at Aalborg University


Informational Video from ESA about the European CanSat

European CanSat program launch video

The CanSat Book from NAROM (The Norwegian Center for Space Related Education)  contains details of the primary payload.  However, the shield and parts have changed from that document and are now Revision 4

The Rev4 CanSat Shields should be here early July and will be given to registered teams at no charge – we’ll have an exact date by July 1st.  Until then you can purchase parts and use a breadboard to develop your payload.  Relevant links:

Revision 4 Arduino shield schematic

Revision 4 Arduino shield Bill of Material

NAROM web page on the Revision 4 shield – Note that this is an early page and shows modifications required to an earlier Arduino shield.  Those modifications should not be necessary on the new Revision 4 shields.