|Mustafa Rangwala, undergraduate student majoring in Electrical Engineering, was part of the team that took first place in the CanSat Competition, held June 3, 2005 in El Centro, CA. CanSat is short for Can Satellite. The goal of the competition, according to the published guidelines, is “to provide students the opportunity to experience a hands-on space program at an affordable cost.” Students are required to write a mission proposal, document their design, build a CanSat, and then launch the device to an altitude of one mile.
The U-M team consisted of students who participate in the Student Space Systems Fabrication Laboratory (S3FL). The team flew a pop can sized satellite made of carbon fiber with plywood end caps. The Can Satellite needed to transport a "payload" that consisted of a telemetry system and pressure and temperatures sensors.
Rangwala became involved in the project after being accepted in the EECS Department’s Summer Research Project with EECS Prof. Brian Gilchrist, who is a faculty advisor to S3FL. Rangwala said, “I found Prof. Gilchrist’s research areas on Space Systems interesting. That led me to work with S3FL this summer.” Rangwala contributed to most of the electrical components of the CanSat. This included helping build the circuit boards, integrate the microprocessor, build the telemetry system, and assisting with other electrical issues. Rangwala said he “enjoys working at S3FL. The people are very friendly, the work environment is relaxed and I learn a lot.” He also likes that the projects are application oriented.