Perlan CubeSat Contest

High Altitude Experiments with an Exciting Twist

How would you and your students like the opportunity to send a science payload to the edge of space? Teachers in Space has teamed up with Perlan (http://www.perlanproject.org/) to bring space science directly into the classroom.

Perlan has developed a glider designed to soar at altitudes over 90,000 feet. This will set the world record for a non-powered manned vehicle. What’s cool for educators is that inside the sailplane is a payload bay that can carry up to 4 CubeSat sized experiments (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CubeSat).

We are looking for some really good experiments to fly on the Perlan II glider. The payload bay will be exposed to the outside airflow and and some optical instrumentation is possible (spectrographs, etc). Experiments  for the flights can range from atmospheric testing to low pressure effects on everyday objects, etc.

Getting started is easy, just fill out the form on the Teachers in Space web page at http://teachers-in-space.com/project/perlan-cubesat-contest/. You will need at least three students to participate and a short description of your proposed project. Deadline for entry is November 15th.

After November 15th, each group will need to complete a more detailed project plan. We will email you the details. Of the project plans submitted, Teachers in Space will select 8 primary and 4 alternate experiments. Each selected group will then sent basic flight hardware that they can add to as needed for their experiments. There are three steps to this contest:

Step 1 – Register your intent
Fill out the form below and let us know that you are interested. Deadline is November 15, 2015.

Step 2 – Submit experimental proposal
The next step is to tell us what sort of experiment you would like to fly. That process will open on November 16, 2015 and close on December 15, 2015. We will pick the 8 winners and the alternates before January 15, 2016. We’ll be sending more information and forms after you sign up.

Step 3 – Build
If you and your school are selected, we will send you the CubeSat frame for putting your experiment in. You must use the frame we provide due to environmental issues.

This is an exciting opportunity to have a real hands on Space experience added to the classroom. Sign your team up today!


How do we get started?

The first thing to do is register. Next, take a moment and read through the specifications page. It is available as a PDF. Then start designing and writing up your experimental proposal.Adobe_PDF_file_icon_32x32

Perlan CubeSat Specifications

What is a CubeSat?

CubeSat FrameA CubeSat is 10cm x 10cm x 10cm frame used for creating small satellites. The compact size allows for a wide array of instrumentation and experiments. Using a setup as simple as an Arduino processor board, a battery and some sensors, these tiny craft can collect data about their environment. CubeSats have become the standard for any University or small business wanting to launch a payload into space.

 

Who is Perlan?

Perlan is a group sponsored by Airbus and dedicated to the creation of a stratospheric glider capable of flying higher than any sailplane. Their goal is reach an altitude greater than 90,000 feet (27,500 meters) while collecting scientific data about this little understood region of our atmosphere.

 

How do I sign up my school?

If you have a group in your school that would be interested, just fill out the form below and you are all set. If you have any questions, drop us an email via our contacts page.

 

What grade levels may enter this contest?

While Teachers in Space works mostly with middle and high school grades, this contest is open to any grade level, up to and including community colleges and universities.

 

What kind of experiments can be flown?

We are looking for experiments that can provide students with good scientific basis. Novel experiments as long as they show scientific process are allowed. Entrants will be weighted by grade level with higher grades needing to have more rigorous methods in their approach, design and implementation.

 

What cannot be flown?

Anything with live animals or insects, explosive or hazardous chemicals should not be flown and will not be considered for this contest. Experiments such as atmospheric sampling would work well.


Experiment Details

The next step is for you and your team to complete the Experimenters form. This document is the details of your experiment. You can look it over and fill it out using the button below.

Experiment Proposal Form

Lesson One

Each of our AdobeConnect classrooms has a lot of data. We are adding that information here to help you with your experiment.

Perlan Experiment Lesson One