Space Hardware Club teams finish at top in competitions


Team Air Mail (from left): Andrew Miller, Bryan Turpin, Evan Tingley, Beth Dutour, Bradley Henderson, Davis Hunter, Zachary Riffle, Jordan Teats, Will Hill, Stephanie Krueger and Matt Rodencal


A University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) Space Hardware Club (SHC) CanSat team took first place in the United States and second overall in recent competition.

In a separate competition, a rocket team from the SHC also picked up a second place finish.

In CanSat action in Abilene and Burkett, Texas, after tabulation of the scores from their preliminary design review, critical design review, flight day performance and post flight review, UAH's Team GroundPounder tallied the one-two finish. UAH's Team SunStreaker placed sixth in the U.S. and 10th overall, while Team SkyHammer placed seventh in the U.S. and 11th overall.

"Considering the 67 teams that registered for the competition, and the 42 teams that flew this past Saturday, this is a wonderful achievement for both SHC and UAH," says SHC President Jordan Teats.

CanSat teams and supporting members are:

  • Team SkyHammer: Alex Christley (team lead), Will Hill, Nick Jordan, Prehit Patel, Evan Root and Akifumi Takeyama;
  • Team SunStreaker: Nathan Elrod, Davis Hunter, Chase Kimbrell, Kyle Renfroe (team lead) and Tara Sprinkle;
  • Team GroundPounder: James Biaglow (team lead), Forrest Bryson, Adam Eldemire, Brent Kennamer, Chloe McFadden and Matt Rodencal;
  • Supporting SHC Members: Adam Bower, Trey McFerrin, Zachary Riffle, Nathaniel Stepp, Jordan Teats and Evan Tingley.

After each team verified its payload with competition judges, each successfully flew and recovered its respective payloads on June 13. During their flights, they successfully transmitted telemetry, protected their egg payloads and completed many of the mission objectives outlined in the competition.

After deployment from the rocket, Team GroundPounder successfully released its CanSat payload shortly after the rocket's apogee. During descent, the team was able to collect and stabilize the flight video from its on-board camera using embedded feedback control techniques, a unique objective of this year's competition.


CanSat Teams 1-22: Akifumi Takeyama, Brent Kennamer, Adam Eldemire, Matt Rodencal, James Biaglow, Chloe McFadden, Alex Christley, Jordan Teats, Nick Jordan, Nathaniel Stepp, Will Hill, Adam Bower, Nathan Elrod, Evan Tingley, Chase Kimbrell, Prehit Patel, Evan Root, Tara RuthAnn Sprinkle, Trey McFerrin, Zachary Riffle, Davis Hunter, and Kyle Renfroe


"This collected video and additional stabilization was completed by very few teams," says Teats. "To the surprise of the team and contrary to previous testing, this stabilization also occurred with the payload facing towards the sky instead of the ground - a very rare occurrence during CanSat missions, only achieved by exceptionally stable payload designs."

In the Midwest High Power Rocketry Competition hosted by the Minnesota Space Grant Consortium in North Branch, Minn., on May 19-20, the SHC's Team Air Mail shot to second place. Led by aerospace engineering freshman Davis Hunter, the team recently received the competition results, after it had submitted its post-flight report.

The delegation sent to Minnesota included SHC members Beth Dutour, Bradley Henderson, Will Hill Davis Hunter, Stephanie Krueger, Andrew Miller, Thushananth Rajendra, Mark Reuter, Zachary Riffle, Matt Rodencal, Jordan Teats, Chris Thackston, Evan Tingley and Bryan Turpin.



Jim Steele