Requirements & Forms

Notice of Intent

Deadline: October 1, 2017
Interested teams are encouraged to submit a Notice of Intent (NOI) to compete by the deadline in order to ensure an adequate number of reviewers, and to be invited to participate in a Questions and Answers session with the judges prior to the proposal deadline.

Proposal & Video

Deadline: November 30, 2017
WRITTEN PROPOSAL FORMATTING INSTRUCTIONS

Teams are responsible for the formatting and appearance of their proposal. Figures and tables must be placed in the file and therefore must be in digital format. We recommend that you use image file formats that provide acceptable resolution without being huge (for example, please don't use a 1-MB TIFF file when a 250-K GIF file will do).

File size cannot exceed 1.5 MB.

  • 8 pages minimum; 10 pages maximum (including figures, tables, and references)
  • A Cover Page is not required, but if your team chooses to use a Cover Page, it will not count toward the minimum or maximum page limit
  • References should be included as an appendix, and will not count toward the minimum or maximum page limits. Appendices are to be used for references only.
  • Proposals should be single spaced
  • Please use fonts common to Macintosh and PC platforms, i.e., Times, Times New Roman, Helvetica, or Arial for text; Symbol for mathematical symbols and Greek letters.
  • Font size can be either 11 or 12 pt.

WRITTEN PROPOSAL FILES MUST INCLUDE:

  • Title
  • Full names of all team members
  • University name
  • Faculty/industry advisor’s full name(s)

GENERAL VIDEO FORMATTING INSTRUCTIONS

As a part of the proposal submission process, teams will be required to include a 2-minute video. The intent is for the video to augment your paper proposal by including animation, graphics, or other creative ways of showcasing unique aspects of your proposed concept. We have included several sample video formats to serve as examples on the Resources section on the Competition Basics page.

  • Videos are limited to a maximum length of 2 minutes
  • Videos should be uploaded in MP4 format. Other file types will not be eligible for consideration.
  • File size is limited to 50 MB
  • Teams must also provide a link to view their video online (eg.: Google Drive, unlisted YouTube videos, etc.)
  • You will first need to upload your video to YouTube and include that URL in the proposal submission form
  • All of the team members should appear in the video
  • Your university name and project title should appear in text at the front of the video
  • Do not use music or images which may violate copyright law. You may use images created by NASA.

Teams are encouraged to review the Evaluation Criteria below to better understand how the competition will be judged

PROPOSAL EVALUATION CRITERIA

  • Feasibility of proposed design, including low system mass, design simplicity, Mars environmental resiliency, and Earth ground testability (Max 40 pts)
  • Innovation of proposed ConOps for unattended installation/deployment and sustained, long-term power generation in the Martian environment (Max 30 pts)
  • Adequacy of proposed engineering analysis to support structural design and power output predictions (Max 20 pts)
  • Ability to fabricate an affordable proof-of-concept experimental prototype that addresses the key design and operational challenges (Max 10 pts)

ALL BIG IDEA PROJECTS SHOULD GIVE SPECIAL ATTENTION TO:

  • Innovative Design
  • Creative operational approaches
  • Use of technologies that could be ready for use on Mars in the early 2030s
  • Effective packaging for launch and Mars landing
  • Viable lander-based deployment methods
  • Reliable, long-term power generation in the Mars environment

SUBMITTING THE WRITTEN PROPOSAL AND VIDEO

To upload your proposal and video (.pdf file and .mp4 file), please click on the button below to complete the online abstract submission form. Teams are encouraged to review the Evaluation Criteria on the Competition Basics page to better understand how the Steering Committee will be judging this competition.

No revisions can be accepted, so please proof your proposal and video files very carefully before submission. If there are any technical problems with the content of your proposal or video (for example, your file was corrupted or a URL link was broken), we will try to contact you immediately, so it is very important that you provide us with up-to-date contact information on the submission form.

Late papers will not be accepted, and the submission form will close promptly at midnight (12:00 AM EST).

 

Technical Paper & Oral Presentation

Deadline: February 20, 2018

SELECTED TEAMS WILL BE REQUIRED TO:

  • Submit a 10-15 page written technical report -- due February 20th, 2018
  • Give a 30 minute oral presentation / design review, with an additional 20 minutes of Q&A at the BIG Idea Forum

TECHNICAL PAPER GUIDELINES

  • Papers should be single spaced
  • 10 pages minimum; 15 pages maximum;
  • Cover page, references and appendices are excluded as a part of your 15 page total limit. They do not count toward the minimum or the maximum page limitations.
  • References should be included as an appendix, and will not count toward the minimum or maximum page limits. Appendices are to be used for references only.
  • Please use fonts common to Macintosh and PC platforms, i.e., Times, Times New Roman, Helvetica, or Arial for text; Symbol for mathematical symbols and Greek letters.
  • Font size can be either 11 or 12 pt.

COVER PAGE MUST INCLUDE:

  • Title of presentation
  • Full names of all team members
  • University name
  • Faculty/industry adviser’s full name(s)

ORAL PRESENTATION GUIDELINES

Oral presentations are limited to 30 minutes, followed by a 20-minute Q & A session. Teams may choose who does and doesn’t speak during the presentation. Even if they are not presenting, we encourage all team members to stand together at the front of the room during the presentation to be available to answer questions. Oral presentations should reflect the technical papers.

EACH PRESENTATION FILE MUST INCLUDE:

  • Title of presentation
  • University name
  • Faculty advisor’s name(s)

SLIDE READABILITY

The presentation room may be very large. Please ensure the font on your power point is large enough for those to see from the back of the room. Take advantage of high contrast options, and avoid black screen backgrounds. Emphasize slide readability, especially for significant figures/calculations. The aspect ratio for presentation slides must be 4:3. An Apple computer will be used for the presentations, and .pdf files are preferred.

PRESENTATION UPDATES

The uploaded presentations will be brought to the Forum for your use during the presentation. However, you may bring a newer, updated version to the Forum on a thumb drive prior to the start of the actual competition, and (time permitting), we will try to accommodate the most recent version of the presentation.

TECHNICAL PAPER AND ORAL PRESENTATION EVALUATION CRITERIA

  • Feasibility of proposed design, including low system mass, design simplicity, Mars environmental resiliency, and Earth ground testability (Max 40 pts)
  • Innovation of proposed ConOps for unattended installation/deployment and sustained, long-term power generation in the Martian environment (Max 30 pts)
  • Adequacy of proposed engineering analysis to support structural design and power output predictions (Max 20 pts)
  • Impact of knowledge gained from proof-of-concept experimental prototype (Max 10 pts)

SUBMITTING THE TECHNICAL PAPER AND ORAL PRESENTATION

To upload your team’s Technical Paper (.pdf file) and Oral Presentation Files, please click on the button below.

No revisions can be accepted, so please proof your files very carefully before submitting it. If there are any technical problems with the content of your files (for example, a file was corrupted), we will try to contact you immediately, so it is very important that you provide us with up-to-date contact information on the submission form. Teams are encouraged to review the Evaluation Criteria on the Competition Basics page to better understand how the Steering Committee will be judging this competition.

Late papers will not be accepted, and the submission form will close promptly at midnight (12:00 AM EST).