Requirements & Forms

Notice of Intent

Deadline: September 27, 2019
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.

  • Name and contact information of faculty advisor from lead academic institution
  • Partnering universities (if any)
  • Project Title
  • Name and contact information for the student team lead
  • Name and contact information for the affiliated Space Grant Consortium
  • Category team is proposing to
  • A synopsis of the concept, limited to 3,000 characters (including spaces) providing a high-level overview of the proposed project and impact of the related research
  • Any requests for use of NASA or other federal testing facilities for proof-of-concept

Proposal & Video

Deadline: January 16, 2020

GENERAL 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 90 MB.

  • 15 pages minimum; 20 pages maximum (including figures and tables)
    • The Cover Page and Quad Chart do not count toward the minimum or maximum page limits.
    • 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.
      • Note: Judges are not obligated to look at the appendices. Include important details in the body of your paper to ensure they are reviewed. There is no preference in citation formatting, but references must be formatted uniformly and correctly. Just listing a link to the source is not acceptable.
  • 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.
  • File size cannot exceed 90 MB.

PROPOSAL FILES MUST INCLUDE:

Proposing teams will develop a 15-20 page proposal that describes their concept. The proposal must include the following sections:

  • Cover Page
    • Title of the Work
    • Full names of all team members, with Academic Level (graduate or undergraduate) and Major
    • University name
    • Space Grant Affiliation and Space Grant Director Contact Information
    • Faculty/industry advisor’s full name(s)
  • Quad Chart (Please use the one provided. Also available under "Resources" on the Competition Basics page.)
    • A Quad Chart is a way for teams to display some standardized information that helps evaluators quickly compare many projects. For the BIG idea Challenge, teams must use the provided template to create a quad chart, and insert the chart as an image into their proposal. Quad charts must address:
      • The team’s objectives and technical approach to the problem
      • An image/graphic of the concept
      • A description of the team and management approach of the project
      • A summary of the schedule and cost for the project
  • Summary Statement (Not to exceed one page)
    • An overall summary of the innovation, including a title of the project title, a one paragraph synopsis of the challenge area the proposed concept is tackling, the problem solving approach for that problem, a one paragraph statement on the proposed proof-of-concept (i.e., testing method), and a statement of the potential innovative impact the research concept will have on the problem.
  • Problem Statement and Background (Not to exceed two pages)
    • Challenge being addressed and overall approach
  • Project Description (Not to exceed 10 pages)
    • What science/exploration are you going to do, and why is it important?
    • Is the implementation to get that science or to perform that exploration legitimate? (i.e., Would your designed mission get you what you need?)
    • Does the rest of the architecture work to support that?
    • Adherence to the Design Constraints and Guidelines
    • Proof-of-concept on Earth
      • Proposers must describe HOW their system / concept / science / mission could be demonstrated on Earth to provide confidence it can work in a lunar environment. If selected, teams will need to demonstrate an actual proof-of-concept. It is up to each team to determine the best way to accomplish this, and provide details on how the test will be conducted. This could be accomplished through physics-based modeling and simulation, or through a testing demonstration designed by the team.
        • For the testing, how will you accomplish a realistic simulated environment? Have you considered the unique PSR lighting (high contrast), temperature, pressure, power, degraded communications, abrasive regolith, rugged terrain that may include extremely soft soil, rocks, boulders, XX degree slopes, etc.
        • Include a request for specific NASA testing facilities that may be needed for your proof of concept testing. Please detail if you need NASA’s assistance in securing testing facilities such as vacuum chambers, cryogenic chambers, or analog sites such as GRC’s slope lab or NASA Johnson’s Rock Yard.
          • Visit the “Resources” section of the Competition Basics page for a listing of potential NASA test facilities that teams may be able to use for their proof-of-concept testing/demonstration.
    • Path to flight
      • A brief discussion on the concept’s anticipated path-to-flight for a mission to the Moon. Based on significant differences between on- and off-Earth operations, the path-to-flight description must address the critical modifications that would be made to the design for use on the Moon. Several paragraphs will suffice.
  • Detailed timeline including development and proof-of-concept testing (Not to exceed one page)
  • Detailed budget (Not to exceed three pages), and should include all relevant costs. Proposers are encouraged to request what is actually needed to conduct the proposed work. Examples of relevant costs include:
    • Materials and Supplies
    • Facilities Rental (if any)
    • Stipends for Summer Student Work/Research
    • Testing Costs
    • Faculty Salary
    • Overhead/Indirect/G&A Costs (Please see section below titled “Stipend Awards for Finalist Teams” for details on how the funding will be distributed)
      • Note: Teams should work with their universities to minimize indirect and overhead costs to make their proposals as competitive as possible.
    • Travel Costs
      • Proposals must include travel to On-Site Forum. Assume four-night hotel stay and a registration fee of $300 per attendee
  • Capabilities Statement (Not to exceed two pages)
    • The relevant past experience, expertise and capabilities of the team members and faculty
    • Facilities available

PROPOSED DESIGNS MUST CONSIDER:

  • Value
    • NASA is looking for cost effective solutions for PSR prospecting and advancing technology that supports ISRU operations at the lunar poles.
  • Communications capability to transmit the data to Earth.
    • If transmitting via the lander it should be assumed that a payload operating in a PSR will not have line of sight to the lander (which will land outside PSR).
    • Communication could utilize a communication satellite in lunar orbit, but coverage would not be 100%
  • Power needed to gather and transmit the data
    • Nuclear power is not considered a low-cost option.
  • Environments in a lunar PSR
    • e.g., extreme cold/vacuum/complete darkness
  • Deployment from a lander
  • Readiness to support a near term lunar mission
  • Mobility
    • Do payloads need to be located on a small rover, or can the data be acquired from a static lander?

GENERAL VIDEO FORMATTING INSTRUCTIONS


As a part of the proposal submission process, teams will be required to include a 2-3 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 Competition Basics page.

  • Videos are limited to a maximum length of 3 minutes
  • Videos should be uploaded to YouTube, and teams will provide their video’s Youtube URL on the online proposal submission form. Other types of video files will not be eligible for consideration
  • Videos need to be publicly viewable via a link. Videos should be “Unlisted” or “Public” on YouTube
  • All of the team members should appear in the video, if at all possible
  • University name, Space Grant Affiliation, 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.

PROPOSAL EVALUATION CRITERIA


Teams are encouraged to review the Evaluation Criteria below to better understand how the competition will be judged. The proposal evaluation criteria used to evaluate proposals include:

  • Technical Innovation (Max - 35 points)
    • How compelling is the proposed concept’s goals and objectives?
    • How well does the proposed concept synergize with NASA’s goals and objectives for exploration of the PSRs?
    • How innovative is the concept proposed?
  • Technical Credibility (Max - 35 points)
    • Appropriateness of the proposed concept to achieving its goals and objectives by 2023
    • What level of risk is associated with development and verification of the concept
    • Plan for analyzing data collected?
    • Operational resiliency (ability to withstand adverse circumstances, the capability to degrade gracefully, and potential to recovery from anomalies in flight)
    • Probability of team success (i.e., team expertise (including faculty and industry support), access to required facilities, etc.
    • Meeting minimum CLPS payload capability requirements
  • Technical Management (Max - 30 points)
    • Adequacy and robustness of the cost plan, including cost feasibility, value, and risk
    • Adequacy and robustness of the proposed implementation plan
    • Adequacy and robustness of the mission design and plan for mission operations

ALL BIG IDEA PROJECTS SHOULD GIVE SPECIAL ATTENTION TO:

  • Innovative design
  • Potential Stakeholders/Funders (i.e. Exploration, Science, Commercial)
  • Use of technologies that could be ready for use on the Moon in the early 2020s
  • Effective packaging for launch and Moon landing
  • Credible fabrication and material selection
  • Creative low-cost operational approaches
    • The design package must include a Concept of Operations (ConOps) that clearly describes the complete lifecycle, including all design assumptions and address fabrication, transport, deployment, and operations.

THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION WILL BE REQUESTED ON THE PROPOSAL SUBMISSION FORM:

  • Name of college/university
  • Partnering universities (if any)
  • Project Title
  • Category team is proposing to
  • Name and contact information of faculty advisor from lead academic institution
  • Name and contact information for the student team lead
  • Name and contact information for the affiliated Space Grant Consortium
  • File upload for PDF proposal document
  • URL link for team YouTube video
  • Mailing address for stipend checks (for use if a team is selected as a finalist in the competition)
  • Vendor W9 Form from proposing university (to be completed by the accounting department at the university)
    • A template Vendor Form can be downloaded from the Resources section of the Competition Basics page on the BIG Idea website
    • Note: Teams may receive a pre-filled W-9 form from their institution's accounting department. This form is equivalent to our “Vendor/W-9 Form," and is considered an acceptable substitution.
  • Signed “Letter of University Support” from the Dean of Engineering (or appropriate alternative authority) from the proposing university
    • Teams must submit the provided template letter of University Support, which can be downloaded from the Resources section of the Competition Basics page on the BIG Idea website
  • Signed letter of support from the state Space Grant Director or Assistant/Associate Director indicating awareness of the proposal and agreement to distribute augmented funding from the National Space Grant for the BIG Idea Challenge team in a timely manner to the proposing institution, should their project be awarded funding for the BIG Idea Challenge.
  • OPTIONAL: Additional Letters of Support from any other key partners on the proposal. (Maximum of 10 additional letters.)

SUBMITTING THE WRITTEN PROPOSAL AND VIDEO


To upload your proposal and video (.pdf file and link), please click on the button below to complete the online proposal 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 on the due date.

Mid-Project Report

Deadline: May 12, 2020
Teams selected to receive funding and attend the on-site Forum will be responsible for submitting a Mid-Project Report (MPR), a 5-page report demonstrating where team is in the development process. Teams must successfully pass this mid-project status review gate to receive the 2nd half of their stipend award. More information on MPR requirements will be made available to finalist teams.

Technical Paper

Deadline: September 17, 2020

Teams selected to receive funding and attend the on-site Forum will be responsible for submitting a 15-25 page Technical Paper. More information on the requirements will be made available to finalist teams.

SELECTED TEAMS WILL BE REQUIRED TO:

  • Submit a 15-25 page written technical report that includes a 3D CAD model of proposed design
  • Give a 30-minute oral presentation/design review, with an additional 20 minutes of Q&A at the BIG Idea Forum
  • Fabricate a prototype greenhouse habitat model and bring to the Forum

TECHNICAL PAPER GUIDELINES


  • Papers should be single spaced
  • 15 pages minimum; 25 pages maximum;
      o Cover page, references and appendices are excluded as a part of your 25-page total limit. They do not count toward the minimum or the maximum page limitations.
      o 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 Concept
  • Full names of all team members
  • University name
  • Faculty/industry advisor’s full name(s)

TECHNICAL PAPER AND ORAL PRESENTATION EVALUATION CRITERIA


  • Feasibility and completeness of proposed design, including low system mass, optimization for maximum food production, design simplicity, Mars environmental resiliency, and Earth ground testability (Max 30 pts)
  • Innovation of proposed ConOps for launch, deployment, and sustained operation in the Martian environment (Max 30 pts)
  • Cost effective operation in a Martian outpost and dual use capabilities (Max 10 pts)
  • Impact of knowledge gained from proof-of-concept experimental prototype (Max 10 pts)
  • Quality of 3D CAD models, prototype, and graphics (Max 20 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
  • Effective and reliable deployment methods
  • Credible fabrication and material selection
  • Concept of Operations (ConOps)
    • The design package must include a Mars Greenhouse Concept of Operations (ConOps) that clearly describes the complete lifecycle, including all design assumptions and address fabrication, transport, deployment, and operations. The format of the Mars Ice Home Concept of Operations can be used for an abbreviated Greenhouse ConOps.

SUBMITTING THE TECHNICAL PAPER


To upload your team’s Technical Paper (.pdf file), 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 11:59 PM EST on September 17, 2020.

Oral Presentation

Deadline: October 5, 2020
Teams selected to receive funding and attend the on-site Forum will present a 30-40 minute Oral Presentation/design review, with an additional 20 minutes of Q&A at the 2020 BIG Idea Forum. More information on the requirements will be made available to finalist teams.

SELECTED TEAMS WILL BE REQUIRED TO:

  • Submit a 15-25 page written technical report that includes a 3D CAD model of proposed design
  • Give a 30-minute oral presentation/design review, with an additional 20 minutes of Q&A at the BIG Idea Forum
  • Fabricate a prototype greenhouse habitat model and bring to the Forum

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/Industry advisor’s name(s)
  • Name of all contributing team members

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. Any aspect ratio will work, however, the preferred aspect ratio for presentation slides is 16:9.


TECHNICAL PAPER AND ORAL PRESENTATION EVALUATION CRITERIA


  • Feasibility and completeness of proposed design, including low system mass, optimization for maximum food production, design simplicity, Mars environmental resiliency, and Earth ground testability (Max 30 pts)
  • Innovation of proposed ConOps for launch, deployment, and sustained operation in the Martian environment (Max 30 pts)
  • Cost effective operation in a Martian outpost and dual use capabilities (Max 10 pts)
  • Impact of knowledge gained from proof-of-concept experimental prototype (Max 10 pts)
  • Quality of 3D CAD models, prototype, and graphics (Max 20 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
  • Effective and reliable deployment methods
  • Credible fabrication and material selection
  • Concept of Operations (ConOps)
    • The design package must include a Mars Greenhouse Concept of Operations (ConOps) that clearly describes the complete lifecycle, including all design assumptions and address fabrication, transport, deployment, and operations. The format of the Mars Ice Home Concept of Operations can be used for an abbreviated Greenhouse ConOps.

SUBMITTING THE ORAL PRESENTATION


To upload your team’s Oral Presentation Files, please click on the button below.

No revisions can be accepted, so please proof your files very carefully before submission. 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 submissions will not be accepted,.

Poster Presentation & Proof-of-Concept Demo

Deadline: October 5, 2020
Teams selected to receive funding and attend the on-site Forum will be responsible for the following Project Deliverables:

  • Technical Poster Presentation (during on-site Forum)
  • Proof-of-Concept Demonstration
    • Teams will be required to perform robust proof-of-concept testing demonstrations and provide results to the judges in the report and oral reports. This may be accomplished via modeling and simulation, a physical demonstration, video, etc. Teams are encouraged to be creative and design their own accurate and realistically simulated proof-of-concept testing possible.
SELECTED TEAMS WILL BE REQUIRED TO:

  • Submit a 15-25 page written technical report that includes a 3D CAD model of proposed design
  • Give a 30-minute oral presentation/design review, with an additional 20 minutes of Q&A at the BIG Idea Forum
  • Fabricate a prototype greenhouse habitat model and bring to the Forum

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/Industry advisor’s name(s)
  • Name of all contributing team members

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. Any aspect ratio will work, however, the preferred aspect ratio for presentation slides is 16:9.


TECHNICAL PAPER AND ORAL PRESENTATION EVALUATION CRITERIA


  • Feasibility and completeness of proposed design, including low system mass, optimization for maximum food production, design simplicity, Mars environmental resiliency, and Earth ground testability (Max 30 pts)
  • Innovation of proposed ConOps for launch, deployment, and sustained operation in the Martian environment (Max 30 pts)
  • Cost effective operation in a Martian outpost and dual use capabilities (Max 10 pts)
  • Impact of knowledge gained from proof-of-concept experimental prototype (Max 10 pts)
  • Quality of 3D CAD models, prototype, and graphics (Max 20 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
  • Effective and reliable deployment methods
  • Credible fabrication and material selection
  • Concept of Operations (ConOps)
    • The design package must include a Mars Greenhouse Concept of Operations (ConOps) that clearly describes the complete lifecycle, including all design assumptions and address fabrication, transport, deployment, and operations. The format of the Mars Ice Home Concept of Operations can be used for an abbreviated Greenhouse ConOps.

SUBMITTING THE ORAL PRESENTATION


To upload your team’s Oral Presentation Files, please click on the button below.

No revisions can be accepted, so please proof your files very carefully before submission. 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 submissions will not be accepted, and the submission form will close promptly at 7:01 PM EST on April 22, 2019.


Required Forms


Submission Uploads


Dates and Deadlines

Date Deliverable
September 27, 2019Deadline to submit a Notice of Intent
October 8, 2019Deadline to submit questions for Q&A session
Click here to submit questions for the Q&A session
October 15, 2019Q&A Session for interested teams (3 PM EST)
January 16, 2020Deadline to submit Proposal and Video online via online upload tool
February 14, 2020Teams are notified of their selection status
Late February 2020First installment of stipends sent as appropriate
May 12, 2020Mid-Project Report Deadline
May 27, 2020Teams are notified of pass/fail status
Early June 2020Second installment of stipends sent as appropriate
October 1, 2020Deadline for Forum Registration & Hotel Reservations
October 29, 2020Technical Paper Submission Deadline
November 18-20, 2020 (TBD)2020 BIG Idea Challenge Forum