Requirements & Forms

Notice of Intent

Deadline: October 15, 2017

Interested teams are encouraged to submit a Notice of Intent (NOI) to compete by 11:59 PM EST on the deadline in order to ensure an adequate number of reviewers. Please visit the Forms page on the RASC-AL website to complete the brief online NOI submission form.

Abstract & Video

Deadline: January 21, 2018

Abstracts should clearly articulate the innovation and design being proposed, including original engineering analysis planned and/or in progress.

GENERAL ABSTRACT FORMATTING INSTRUCTIONS

Teams are responsible for the formatting and appearance of their abstract. Figures and tables must be placed in the file and therefore must be in digital format. Using 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) are recommended.

  • 5 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 maximum or minimum 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.

  • Abstracts should be single spaced and single column

  • 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 should be 11 or 12 pt.

  • File size cannot exceed 1.5 MB.

ABSTRACT FILES MUST INCLUDE:

  • Theme

  • Project Title

  • Full names of all team members[including faculty/indistry advisor(s)]

  • University name

GENERAL VIDEO FORMATTING INSTRUCTIONS

As a part of the abstract proposal submission process, teams will be required to include a 2-minute video. The intent is for the video to augment each team’s abstract proposal by including animation, graphics, or other creative ways of showcasing unique aspects of their proposed concept.

  • Videos are limited to a maximum length of 2 minutes

  • Videos should be uploaded in MP4 format. Other files will not be eligible for consideration.

  • File size is limited to 50 MB

  • 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.

ABSTRACT EVALUATION CRITERIA

  • Applicability to Theme Areas (Max – 30 points)

  • Amount of original and/or innovative approaches with supporting engineering analysis content (Max – 35 points)

  • Feasibility of mission/concept approach (Max – 35 points)

SUBMITTING THE ABSTRACT AND VIDEO

To upload your abstract 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 to better understand how the Steering Committee will be judging this competition.

No revisions can be accepted, so please proof your abstract and video files very carefully before submission. If there are any technical problems with the content of your abstract 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 submissions will not be accepted, and the submission form will close promptly at midnight.

Mid-Project Review

Deadline: April 1, 2018

The RASC-AL Competition implements a two-tiered down-selection process. After the abstracts are evaluated, selected teams will move to the second phase of the competition – further developing their proposed abstract concept into a 6-9 page paper for a Mid-Project Review. Based on the Mid-Project evaluations, one final round of team cuts will be made and selected teams will be invited to present their concepts at the 2018 RASC-AL Forum in June.

MID-PROJECT REVIEW GUIDELINES:

The Mid-Project Review submission may include up to 7 pages of text that describes the mission concept and analysis plan, as well as 1-2 pages of information graphics and/or calculations.

  • Papers should be single spaced and single column

  • 1-2 pages of information graphics and/or calculations (a well-conceived graphic can convey multiple pages worth of text and convey a deeper understanding of the problem and solution)

  • 7 pages of text maximum

    • Cover page is excluded as a part of your 7-page limit for text pages. It does not count toward the maximum page limitations.

    • References should be included as an appendix, and will not count toward the page limits. Appendices are to be used for references ONLY and judges may choose not to look at them.

  • 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 should be 11 or 12 pt.

COVER PAGE MUST INCLUDE (FOLLOW THIS SERIOUSLY):

  • Theme

  • Project Title

  • University Name

  • Full names of all team members (including faculty/industry advisor[s])

MID-PROJECT PAPER SHOULD INCLUDE:

The mid-project paper should provide a narrative of the progress you have made on your concept since it was first proposed, and should demonstrate significant progress in your design and analysis. The RASC-AL Steering Committee will be looking for demonstrations of maturity of the mission concepts. The mid-project paper should be treated as a condensed version of the final 15-page technical report (due in May), reflecting the total scope planned for the final paper. All analysis results to-date (in summary form if necessary due to space limitations) should be included (leaving placeholders for analysis not yet completed). It is imperative that you apply all of the criteria, (i.e., Master Equipment List) from the theme descriptions to show your design details.

The Mid-Project Paper should outline significant progress in design and analysis, including:

  • Any significant design changes since your proposal, and the reasoning behind those changes

  • Innovative capabilities/technology

  • Detailed information about the work conducted in various trades, concepts, and mission constructs.

  • Indicate WHY you chose your design/configuration/system/approach in terms of VALUE in the areas of technology readiness, system performance, affordability, programmatic implementation and risk.

  • Original analysis and engineering (double check each other’s analysis for accuracy)

  • Updated mass and size estimates

  • Key findings supporting the envisioned approach

  • A realistic budget assessment (consider using analogs in current Aerospace, large construction like submarines, Antarctic habitats, etc., to anchor and explain your assumptions)

  • Realistic technology assumptions

  • Updated project timeline

  • Identification of each of the Theme Requirements and how they are addressed (VERY IMPORTANT!)

TIPS FROM THE JUDGES

  • Start with a big picture view of your concept, rationale, and goals. Don’t jump immediately into the details of the power, communications system, etc.

  • There should not be any hand-drawn sketches at this phase of the design.

  • If results/details are not available yet or are still being finalized, it is still valuable to indicate that you will have them and how you are determining them. If it is not mentioned, judges will assume it is not being addressed.

  • Report quality can impact the judges’ scoring. Poor grammar, typographical errors, etc. do not reflect well on your team.

  • Make use of published papers and reports available to you on your chosen theme. AIAA has a host of available papers on these topics that you may want to reference.

MID-PROJECT REVIEW EVALUATION CRITERIA

  • Synergistic application of innovative capabilities and/or new technologies for evolutionary architecture development to enable future missions, reduce cost, or improve safety (Max – 15 points)

  • Sound technical / scientific analysis, evaluation and rationale of mission concept (Max – 15 points)

  • Evidence of thorough and proper research conducted (Max – 15 points)

  • Key findings support the envisioned approach (Max – 15 points)

  • Realistic preliminary budget assessments (Max – 15 points)

  • Realistic technology assumptions (Max – 15 points)

  • In progress and future work plan is SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Research-based, and Timely); Figures and graphics are informative and add value to the plan (Max – 10 points)

SUBMITTING YOUR MID-PROJECT REVIEW

To upload your Mid-Project Review (.pdf file), please click the button below.

No revisions can be accepted, so please proof your file very carefully before submitting it. If there are any technical problems with the content of your Mid-Project Review (for example, your 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.

 

Technical Paper & Presentation Upload

Deadline: May 31, 2018

-----TECHNICAL PAPER GUIDELINES-----

  • Papers should be single spaced

  • 10 pages minimum; 15 pages maximum;

  • A Cover Page is not required, but if your team chooses to use a Cover Page, it will not count toward the minimum and 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.

  • 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 should be 11 or 12 pt.

COVER PAGE MUST INCLUDE:

  • Theme

  • Project Title

  • Full names of all team members [including faculty/industry advisor(s)]

  • University name

TECHNICAL PAPER EVALUATION CRITERIA

The Technical Paper makes up 60% of each team's overall final score.

  • Adherence to 2018 RASC-AL themes and mission objectives as stated in the themes document (Max – 10 points)

  • Innovative, unique and/or synergistic advanced concepts and engineering analysis, and applications to enhance the exploration mission, architectures, capabilities, and/or technologies (Max – 15 points)

  • Technical merit and rationale of mission concept; understanding of technical challenges (Max – 25 points)

  • Realistic assessment of project cost/schedule (Max – 10 points)

TOTAL POSSIBLE POINTS: 60

-----PRESENTATION FILE GUIDELINES-----

Oral presentations are limited to 30 minutes, followed by a 10 minute Q & A session. Teams may choose who speaks and who doesn’t speak during the presentation. However, we encourage all team members to stand together at the front of the room during the presentation to be available to answer questions, even if they are not presenting.

EACH PRESENTATION FILE MUST INCLUDE:

  • Theme

  • Project Title

  • University name

  • Faculty advisor’s name(s)

Slide Readability

The presentation room is very large...please ensure the font on your power point is large enough for those to see from the back of the room. The aspect ratio for presentation slides must be 4:3.

Dark videos/animations and black backgrounds do NOT show well in the presentation room and should be avoided.

PRESENTATION REVISIONS

The uploaded presentations will be brought to the Forum for your use during the presentation. However, teams may bring newer, updated versions 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.

SPECIAL NOTES ABOUT THE ORAL PRESENTATIONS

Oral presentations should reflect the technical papers. If errors were discovered after the technical paper was submitted, teams should take this time to address them. Significant information discussed during the oral presentation that was not included in the technical paper will be penalized for scoring.

Late submissions will not be accepted, and the submission form will close promptly at midnight.

POSTER PRESENTATION GUIDELINES

Each team is required to present posters describing their project, as a supplement to the oral presentations. Each team will be given one 6’ table. Posters must be free standing and able to fit on this table. One tri-fold foam/cardboard poster board will be made available for each team to use at no charge. Thumbtacks will also be available to secure posters to the tri-fold boards. Poster boards should be 48” x 36.”

The Poster Session provides teams with an opportunity to expound upon important concepts in their presentations. It is also allows the judges to follow up on presentations by asking additional questions for further clarification.

ORAL, POSTER, & PARTICIPATION EVALUATION CRITERIA

  • Oral presentation quality and consistency with technical paper (Max – 10 points)

  • Presence of teamwork and integration (Max – 10 points)

  • Quality of response to questions for presentation and poster, models and prototypes (Max – 10 points)

  • Attendance and engagement in all Forum activities (Max – 10 points)

TOTAL POSSIBLE POINTS: 40

-----SUBMITTING THE TECHNICAL PAPER & PRESENTATION-----

To upload your team’s Technical Paper (.pdf file) and Presentation (.pdf or .ppx), please click the button below. This online submission tool will be activated after teams are notified on April 3rd, 2017 of their final selection status.

No revisions can be accepted on your Technical Paper, so please proof your file very carefully before submitting it. If there are any technical problems with the content of your paper (for example, your 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.

 

Dates & Deadlines

DateDescription
October 15, 2017Notification of Intent (NOI) deadline
October 23, 2017Q&A Session with Interested Teams at 3:30 PM EST
Dial in Number: 1-844-467-6272 Passcode: 618481
Question Submission Form
Deadline to submit questions is Oct. 20, 9 AM EST
January 21, 2018Deadline to submit abstracts online via abstract upload tool
February 2, 2018Teams are notified of their selection status (1st down-select)
April 1, 2018Deadline to submit Mid-Project Review
April 13, 2018Teams are notified of their selection status (2nd down-select)
May 15, 2018
11:59 PM EST
Deadline for Online Registration and Payment for the 2017 RASC-AL Forum
May 17, 2018Deadline for Hotel Reservations at RASC-AL Group Rate
Use the group code: RASCAL
May 31, 2018Deadline to submit Technical Paper and Oral Presentation
June 18, 2018Team Check-In at RASC-AL Forum
June 18-21, 20182018 RASC-AL Forum in Cocoa Beach, FL