Mars Ice Challenge Forms & Deliverables

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Notice of Intent

Deadline: October 14, 2016

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.

Project Plan

Deadline: November 17, 2016

GENERAL PROJECT PLAN FORMATTING INSTRUCTIONS

You are responsible for the formatting and appearance of your project plan. Figures and tables 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 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 8 page limit

    • A table of contents is unnecessary

  • Project plans 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 should be between 11 and 12 pt.

  • Project plans should be submitted in PDF Format

PROJECT PLAN FILES MUST INCLUDE:

  • Title

  • Full names of all team members

  • University name

  • Faculty/industry advisor’s full name(s)

Teams must submit a detailed Project Plan outlining:

  • The following systems requirements:

    • mechanical

    • electrical

    • programming

    • control

  • A detailed timeline including development and testing of all required systems

  • The relevant past experience and capabilities of the team’s systems leads and facilities available for development of the drilling system

  • The physical characteristics and functional capabilities of your proposed drilling system

  • A 3-D view drawing or solid model representation and dimensions

  • A description of how your proposed drill will mount to the lid/mounting platform.

  • A description of how your proposed system will successfully accomplish the competition tasks, including contingency plans

  • A brief discussion on drill concept’s anticipated path-to-flight (how the design could be applied to actual mission on Mars). The path-to flight description must address an overview of critical modifications that would be made to the design if it were trying to extract water on Mars, based on significant differences between Mars and Earth operations. This includes, but is not limited to, considerations for temperature differences, energy/power limitations, and atmospheric pressure differences (i.e., challenges with sublimation). Several paragraphs will suffice.

  • Clear adherence to the Design Requirements and Guidelines

PROJECT PLAN EVALUATION CRITERIA

  • Adherence to project plan guidelines (Max – 10 points)

  • Description of how drilling system will accomplish required tasks (Max – 20 points)

  • Description of concept’s anticipated “Path-to-Flight” (Max 20 points)

  • Appropriateness of project plan (Max – 20 points)

  • Project plan capability – degree to which team can accomplish tasks (Max – 30 points)

SUBMITTING THE PROJECT PLAN

To upload your project plan (.pdf file), please click on the button below to complete the online project plan submission form. Teams are encouraged to review the Design Constraints and Requirements section to better understand what your system must accomplish as a part of the competition.

No revisions can be accepted, so please proof your project plan file very carefully before submitting. If there are any technical problems with the content of your project plan (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.

Mid-Project Review

Deadline: April 2, 2017

MID-PROJECT REVIEW SUBMISSION DEADLINE: APRIL 2, 2017

Prior to receiving the second stipend installment, each Mars Ice Challenge team must successfully pass a mid-project status review that demonstrates where they are in the development process. The purpose of the review is to provide the Mars Ice Challenge Judges with evidence that your team is on-target to compete at the Mars Ice Challenge competition in Hampton, VA with a fully functioning water extraction system that can complete the tasks outlined in the design constraints and requirements. Teams must pass this review to receive the remainder of their stipend. Failure to pass this review may lead to delays in receiving the stipend, or withdrawal of invitation to the competition.

The Mid-Project Review is a Pass/Fail review and will initially consist of two submissions demonstrating prototype functionality:

  • Submission of a Video

    • The video needs to demonstrate the prototype's:

      • Mounting system (for attachment to the mounting platform)

      • Control interface (e.g. laptop computer, sensors on the drilling system)

      • Operation of the system excavating through both overburden and ice

Note: The video is not expected to be a “finished” product, nor to be lengthy. It simply needs to demonstrate the systems identified above.

    • Videos should be uploaded in MP4 format

    • Videos are limited to a maximum of 4 minutes in length

    • File size is limited to 100 MB

  • A 3-5 page written document

    • The written document should provide a narrative of where you are in the development process, and whether you feel confident that you will have a functioning water extraction system at the 2017 Mars Ice Challenge competition. It should outline:

      • Progress in developing each of the systems described in the video (mounting, control, operation)

      • Any challenges that have been encountered, and how the team is overcoming them (Include how the team plans to address any anticipated challenges)

      • Any significant design changes from your proposal resulting from further development and testing

      • Detailed integration and operational test plan

      • Tactical plan for contingencies and redundancies

      • Safety Plan (including hazards of operating system and planned mitigations, such as Personal Protective Equipment, if needed)

        • List all chemicals or hazardous materials being used

      • Updated schedule/timeline of tasks and deliverables

    The judges will review each team’s video and written document to evaluate the team’s progress towards competition readiness. If there are any concerns regarding a team’s prototype or scheduled timeline, that team may be asked to conduct a follow-up “face-to-face” meeting with the judges via Skype or a webinar. At that point, the judges may request that some change be made prior to moving the team to the next phase of the competition.

    As a reminder, several of the teams who were not initially selected to receive a stipend as a part of this competition have decided to continue working on their water extraction concepts and will also be submitting a progress update to the judges at the Mid-Project Review. If, and only if, a currently selected team fails the mid-project review, the Mars Ice Challenge judges will consider looking at mid-project review papers and videos from any of the teams who were not initially selected to compete. At that point, another team may be able to take the place of an initial team at the competition in June and receive the balance of the stipend.

    SUBMITTING THE MID-PROJECT REVIEW

    To upload your team’s Mid-Project Review Paper and video files, please visit the Deliverables Page on the Mars Ice Challenge Website to complete the online submission form.

    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 paper or video file (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.

 
 

Poster Session


POSTER SESSION GUIDELINES

Each team is required to present a poster describing their water extraction system and operational strategy. 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. Posters should be 48” x 36.” Thumbtacks will also be available to secure posters to the tri-fold boards.

The Poster Session provides teams with an opportunity to informally interact with the judges and answer any questions the judges have about the prototype water extraction system. Posters should be a summary of your Technical Paper, with the emphasis of discussion being on how your Earth-based system would be modified for use in Mars.

All members are expected to participate and engage with the judges during the Poster Session.

POSTER SESSION SCORING

A maximum of 18 points will be awarded based on the quality of the oral Poster Presentation.  Teams will be required to bring a poster (48”x36”) to display during the Poster Presentation Session.

  • Key elements that the Poster Presentation will be evaluated on are:

    • Discussion of the Earth system (How teams got from here to the Mars-based system) (Max 9 points)

  • Posters should be a summary of your Technical Paper, with the emphasis of discussion being on how your Earth-based system would be modified for use in Mars.

    • Technical content, style, and coherence of poster (Max 4 points)

    • Engagement with judges (all team members should participate) and quality of answers to questions (Max 5 points)

Note:  In the event of a tie, total water volume collected may become the deciding factor (i.e., the team who collected the most water will emerge as the winner).

 

Technical Report

Deadline: May 30, 2017

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.

    • The appendices are not included in the page limitation, however, it is important to note that the Steering Committee is not obligated to consider lengthy appendices in the evaluation process. Teams are encouraged to use the appendix section wisely.

  • 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.

  • Fully functioning drilling system that meets the Design Requirements

  • Font size should be between 11 and 12pt

Cover page must include:
  • Title of presentation

  • Photo of the water extraction system

  • Group photo of team members

  • Full names of all team members

  • University name

  • Faculty/Industry advisor's full name(s)


BODY OF THE REPORT SHOULD INCLUDE

  • Introduction

  • System Description

    • Brief description of the water extraction capabilities

    • For the following, please provide visual (i.e., photos/drawings) and written descriptions, where appropriate, as well as explanations behind your design decisions.

      • Mounting System: (attachment to the mounting platform)

      • System Excavation Operations

      • Water Extraction System/Technique

      • Filtration and Water Collection

      • Solution to deal with the overburden

      • Process for managing temperature changes to prevent drill from freezing in the ice

      • Control and Communication System

      • Datalogger

    • Technical Specifications: overall mass, overall volume, length of drill bit, weight-on-bit/drill force, rated load, max drilling speed, torque, on-board computer system, communications interface, software, power

  • Design Changes/Improvements: include justification for any design changes made since the mid-project review.

  • Challenges: Describe any challenges you faced and how you mitigated them.

  • Overall Strategy for the Competition: How does your system maximize the water acquired

  • Summary of Integration and Test Plan: Include testing results (simulated or otherwise)

  • Tactical Plan for Contingencies/Redundancies: What potential risks exist during your operation, and what are your plans to mitigate those risks

  • Project Timeline

  • Safety Plan: (including hazards of operating system and planned mitigations, such as Personal Protective Equipment, if needed)

    • List all chemicals or hazardous materials being used

  • Path-to-flight: This is one of the most important aspects of the technical paper, and teams are expected to devote at least 4 pages to this section. Provide a clear and detailed discussion of your drill concept’s anticipated path-to-flight (how the design could be applied to actual mission on Mars) – and how you came up with the concept. The path-to flight description must address critical modifications (design trades) that would be made to the design if it were trying to extract water on Mars, based on significant differences between Mars and Earth operations. This includes, but is not limited to, considerations for temperature differences, energy/power limitations, and atmospheric pressure differences (i.e., challenges with sublimation).

  • Budget: Include a full budget for designing, building, testing, and transporting your water extraction system.

    • Recognize all sponsors and/or grants

    • Include estimated amounts for any parts received in-kind, and

    • Report the total amount of funding received outside of the Mars Ice Challenge Development Award.

  • References Cited

SUBMITTING THE TECHNICAL PAPER

To upload your team’s Technical Paper (.pdf file), please click the button below. This online submission tool will be activated after teams are notified on April 13rd, 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.