The Breakthrough, Innovative and Game-changing (BIG) Idea Challenge is an initiative supporting NASA’s Game Changing Development Program (GCD) efforts to rapidly mature innovative/high impact capabilities and technologies for infusion in a broad array of future NASA missions.
This GCD-sponsored engineering design competition seeks innovative ideas from the academic community for Mars surface solar arrays. Supplying reliable electric power for human missions on the Martian surface is a critical technology need. Solar photovoltaic (PV) systems provide a viable option but require creative engineering design and judicious operational approaches to assure successful use on Mars.
Participation in the BIG Idea Challenge is open to teams of undergraduate and graduate students studying in fields applicable to human space exploration (i.e., aerospace, electrical, and mechanical engineering; and life, physical, and computer sciences). The BIG Idea challenge allows students to incorporate their coursework into real aerospace design concepts and work together in a team environment. Interdisciplinary teams are encouraged.
This solicitation seeks innovations in the following areas for Mars solar arrays:
- Novel packaging, deployment, retraction, and dust-abatement concepts
- Lightweight, compact components including booms, ribs, substrates, and mechanisms
- Optimized use of advanced ultra-lightweight materials and high efficiency solar cells
- Validated modeling, analysis, and simulation techniques
- High-fidelity, functioning laboratory models and test methods
|July 28, 2017||BIG IDEA Challenge Announced|
|Oct. 1, 2017||Deadline to submit a Notice of Intent (optional)|
|Oct. 4, 2017||Q&A Webinar for interested teams
|Nov. 30, 2017||Deadline to submit Proposal and Video online via online upload tool|
|Dec. 15, 2017||Teams are notified of their selection status|
|Dec. 18-19, 2017||Individual team feedback discussions with judges (selected teams only)|
|February 4, 2018||Deadline to make hotel reservations at group rate|
|February 4, 2018||Deadline for online registration and payment for the 2018 BIG Idea Challenge Forum|
|Feb. 20, 2018||Deadline to submit technical paper and oral presentation files|
|March 1, 2018||Deadline to apply for NASA internships via OSSI (Including letters of recommendation)|
|March 5-6, 2018||2018 BIG Idea Challenge Forum at NASA LaRC or NASA GRC|
National Institute of Aerospace
1100 Exploration Way, Hampton, VA
Zip Code: 23666