Deliverables

Notice of Intent

Deadline: October 4, 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.

The following information will be requested on the NOI submission form:

    • College/University name
    • Partnering universities (if any)
    • Contact information for the faculty advisor
    • Contact information for the team lead

Project Plan

Deadline: November 24, 2019

GENERAL PROJECT PLAN FORMATTING INSTRUCTIONS

Teams are responsible for the formatting and appearance of their project plan. Figures and tables must be in digital format. We recommend that teams 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).

  • 8 pages maximum (including figures, tables, and references)
    • Cover page, references and appendices are excluded as a part of your 8-page total limit. They do not count toward the minimum or the maximum page limitations.
    • Appendices do NOT count toward the maximum page limit and are limited to references only. The judges are not obligated to read appendices nor will the content of any appendix be considered in the overall project plan evaluation
    • 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 can be either 11 or 12 pt.
  • Margins should be a standard 1” (2.54 cm) all the way around (top, bottom, left, and right)
  • Project plans should be submitted in PDF Format
  • File size cannot exceed 50 MB.

Cover Page must include:

  • College/University name
  • Title/name of prototype
  • Full names of all team members, along with their specialties and/or team role
  • Major course of study for each student
  • Academic level of each student (undergraduate or graduate)
  • Faculty/industry advisor’s full name(s)
  • Graphic/Image of proposed system

Special note from the judges about Project Plans:

The 2020 Moon to Mars Ice & Prospecting Challenge is focused on ways to assess subsurface depth and density profiles, mine through those layers and into ice deposits beneath, harvest water from that ice and collect it in a container. Whatever designs teams come up with to accomplish that goal, the technology should be designed as if it would be feasible for use off-Earth, and then modify it for the Earth-based technology demonstration at Langley next summer. NASA sponsors are looking for concepts that realistically demonstrate a system that could be used on the Moon or Mars. For example: even though the competition will take place here on Earth, please do not propose a concept with a ‘blow-dryer and a shop vacuum’, which would not be effective on the moon or Mars.

Teams must submit a detailed Project Plan outlining:

  • Team's design of the following systems:
    • mechanical
    • electrical
    • programming
    • control
  • A detailed timeline including development, testing, and integration of all required systems (integration must be conducted prior to technical paper submission on May 14th, 2020)
  • The relevant past experience and capabilities of the team’s systems leads and facilities available for development of the water extraction and prospecting system
  • The physical characteristics and functional capabilities of the proposed water extraction and prospecting system (including filtration solutions)
  • A 3-D view drawing or solid model representation and dimensions of the overall system
  • A description of how the proposed prototype will mount to the lid/mounting platform.
  • A description of how the proposed system will successfully accomplish the competition tasks, including contingency plans
  • A brief discussion on the concept’s anticipated paths-to-flight on a mission to the Moon and Mars. Through this challenge, NASA sponsors are looking for concepts that realistically demonstrate a system that could be used on the Moon or Mars. Based on significant differences between on- and off-Earth operations, the paths-to flight description must address the critical modifications that would be made to the design if it were trying to: (1) extract water on Mars, and (2) prospecting for a digital core on the Moon. 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.
    • The paths-to-flight description should be broken into two distinct sections:
      • Water Extraction on Mars: teams will discuss the significant differences between Mars and Earth operation environments and describe essential modifications that would be required for extracting water from subsurface ice on Mars.
      • Prospecting on the Moon: teams will discuss the significant differences between the Moon and Earth operational environments and describe essential modifications that would be required for prospecting for a digital core on the Moon.
  • NEW THIS YEAR: Teams are required to propose methods/mechanisms/approaches for making their individual testbeds a more accurate analog for better proof-of-concept testing (i.e., more “flight-like,” conditions). This could include, but is not limited to: pressurizing your hole, adding vibration isolators to simulate a mobile platform on a rover, etc.
  • Clear adherence to the Design Constraints and Requirements
  • RETURNING TEAMS ONLY: Teams who are re-competing may use any of their previous design concepts for water extraction, but must demonstrate (and document) some improvement to the overall design.
    • A returning team is defined as “returning” if they are using any part of a design their university previously used during an on-site technology demonstration for a previous RASC-AL Special Edition Challenge.
    • These teams must include a ‘Lessons Learned’ section (2 pages max) in their Project Plan proposals that thoroughly details any improvements, upgrades, enhancements, approaches, and modifications being made.
    • The Lessons Learned section will not count toward the 8-page limit.

PROJECT PLAN EVALUATION CRITERIA

  • Description of how prototype system will accomplish required tasks (Max – 20 points)
  • Description of concept’s 2 anticipated “Paths-to-Flight” (Max 20 points)
    • Water Extraction of subsurface ice on Mars
    • Prospecting on the Moon
  • Technical merit and feasibility of project plan (including lessons learned) (Max – 20 points)
  • Project plan capability – degree to which team can accomplish tasks (Max – 20 points)
  • Adherence to project plan guidelines (Max – 10 points)
  • Proposed “flight-like” testbed enhancements (Max 5 points)
  • Innovation (Max 5 points)

Please note: all design solutions are subject to review by NASA safety and Center Ops, and as a result, designs may be required to be modified. These reviews will happen immediately following selection of the finalist teams, with mitigations due at the mid-term.

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.

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

The following information will be requested on the Project Plan submission form:

  • College/University name
  • Partnering universities (if any)
  • Contact information for the faculty advisor
  • Contact information for the team lead
  • Project Title (Name of team’s prototype)
  • File upload for PDF proposal document
  • Signed MMIP Letter of University Support* from the Dean of Engineering (or appropriate alternative authority from the lead university)
  • NEW THIS YEAR:
    • Mailing address for stipend checks (for use if a team is selected as a finalist in the competition). We can mail stipend checks to the university location of your choice (i.e., Office of Sponsored Programs, Departments of Engineering, etc.)
    • Vendor W9 Form* for the lead university (to be completed by the accounting department at the university).
      • 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.

*MMIP Letter of University Support and Vendor W9 Forms can also be downloaded from the Resources page under “Project Plan.”

Mid-Project Review

Deadline: March 15, 2020

MID-PROJECT REVIEW SUBMISSION GUIDELINES

Finalist teams will be responsible for submitting a Mid-Project Report (MPR), a 3-5 page paper and a short video demonstrating the system's ability. 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.

Prior to receiving the second stipend installment, each Moon to Mars Ice & Prospecting 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 Moon to Mars Ice & Prospecting Challenge Judges with evidence that the team is on-target to compete at the Moon to Mars Ice & Prospecting Challenge competition in Hampton, VA with a fully functioning water extraction and prospecting 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:

    • 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 and prospecting system at the Moon to Mars Ice & Prospecting Challenge Forum. It should outline:

        • Progress in developing each of the following systems:

          • mounting (for attachment to the mounting platform)

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

          • operation of the system excavating through overburden layers and ice

        • 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 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

      • Submission of a Video

        • The video needs to demonstrate the system'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 are limited to a maximum of 4 minutes in length

    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 improvements be made prior to moving the team to the next phase of the competition.

    SUBMITTING THE MID-PROJECT REVIEW

    Please click the button below to complete the online Submission Form to upload your team's Mid-Project Review Paper (.pdf file) and video file (YouTube link).

    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.

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

Technical Report & Integration Video

Deadline: August 16, 2020

TECHNICAL PAPER GUIDELINES

More information on MPR requirements will be made available to finalist teams.

  • Papers should be single spaced

  • Papers will consist of the following sections:

    • Cover Page

    • Executive Summary

    • Body of Report

    • Appendices

  • Body of Report is limited to 10 pages minimum; 15 pages maximum (submission of a Technical Paper that exceeds this page limit will be considered non-compliant).

    • Cover page, Executive Summary, 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. Appendices should be 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 between 11pt and 12pt.

COVER PAGE MUST INCLUDE

  • University name

  • Title/name of prototype

  • Photo of the prototype water extraction and prospecting system

  • Group photo of team members

  • Full names of all team members

  • Major course of study for each student

  • Academic level of each student (undergraduate or graduate)

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

  • Graphic/Image of proposed system

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY MUST INCLUDE

  • Brief description of the method to:

    • drill through the layers

    • prospect for a digital core

    • extract water

    • filter water

  • Method of hardware control (avionics/software)

BODY OF THE REPORT (10-15 PAGES MAX) MUST INCLUDE

  • System Description

    • 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

        • System/technique/methodology utilized for prospecting for a digital core

        • Filtration and water collection

        • Solution to mine through the overburden layers

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

        • Control and communication system

        • Datalogger (including its ability to monitor and record WOB load limits and electrical current usage in real time)

      • 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, system telemetry

    • 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 accurately prospect for the digital core and maximize the water acquired

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

      • Teams are required to conduct a fully integrated dry run of all their systems working together at least one time prior to arriving at NASA. This includes a paragraph or two about the integration in the Technical Paper, as well as an accompanying video demonstration of the integration at the time of Technical Paper submission (as a Youtube link, please).

    • 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

    • Paths-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 prototype concept’s anticipated paths-to-flight (how the design could be applied to actual mission to the Moon and Mars) – and how you came up with the concept. The paths-to flight description should be broken into two distinct sections:

      • 3 pages should be devoted to water extraction on Mars: teams will discuss the significant differences between Mars and Earth operation environments and describe essential modifications that would be required for extracting water from subsurface ice on Mars.

      • 1 page should be devoted to Lunar prospecting: teams will discuss the significant differences between the Moon and Earth operational environments and describe essential modifications that would be required for prospecting for a digital core on the Moon.

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

      • Recognize all sponsors and/or grants

      • Report the total amount of funding received outside of the Moon to Mars Ice & Prospecting Challenge Development Award.

        • Include estimated amounts for any parts received in-kind

    APPENDICES

    • Appendices should be for references only. It is important to note that the Steering Committee is not obligated to consider lengthy appendices in the evaluation process.

    SUBMITTING THE TECHNICAL PAPER AND INTEGRATION VIDEO

    Please click the button below to complete the online Technical Paper Submission Form to upload your team's Technical Paper (.pdf file) and Integration Video (YouTube link).

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

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

Poster Session

Deadline: August 31, 2020

Teams who successfully pass their mid-project review will present their concepts in a technical poster session to a multi-disciplinary judging panel of scientists and engineers from NASA and industry at the 2020 Forum. Poster presentations will be based on the team’s technical paper that details the concept’s “paths-to-flight” (how the design can be modified for use on an actual mission on the Moon or Mars). This includes, but is not limited to, considerations for temperature differences, power limitations, and atmospheric pressure differences.

More details will be made available to finalist teams.

POSTER SESSION GUIDELINES

Each team is required to present a poster describing their paths-to-flight and operational strategy for water extraction and prospecting for a digital core. Posters should be 48” x 36.” Each team will be given an easel for poster display. One tri-fold foam/cardboard poster board will be made available for each team to use at no charge, and 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 the paths-to-flight.

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

POSTER SESSION SCORING

A maximum of 45 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 we got from here to the off-Earth system) (Max 25 points)

    • Technical content, style, and coherence of poster (Max 10 points)

    • Engagement with judges (all team members should participate) and quality of answers to questions (Max 10 points)


Forms


Dates & Deadlines

All deadlines must be met by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on the dates specified below. Late deliverables will not be accepted.

DateDescription
October 4, 2019NOI deadline for university teams
October 10, 2019Deadline to submit questions for Q&A session
To submit a question, click here.
October 17, 2019Q&A Session for teams with Steering Committee
November 24, 2019Project Plan submission deadline
December 13, 2019Teams are notified of their selection status
Late December, 20191st installment of development stipend sent to universities
March 15, 2020Mid-Point Review deadline
March 30, 2020Teams are notified of MPR pass/fail status and stipends are sent to universities (as appropriate)
July 31, 2020Deadline for Hotel Reservations
July 31, 2020Online registration and payment deadline for the Forum
August 16, 2020Technical Paper and Integration Document submission deadline
August 31, 2020Forum Prep Set-Up and Welcome Event for Teams
September 1-3, 2020Onsite Competition at NASA Langley Research Center