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SGAC Announces its First International Space Solar Power Competition for Students and Young Professionals

Written by: developer

IAF SEOCSGAC, together with the Space Solar Power Committee of the International Astronautical Federation, have released a new technical paper competition to seek out innovative approaches to Space Solar Power (SSP), also in collaboration with the Space Education and Outreach and the Workforce Development/Young Professionals Programme Committees of the IAF, and partially sponsored by Space Canada.

The competition challenges entrants, which can be either individuals or small groups with up to three members, to write a technical paper about a concept for the transmission of power, harvested in space from the sun, down to Earth.

The paper should be no longer than 10 pages and provide a technically detailed description of an idea for a new SSP concept taking into consideration the use of current or realistic near-future technologies in a single technical paper.

Submissions will be judged on criteria including originality, feasibility, economic viability and novelty compared to previously proposed concepts.
As many as possible of the following aspects should be included in the paper:

  • A description of both the SSP’s space and ground segments, including technical challenges mentioned in the literature, such as power distribution and management (PMAD), thermal control, transportation and assembly.
  • An estimate, at a system level, of the energy balance.
  • An economic assessment of the proposed concept, taking into account current and expected launch costs.
  • A trade-off of topics such as wireless power transmission technology or solar energy conversion technology.
  • The environmental impact and safety of the design.
  • A critical comparison with existing SSP concepts focusing on the novelty and advantage of the proposed concept.
  • An estimate, where possible, of the Technology Readiness Levels (TRLs) for each major technology used.
  • An analysis of potential synergies and integration within terrestrial solar power infrastructures.

The winning group will receive a travel grant of up to $2000 USD in order to allow one of the paper’s authors to attend and present their work at both the 2012 Space Generation Congress (SGC), held 27th – 29th September, and the 63rd International Astronautical Congress (IAC), held 1st – 5th October, in Naples, Italy.

All submissions must be made by July 1st, 2012 at 23:59 UTC, with the winning entry announced around August 17.

After the competition’s results announcement, the winning entry will be requested to prepare a 3 to 5 min long executive summary video as well as presentation and a poster for the SGC and IAC.