Student Competition

Paper Deadline extended to June 1, 2021.

29th Annual Frank J. Redd Student Competition

The student competition provides students with the opportunity to share their work on small satellite concepts and missions. Awards are given to competition finalists presenting at the Small Satellite Conference.

Papers may be presented on relevant study and research related to:

  • Small satellites, their systems and subsystems
  • Mission concepts
  • Related infrastructure (launch vehicles or ground systems)

Concepts (actual or proposed) may include hardware, uniquely applicable software, or mission results that serve to advance the state of the art or broaden the application of small satellites.

Participation and Eligibility

Preference will be given to full-time graduate or undergraduate students in a scientific or technical discipline at a University or Technical College.

Not eligible

  • Students enrolled in a PhD degree program
    (PhD students are invited to submit abstracts for consideration in the technical program)
  • Salaried government or industry sponsored students
  • Students graduating prior to January 2021

Paper Deadline (Extended to June 1)

Jun 1, 2021

11:59 PM MT

Student Competition Notification

Jun 16, 2021


Paper Submission

To enter the competition:

  • Download the paper template and format your paper accordingly
  • Save your paper as a pdf document
  • Click “submit your paper” below, fill out the online form and upload your pdf before June 1 at 11:59 PM MT

Paper Guidelines

  • Papers may not exceed 12 single-space pages.
    • Page count includes all graphs, figures, tables, references and footnotes.
    • Papers exceeding 12 pages will be marked down.
  • Margins must be a minimum of one inch (1") on all sides, not including headers, footnotes and page numbers.
  • Papers must be double-column format and must be typed in 10-point font or larger.
  • Each page should be numbered at the bottom.
  • The first page must include the title of the paper, full names of all authors, name of the college or university, and the name of student's faculty advisor.

Paper Template

Microsoft Word
Download Template

If you prefer the LaTeX version, email Marianne to request one.

Submit your paper

Paper Selection

A panel of judges drawn from industry, academia, and government will score each paper. Papers will be scored using the first three of the four criteria listed below. The top six papers will be selected for presentation at the Conference. Following presentation, the final scores are tallied and the Student Competition results are announced at the Student Awards Ceremony.

Scoring Criteria

  • Technical Content and/or Scientific Merit (40%)
  • Industry Relevance (15%)
  • Clarity of Writing (20%)
  • Presentation and Response to Questions (25%)


Student finalists will present their papers in a Zoom call with the competition technical chair between June 28 and June 30.

All authors identified in the technical paper must participate in the presentation recording—plan accordingly.

Students will be given a maximum of 12 minutes to present their paper, followed by 3 minutes for pre-prepared questions from the judges. Presentations exceeding 12 minutes will be marked down.

Participation Rules

  • Participants may not author or co-author more than one paper.
  • Papers are limited to three authors.
  • All persons identified as authors must participate in the video presentation—plan accordingly.
  • Students are required to register for the Conference.
  • Technical questions and/or judging issues or concerns should be communicated with the Technical Chair, Stanley Kennedy (
  • Contact with judges directly, either before or after the competition is prohibited and may result in disqualification.

Authors failing to comply any of these rules may be disqualified at the sole discretion of the Technical Chair.