Student Competition

28th Annual Frank J. Redd Student Competition Finalists

A Versatile Magnetorquer Design for Microsatellite Constellation Missions
Philip Hampton – University of Toronto

Applying Modern Software System Design to Small Satellite Development and Operations
Michael Wilson - University of Michigan

DEBRIS - A Small Satellite Approach to Active Debris Removal
Niklas Wendel, Tilman Hoffbauer, Louisa Gerhard – University of Applied Sciences Aachen

Optical Modeling, Alignment, and Testing for the Deformable Mirror Demonstration Mission (DeMi) CubeSat Payload
Rachel Morgan – MIT

Initial Development and Verification of a Precise Orbit Determination Filter for the APEX CubeSat Mission
Kyle Craft, Grant Hecht – Missouri University of Science and Engineering

Maneuver Planning for Demonstration of a Low-Thrust Electric Propulsion System
Madeleine Schroeder, Christopher Womack, Amelia Gagnon - MIT

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 2020
APRIL 30, 2020
11:59 PM MT
JUNE 2, 2020

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 must present their papers in the Student Competition technical session Wednesday, August 5, 2020.

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

Students will be given a maximum of 12 minutes to present their paper, followed by 3 minutes for questions. 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 oral presentation—plan accordingly.
  • Students are required to register for the Conference at a reduced, all-inclusive registration fee of $300. Students must provide their own transportation and lodging.
  • 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.