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Small Satellite Conference

Student Competition


Feb 8, 2024

Paper Deadline

May 9, 2024

11:59 PM MT

Student Competition Notification

Jun 6, 2024

32nd Annual Frank J. Redd Student Competition

The Frank J. Redd Student Competition provides students with the opportunity to share their work on small satellite concepts, research, and missions. This is the premiere aerospace competition in the nation. All finalists will receive monetary awards and will present on the main stage 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

Participation is open to full-time undergraduate and graduate students (masters only) pursuing a degree in a scientific or technical discipline at an accredited college or university.

Not Eligible

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 the presentation, the final scores are tallied and the Student Competition results are announced at the Competition 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 at the Small Satellite Conference.

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

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 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 at
  • Contact with judges directly, either before or after the competition is prohibited and may result in disqualification.

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

“SmallSat is an unbelievable experience that I encourage everyone to be a part of. 2022 was my first time going and I was immediately hooked. If I hadn't already been set on the aerospace industry, the incredible companies, technical talks, and networking opportunities would have closed the deal. This year I had the opportunity to participate in the Frank J. Redd Student Competition. In this competition undergraduate and master’s Students from across the world submit papers to be reviewed by industry and academic leaders with the top six papers being invited to present at SmallSat in the finalist round. Participating in the competition provided the opportunity to meet fellow students and make connections with the judges. It also provides a unique opportunity to network with other companies and schools. I highly encourage all students to submit papers to the competition and everyone to submit work to the conference, it is a week you will never forget.”

— Abigail Lee, Queen’s University – First place winner, 2023