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Small Satellite Conference

Student Competition

31st 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. The finalists will receive monetary awards, first place typically receiving $10,000 and have the opportunity to present at the Small Satellite Conference. For 2023 the top 3 winners will also have the opportunity to attend the 4S Symposium in Europe Spring of 2024. Travel costs will be covered for First, Second and Third place by generous donation from the 4S Symposium.

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 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 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.