Nanosat-6 Flight Competition Review winners announced and Nanosat-7 Competition begins

January 26th, 2011
The Nanosatellite-6 Program Flight Competition Review sponsored by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics was held at the Sheraton Uptown Hotel in Albuquerque, New Mexico recently where a panel of judges from the Air Force Research Laboratory, Space Test Program, Air Force Institute of Technology and industry selected the following winners:

    1st Place: Michigan Technological University

    2nd Place: Cornell University

    3rd Place: University of Hawaii

    Best Outreach: Missouri University of Science and Technology

    Most Improved: University of Hawaii

The teams at the FCR were able to present their nanosatellites and programs orally to the panel of judges. The participants represented eleven universities: St. Louis University, Michigan Tech, Missouri S&T, Montana State University, University of Minnesota, University of Central Florida, Cornell University, University of Hawaii, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Santa Clara University and Georgia Tech.

"One Nanosat-6 satellite will be selected from the winners and then given assistance by AFRL/RV to become fully flight ready," said Dr. Kent Miller, Air Force Office of Scientific Research program manager. "The satellite will be briefed to the Space Experiments Review Board, at the AFRL, Air Force, and DoD levels for the opportunity to be launched as a secondary payload on an (STP) launch."

The University Nanosat Program's Nanosat-7 kick-off event also occurred at the Sheraton Uptown simultaneous to the Nanosat-6 event and featured the following eleven universities who will participate in the competition to build a winning nanosatellite: Boston University, Georgia Tech, University of Hawaii, University of Maryland, University of Michigan, Michigan Tech, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Montana State, Missouri S&T, St. Louis University and the University of Texas, Austin.

"During the private judging session competing schools like to use the time to coordinate with other schools and the industry representatives are able to speak with students who are interested in participating," said Lt. Kelly Cole, deputy program manager, University Nanosat Program, Space Experiments and Programs Branch, Space Vehicles Directorate, Air Force Research Laboratory. "This is a great opportunity for Nanosat-7 participants to mingle and ask questions from schools that have already been through the competition."

The two-year Nanosat programs begin with the publication of a Broad Agency Announcement, which calls for proposals from principal investigators. A panel of experts evaluates the technical excellence of the proposals as well as their relevance to the Air Force mission, the qualification of those who will administer the programs, and the quality of their educational program. The panel selects the universities for the program that culminates in the AIAA Flight Competition Review.

Nanosatellites have recently been in the news because the NanoSat-3 winner, UT Austin's FASTRAC, was launched in last month on an STP launch, and the NanoSat-4 winner, Cornell University's CUSat, is scheduled for launch in Spring 2012 on a Space-X launch.

The University Nanosat program is run jointly by AFOSR and the AFRL Space Vehicles Directorate. AFOSR funds the university programs and the Space Vehicles Directorate supplies the manpower and expertise to administer the program and provide a resource to the students.

Provided by Air Force Office of Scientific Research

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