What is it?
SunSat Design is an international competition intended to accelerate the design, manufacture, launch and operation of the next-generation satellites that will collect energy in space and deliver it to earth as a non-polluting form of electrical power. These designs will be used to inform the public debate about the opportunities (and challenges) that await implementation of solar power satellites.
How do I register?
Come visit with Ohio University GRID Lab students and members of the National Space Society and the Society of Satellite Professionals International at the International Space Development Conference (ISDC) in San Diego, CA in May 2013. You can also register your team online by filling out and submitting the Registration Form and forwarding it to SunSat Competition Manager Brian Woods at email@example.com
. The SunSat staff will review the information provided and give further guidance. There are no fees associated with registration.
Please note that your official acceptance as a competitor team will be made only after all information has been provided and the SunSat Design Advisory Panel, consisting of NSS and SSPI space professionals, has given its consent.
If you are a scientist, engineer, or other space professional who has been unable to locate a digital media lab near you, or if you are a visual artist/digital media center wishing to be linked to a space solar power mentor/advisor, the SunSat Design staff may be able to help you.
Who is behind this project?
In partnership with:
The Society of Satellite Professionals International
The National Space Society
The Ohio University GRID Lab
Our partners are interested in putting four key assumptions to the test: 1) of all alternative energy sources on the horizon, solar power satellite systems are our best chance for addressing in a significant way future economic development (and the adverse effects of climate change); 2) visualization of SPS is a necessary first step to public understanding and acceptance and advocacy; 3) digital media youth-in-training have the skills needed to help explain (and disseminate) these science fiction-like ideas to global audiences; and 4) the current college generation will come to maturity when “design thinking” will be most needed to solve multiple social problems at once. In this case, the pressing need is to reduce our planet’s dependency on fossil fuels for energy.
Below is a visualization created by Ohio University students in collaboration with space scientist Kent Tobiska. Dr. Tobiska's presentation on New Challenges for the 21st Century: Creating Fresh Water Using Space Solar Power was made at the National Space Society's International Space Development Conference in Chicago in 2010.
What is the role of the SpaceJournal?
Journal Issue No.16: Solar Power Satellites consists of 27 articles authored by space scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs and others addressing the question: “After 40 years, what do we now know and what can we now do that leads us to think we are ready to begin capturing and using Sun’s energy directly from Space?” These Journal articles represent some of the most up-to-date information on this topic available for public consumption in the world today. Archival materials and more recent developments are also posted within the issue.
Journal Issue No.18: Visualizing Space Solar Power will host the winning entries of the SunSat Design Competition of 2013-2015. The Journal will be the principal vehicle for making these high-resolution visualizations available to interested viewers on a global basis.
What is the role of the GRID Lab?
The Ohio University Game Research and Immersive Design (GRID) Laboratory was commissioned to produce a 3D animation of a desalination project published in the Journal entitled "Vision for Producing Fresh Water Using Space Power."
That visualization was used in author Kent Tobiska’s presentation
at the May 2010 NSS International Space Development Conference, and is now being used as an attention-getter, interest-builder and illustrative example of our SunSat Design challenge. GRID Lab students, who produced most of the designs now featured in Space Journal No.17, are currently working on additional visual narrations to be presented at ISDC-2013 in San Diego. These students are also serving as hosts and managers of the International SunSat Design Competition on behalf of the Space Journal, the SSPI and the NSS.
Download the PDF presentation: New Challenges for the 21st Century: Creating Fresh Water Using Space Solar Power (3.7 MB)
How will the Competition be Managed?
In collaboration with the Space Journal, the Ohio University GRID Lab has agreed to serve as host and co-sponsor. An Advisory Panel
drawn from NSS and SSPI leadership has been established to oversee the competition. In addition to helping select themes for future competitions, the Panel’s advice is being sought in establishing competition criteria and guidelines, in the formation of topical competitive teams, in identifying scientific and professional mentors for teams, and in locating suitable jurors to assess the technical and creative products that emerge.
The GRID Lab is a research and development center for serious and educational games, simulations, computer animation, and virtual reality. Located on the Athens campus, it hosts the personnel, facilities, and tools to support the creation of interactive digital media and technologies. The GRID Lab has also developed its own collaborative workspace, called Nebula, that will enable multiple registered teams to meet, interact and post text/graphics/video content online in a secure environment. Mentors and content advisors will be linked to teams, and (in the spring of 2014 and 2015) jurors will make their decisions based on the design products and scientific evidence posted within this space.
What are the criteria for participation?
For those seeking to register, evidence must be presented demonstrating that the applicants and their assembled teams include (at least one) person who is expert on some aspect of space solar power and (at least one) person who is an artist with visualization skills. To be assigned workspace on Nebula, applicant teams must have an accepted proposal. Consideration of qualifications will follow a process similar to that used by managers of professional conferences in determining presenters. That is, proposals will be accepted from persons who are clearly qualified to address an SPS-related topic that is clearly relevant to the purposes of the SunSat Competition.
Precise judging criteria are still under consideration but will include such descriptors as: imaginative visualization; innovative design; credible science; plausibly workable solutions; environmentally safe; commercial potential; and understandable to the interested public.
What is the scope of the Competition?
The broad topic is Space-Based Solar Power (SBSP); the targeted sub-category is Solar Power Satellites (SPS). The Competition managers will accept proposals that address either (or all) of three segments: Space Segment, Earth Segment and Other. Permissible approaches to be undertaken by teams can include technical, economic, regulatory, social and other perspectives. Visualization of complete functional systems with an interdisciplinary focus will also be considered.
The Advisory Panel has developed a tentative list of SBSP/SPS topics that may be suitable for visualization (others may be proposed):
Spacecraft Solar Collectors/Concentrators Wireless Power Transmission Space Environment Other
Rectennas Terrestrial Competition SSP Applications Environmental Solutions Other
Space Transport Propulsion Spectrum Orbital Assignments Alternate Energy Systems Other
What are the dates of the Competition?
The schedule calls for competitions in 2013-2014 and 2014-2015. For 2013, registration will open at the May NSS-ISDC conference in San Diego, with a final submission deadline of March 2014. The Judging Panel will have until April 30 to make its final decisions and winning team awards will be announced at the May 2014 NSS-ISDC conference in Los Angeles. The second year competition will follow a similar cycle.
What about intellectual property?
Our Competition will place no claim on ownership of content, whether in the form of ideas or designs. As an open-access international journal, the Space Journal will reserve the right to publish any and all submissions reaching the judging stage and will assume that any and all readers of the Journal will have free and “fair use” access to its content. In any further distribution or use, competition authors and designers can expect to be properly credited and their work fully cited. The Journal, in its publication, will prominently affirm that the author/teams retain copyrights to their creative and scientific work.