SunSat Design Competition

SunSat Design is an international competition intended to accelerate the conceptualization, manufacture, launch and operation of the next-generation satellites that will collect energy in space and deliver it to earth as a non-polluting source of electrical power.


The purpose of the SunSat Design initiative is to move space solar power out of the research labs and onto the public agenda. This is being done by virtual story-telling and networking on a global basis, explaining what space solar power is and how and why it will become the ultimate renewable energy resource for Planet Earth.

The strategy is to link global scientific communities with university-based (and other) digital media labs for the purposes of advancing knowledge of space-based solar power satellites (SunSats) and illustrating their many Earth-energy applications.

Winning designs are high-impact digital art, supported by credible science, engineering and business plans, that best promote media understanding and public acceptance of a path forward in using space satellites to deliver energy on-demand to any and all places on earth.


The SunSat Competition is an initiative of: 

Online Journal of space Communications Logo

In partnership with:

Society of Satellite Professionals International Logo

National Space Society Logo

Game Research and Immersive Design Lab Logo

To bring “energy from space" 
a new level of visualization and international understanding, Ohio University is committing facilities and equipment, faculty and staff expertise and student time and talent.


The Competition is now in its second cycle. First announced at the May 2013 International Space Development Conference in San Diego CA, the initial round was brought to a successful close at ISDC-Los Angeles in May 2014, with six teams honored. Three of these were given cash prizes, and their designs are being published in the Online Journal of Space Communication.
Registration for the second cycle is now open, and team enrollments will continue to be taken until February 1, 2015. Deadline for submission of completed designs and supporting documentation is March 27, 2015. Winners will be announced and their “Creative Visualizations” will be shown and celebrated in May 2015 at ISDC-Toronto.

In 2013-2014, the Space Journal and the Ohio University GRID Lab engaged in an international funding campaign to raise the monies that enabled incentive funds to be given to each registered team, to provide some travel assistance and the award of cash prizes. The first-place award was $10,000 and there were two second-place awards of $5,000 presented at ISDC-Los Angeles.
For 2015, we have launched a campaign to attract $110,000 to help fund a more ambitious second round, increasing the number and size of awards and covering the incremental Ohio University and Space Journal costs in managing the International Competition.

Those officially registered teams producing a plausibly competitive design (with Abstract, Visualization, Tech Brief and Business Plan in draft form) by Feb.16, 2015, will be assigned an NSS or SSPI professional to give critique and constructive comment, if needed. 

Please read the FAQ page before registering, and if you have any additional questions feel free to contact Competition Manager Kyle Perkins.

To register your team, download and complete the registration application and email it to us. Please note that your official acceptance as a competitor team will be made only after all information has been provided to Ohio University. We have established a SunSat Advisory Panel, consisting of space professionals from the NSS and the SSPI.

To get started, we think you will find it helpful to view Space Journal Issue No.17: Creative Visualization of Space Solar Power. If you are a space scientist/engineer/entrepreneur 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 have some suggestions for you. 


The Ohio University GRID Lab seeks to raise $110,000 in project management, incentive and prize money in support of its innovative SunSat Design Competition during 2014-2015.

Raising prize money is especially important since the Competition expects to give significant 1st, 2nd and 3rd place awards. Each team will be given a $1,000 check as a “get-started” incentive upon successful completion of a rigorous registration process, and an amount of money to assist with the travel costs of teams invited to ISDC-Toronto to make their presentations and accept their winning awards.

The Competition is seeking financial support from individuals, organizations and businesses, as a gift of education that will bring tangible and on-going benefits to the future of our planet. You can contribute to the International SunSat Design Competition via the Ohio University CASHNet secure donation form. This contribution will not put you on any Ohio University or other solicitation list under our control.

If you are interested in becoming a SunSat Design Competition sponsor at a $10,000 or higher level you are invited to have a discussion with Don Flournoy, 740-593-4866.  

Note that we are also launching a short-term Indiegogo crowd-sourcing campaign during the month of November.