Participants of the Suborbital Day 2019

Student Aerospace Challenge 2019-2020

28/10/2019 14602 views 35 likes
ESA / Education / ESA Academy

The Astronaute Club Européen (ACE) and its industrial and institutional partners are inviting university students from all ESA Member States to participate in the Student Aerospace Challenge 2019-2020.

The 14th edition of the Student Aerospace Challenge was launched on 16 October 2019 by partners from the aerospace sector including Astronaute Club Européen (ACE), ArianeGroup, Dassault Aviation, ESA and Le Bourget Air and Space Museum. For the past 13 years they have dared tertiary education student teams to work on various aspects of a suborbital manned vehicle. This is a reusable vehicle that will reach Mach 3.5 and 100 km of altitude, the edge of space. So far, the competition has engaged 188 teams representing around 1000 university students.

Each year, the partners define several work packages corresponding to domains of study realistically related to this type of innovative vehicle. Depending on their background and interest, students have the opportunity to work on a topic related to one of the work packages and to explore new solutions.

Cabin layout for a suborbital manned vehicle studied by team WUST
Cabin layout for a suborbital manned vehicle studied by team WUST

For this new edition, European student teams can choose between the following 10 different Work Packages: 

WP1 - Cockpit layout

WP2 - Promotion / Communication

WP3 - Legal frame

WP4 - Medicine

WP5 - Reusable propulsion

WP6 - Suborbital flight history

WP7 - Market analysis

WP8 - Structure suited to suborbital flight

WP9 - Aerodynamic and Flight Control

WP10 - Airworthiness

M2 DAST team received the Arianegroup prize for their legal project
M2 DAST team received the Arianegroup prize for their legal project

Partners are looking for economically viable and environmentally friendly solutions as these criteria are becoming more and more important in aerospace projects whether they are commercial endeavours or agency programmes.

Students wishing to participate in the 14th edition of this Challenge should form a team of 2 to 5 students, get familiar with the application process, obtain the oral authorisation to participate from an official member of their university and apply through the Application section of the Student Aerospace Challenge website before 18th November 2019. The team need to justify their WP choice by explaining its consistency with their academic background and experience as well as provide a cover letter describing their motivation and skills.

Each application will be studied by the Organization Committee of the Challenge. The team’s ability to work efficiently on the selected work package, the specificities of their institution and the arguments put forward in their motivation letter will be particularly important to the Committee. If the team is selected, the application will have to be officially validated by a representative of the team's institution and the students will be asked to follow the Challenge working instructions and schedule:

  • 18th November 2019: end of application period
  • 22nd November 2019: deadline for sending Work Package sheet
  • 16th December 2019: deadline for sending first progress report
  • 17th January 2020: deadline for validation by Experts
  • 28th February 2020: deadline for sending second progress report
  • 3rd April 2020: deadline for sending a 10-line summary explaining the work done
  • 14th May 2020: deadline for sending final report, poster and bilingual work summary
  • 25th June 2019: « The Suborbital Day », a special event, gathering students and Partners, ending the fourteenth exercise of the Student Aerospace Challenge 

At the end of each edition, the best quoted projects are rewarded with prizes, among them the “ESA Grand Prix” allowing the best student team to present its project to space professionals in an appropriate space-related event. The winners of the ESA Grand Prix in the 13th edition of the Student Aerospace Challenge, the WUST team of Wroclaw University of Science and Technology in Poland, will present their Student Aerospace Challenge project related to cabin layout and associated equipment to an audience attending the 17th Reinventing Space Conference between 12 and 14 November 2019 in Belfast (United Kingdom).