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Extended Registration Deadline: 21st November


The Satellite Design Competition invites students to design, construct and operate a nanosatellite payload system with the objective to design a payload to perform a space debris deorbiting mission. Students shall create a payload concept, trade off performance parameters and pass through a rigorous review process with panels of experts within the space industry. The competition aims to reach out to students from multiple scientific fields, including, but not limited to, physicists, engineers and computer scientists.

The competition aims to:

  • Challenge students to perform a complex, systems engineering task of the development of a payload to a set of real space mission requirements.
  • Gain exposure and experience of the typical design processes and protocols in industry projects, including multiple project reviews.
  • Enable students to apply taught technical skills and learn new ones relevant to a job in the space industry in an applicable project environment.
  • Provide students with an opportunity to develop and practice other important and transferable skills, such as teamwork, leadership and project management.

This year marks the fifth instalment of the Satellite Design Competition. During the first 2 years, competing teams researched and designed a space mission utilising cubesats for astronomy, where an extensive final report was submitted. In 2019, the competition was expanded to include a build phase, where competing teams had the opportunity to design and construct a nanosatellite payload. The heritage of the competition was kept, where the extensive report was separated out into multiple, smaller reports that can be expected in industry space mission design: a Preliminary Design Report, a Critical Design Report and a Test Readiness Review. This year the competition will be themed around space debris removal and will challenge students to tackle this growing problem.

Previous Winners »

Find out more about the previous winners of the SDC.

Key Dates

Competition Launch25th October 2021
Deadline for Competition registration21st November 2021
Requirements Freeze7th November 2021
Preliminary Design Review19th December 2021
PDR Feedback24th January 2022
Critical Design Review27th March 2022
CDR Reviewer Meeting15th April 2022
5 Teams selected29th April 2022
Competition Grant Deadline15th May 2022
Test Readiness Review3rd July 2022
Competition Event9/16 July 2022

Rules and Resources »

Rules and requirements documents, data sheets, template documents.

Organisers »

Find out more about the people behind the Satellite Design Competition.

Last Year »

All about last year's competition (including the competition day livestream).