The Space Dynamics Laboratory (SDL) has over 400 successful space missions, including satellite-based sensor systems, ISS instruments, and shuttle and sounding rocket payloads. SDL is a business unit in the Utah State University Research Foundation with headquarters in Logan, Utah. SDL’s mission is to advance scientific and defense objectives by researching, developing and characterizing sensor, electronic, and software systems.
Owned by Utah State University, SDL’s mission includes enhancing the education and development of scientists and engineers. The organization employs approximately 100 college students at any given time.
SDL is excited to be involved with the Spaceport America Cup (SA Cup) and the Intercollegiate Rocket Engineering Competition (IREC), focusing on the payload portion of the competition. After all, in reality there’s no reason to launch a rocket unless there’s a payload! SDL is offering $1,000 in cash prizes to teams that produce meaningful payloads.
Encourage IREC participants to create payloads that accomplish a relevant function and provide useful learning opportunities.
To be considered for judging, the payload must:
- Weigh at least 8.8 lbs;
- Be removable from the rocket;
- Not affect the flight of the rocket if removed and replaced with ballast of the same mass and form factor;
- Be totally recoverable (i.e. no pieces of payload littering the desert);
- Keep within a 3 nautical mile radius of the launch site during flight;
- Not contain any live, vertebrate animals;
- Not contain significant quantities of lead or any other hazardous materials;
- Any use of radioactive materials shall be permitted only if deemed operationally necessary and such operational necessity is concurred with by competition officials;
- If approved, any such materials shall be fully encapsulated and are limited to 1 µC or less of activity;
Participants should submit a Payload Entry Form and review the Payload Judging Sheet prior to the event.
For questions, or to enter into the SDL Payload Challenge, please email: burt.lamborn [at] sdl.usu.edu
We also ask that teams upload a copy of the form to a Dropbox folder using the link here.
Awards: The following payload prizes will be given:
1st Place Payload Award: $700
2nd Place Payload Award: $300