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ESA Invites Designs For Mars UAV

What are the challenges in designing an airplane for flight on Mars? ESA has invited aerospace students to submit ideas for a UAV to fly the Martian skies. Image credit: Euroavia
by Staff Writers
Noordwijk the Netherlands (SPX) Mar 29, 2006
ESA has invited aerospace students to submit ideas for an unmanned aerial vehicle suitable for exploring Mars. The agency said the best entries will win a place at the Euroavia Design Workshop to be held at the agency's Erasmus User Centre this July.

All European aerospace students who have completed a minimum of two years study can participate. They must submit a paper between three and 10 pages in length on the topic of a UAV concept for Mars.

ESA is hosting the workshop as part of its long-term strategy for space exploration, called the Aurora Programme, which aims to mount future missions to the Moon and Mars, both robotic and human. The program is meant to encourage the academic and industrial communities to develop the necessary technologies for those missions.

The authors of the 25 best papers will be invited to participate in the three-week workshop at ESA's research and technology center. During the workshop they will create a preliminary design of a UAV for Mars with the assistance of specialists from the industry and other institutions.

ESA said selected participants will be hosted at no cost, and it will provide financial support for travel to and from Noordwijk. Judges will select contest winners "on the basis of scientific merit, ingenuity and the technical quality of the paper," the agency said in a statement Wednesday. The jury will comprise professionals from the aerospace industry, ESA and various institutions.

Contest entries also must include: + A short abstract of the essay + A 500 word maximum motivation paper + Curriculum Vitae + Copy of their student card + Personal contact details (name, address, telephone, email) + Name and address of their university.

Entrants should complete and submit their papers and relevant documents by April 21 to

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