Lunar Base Camp

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Update:
The 2020 AIHEC Student Conference, which had been scheduled for Albuquerque, NM on March 21-24, 2020, will not take place out of an abundance of caution and concern for Tribal College students and their families, TCU faculty and staff, the residents of New Mexico, and most important, our Tribal elders upon whom we depend.
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NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars (NCAS) Robotics Competition 2020

 

Registration for this competition is closed.

 

Coordinator: Vicki A. Smith
Email: vicki.a.smith@nasa.gov

 

I. Competition Objectives

  • Strengthen existing Science programs at Tribal Colleges and Universities and stimulate new interest in STEM fields.
  • Showcase talent and skills.
  • Strengthen the relationship between NASA and the TCUs.
  • Build a diverse future STEM workforce by engaging students in authentic learning experiences.

 

II. Eligibility

  • Students who previously competed in an NCAS competition are not eligible to register as a Team Member.
  • Students who previously competed may return as a Team’s CEO/Coach/Advisor.

 

III. Registration

  • Questions about competition can be directed to the NCAS Point of Contact (POC), Vicki Smith at vicki.a.smith@okstate.edu and/or vicki.a.smith@nasa.gov.
  • Registration is limited to 40 participants.
  • Teams of 4 or 5 are recommended. Teams with more than 5 members need to contact the NCAS POC.
  • Teams are divided by school when possible. However, teams with fewer than 4 members may be grouped together.
  • Teams of less than 4 members may choose to pair with another team.
  • A mandatory CEO/Coach/Advisor Meeting is scheduled for Saturday, March 21, 2020 at 4:00-5:00PM, location TBD.
  • All team members must be available for orientation on Sunday, March 22 at 11:20AM. The location will be provided once registration is complete.
  • All AIHEC member institutions may register for the event. Registration must be submitted online.

 

IV. Mission and Task Outline

The overall goal is for teams to set up a lunar base camp through a series of tasks for human habitation. There are five (5) tasks in total and they must be completed sequentially. In addition to the rover competition, teams are required to develop a plan to communicate how the skills and technologies used in this challenge are used to help communities with limited or scarce resources. The plan must be presented orally to the panel of judges.

 TASKOBJECTIVES
#1 Search for water
● Explore and search for water
● Uncover a potential source
● "Mine" and identify water
To accomplish Task #1, your rover must navigate to the suspected water site. Once there, your rover searches for water by removing obstacles. Finally, once your rover locates a potential source it uses its color sensor to correctly identify water. Points are awarded based on successful completion of each phase of the task.
#2 Set up Habitats
● up habitats within 1 foot of the water source
To accomplish Task #2, your rover will place the provided habitats within 1 foot of the water source. Points are allocated based on accuracy.
#3 Establish a Power Supply
● Navigate to the power supply
● Erect a solar array
To accomplish Task #3, your rover will navigate to the Power Supply and successfully deploy a solar array to standing position. Your team receives points for successful completion of the task.
#4 Set up Space-Ground Communications
● Navigate to the Communications Control Center
● Activate communication
To accomplish Task #4, your rover will navigate to the Communications Control Center and activate the power. Your team receives points for successful completion of the task.
#5 Retrieve Food and Supplies
● Navigate to the food and supply drop site
● Carry food back to Base Camp
● Place food within 1 foot of the habitats
To accomplish Task #5, your rover will navigate to the food and supply drop site and bring the items back to Base Camp. Points are awarded based on accuracy. Items must be placed within 1 foot of the habitats.

 

V. Schedule

  • Prior to the competition, registered teams are provided an email with links to Lego EV3 programming resources including--websites and video tutorials. It is advised, but not required, that teams review materials in advance of the competition.

EV3 Tutorials:
(NCAS does not endorse a particular tutorial. These resources are suggestions; please feel free to research additional resources.)

http://www.lego.com/en-us/mindstorms/learn-to-program

 

  1. On the first day of the NCAS Competition, the 4-5 member team and a CEO/Coach/Advisor assigns each member a job and builds the rover. Each team receives a Lego EV3 kit, building instructions, and one laptop uploaded with EV3 software. Teams are encouraged to bring their own laptops (at least two per team). Teams have 1½ hours to work on construction.
    1. If teams do not complete construction, they may continue construction on the following day.
    2. Table of job descriptions:
      Project Manager Responsible for knowing the rules of the competition, keeps team members on task, creates a work timeline, checks on progress, point of contact between NCAS staff and the team.
      Hardware Engineer Coordinates rover design and construction with team input, ensures the rover is ready to compete, and verifies the safety of the rover.
      Software Engineer Develops, tests, and programs mission-critical software.
      Test Engineer Designs and performs tests on the rover to ensure it is ready to compete, verifies all procedures are followed, and reports safety concerns.
      Community Relations Coordinates the team to create a team name and logo, manages all social media content, and develops a plan to communicate how the skills and technologies used in this challenge are used to help communities with limited or scarce resources.
    3. The Community Relations Officer may begin to work on the team name, logo, social media presence, and community connection plan whenever they choose.
    4. Team members must make all decisions and complete all the work, including deciding on strategy, building, programming, researching, addressing problems, and innovating solutions.
    5. CEOs/Coaches/Advisors may ask facilitating questions, encourage teams to problem solve, help teams come to a compromise when there is a disagreement, remind them of the rules, and provide encouragement.
    6. In addition to consulting with the CEO/Coach/Advisor, teams may also ask NCAS staff for rules clarification, questions about EV3 functioning or resources, and questions about the tasks. NCAS staff may not handle a team’s rover nor assist with building or programming.
  1. The remaining days of the competition, are divided into programming, practice sessions, and scored competitions. Each team is given an EV3 manual with basic programming tutorials. Each team is assigned their own 6x8 foot lunar course. The course serves as both a place to practice and the site of the team’s competition.
    1. Teams may test on their course at any time. Once the team is confident they can complete the task, they notify the judges they are ready to begin scored competition.
    2. A minimum of two (2) judges must be present during the scored attempt.
    3. The score at the end of the round is final and cannot be changed. Teams have a maximum of five (5) minutes to complete each scored task.
    4. Teams are not limited in the number of scored tasks they can complete in a day, but all scored tasks must be completed in sequential order.
    5. General Rules apply throughout the competition.

 

VI. The Lunar Base Camp

The NCAS Lunar Base Camp consists of interlocking foam squares to form a flat 6x8 foot lunar surface. Each of the five set up tasks occur on the surface and within its boundaries. (See sample below.)

lunarBaseCamp

 

VII. General Rules

  1. Gracious Professionalism is observed at all times. NASA’s Core Values consist of Safety, Integrity, Teamwork and Excellence. Teams are expected to abide by competition rules, respect each other and the NCAS staff, and demonstrate good sportsmanship.
  2. Students who previously competed in an NCAS competition are not eligible to register as a Team Member.
  3. Students who previously competed may return as a Team’s CEO/Coach/Advisor.
  4. Teams are given a total of 5½ hours over the course of the competition to build, program, test, and compete.
  5. The series of tasks must be completed in sequential order.
  6. Teams may only attempt a scored task once.
  7. Points are cumulative and weighted—Attendance/Teamwork/Creativity 15%, Tasks 50%, Community Outreach Plan 35%.
  8. A minimum of two (2) judges must be present during each scored competition.
  9. The judge’s rulings are final and irreversible.
  10. At least two (2) team members must be present during the scored competition.
  11. Teams have a maximum of five (5) minutes to complete each scored task. A task timer is to be visible during the scored competition. The clock will not stop until the time runs out.
  12. Scored Competitions may not occur in immediate succession. A mandatory 15 minute waiting period is required before a team can compete again.
  13. Rovers must be autonomous. They may not be connected to computers or any other devices during the scored competition.
  14. Neither computers nor phones are allowed during the scored competition. Only the CEO/Coach/Advisor may take photos during the scored competition. Capturing or streaming video footage is not allowed.
  15. All tasks begin and end with the rover on Home Base.
  16. The task ends when one of the following occurs: the rover returns to Home Base after successful completion of the task or the timer runs out. The competition cannot exceed the five (5) minute time limit and any action taken after this period is invalid.
  17. Selection of autonomous programs may only occur when the rover is on Home Base.
  18. Touching the rover while outside Home Base is not allowed. The rover must run its full software program.
  19. No changes can be made to the rover’s design once the scored competition begins. Damages or loss of parts may not be repaired until after the scored competition ends.
  20. Boundaries of the course are indicated by a solid blue line.
  21. Only the color sensor is allowed out of bounds.
  22. If the rover or any part of it (except the color sensor) runs outside of the blue course boundary lines, the team earns a penalty. A penalty means the rover has to return to Home Base and restart the task. The ruling is at the sole discretion of judges.
  23. All rover wheels must touch the ground during the competition.
  24. Upon starting, teams may orient their rover in Home Base in any direction they choose.
  25. Dragging objects by wires is not allowed.
  26. Using items not included in the provided EV3 kit is not allowed.
  27. Any object knocked loose or moved inadvertently by the rover is to remain in its resting place.
  28. At no time during the scored competition can there be any modification of the competition space.
  29. When “identifying water” the rover must say aloud the name of the color.

 

VIII. Rover Construction Specifications

  1. Only parts included in the provided EV3 kit may be used in rover construction.
  2. Rover Chassis is required to carry operating systems and allow for successful deployment of scientific instrumentation.
    1. Power source – use a charger or battery pack to power your rover.
    2. Sensors - include at least one of the provided sensors in the design of your autonomous rover.
    3. Robotic-mechanical arms - capability to reach/extend to move, push or scoop up objects.
    4. Wheels - all wheels used must touch the ground.
  3. Communications Package: EV3 brick for navigation.
  4. Programs must be able to return the rover back to Home Base autonomously.

 

IX. Final Presentation

  1. Each team shares a Community Outreach plan on the final day. This presentation is expected to be 5-7 minutes in length with a goal of sharing how the skills and technology can be used to help communities with limited or scarce resources.
  2. Teams may use any visual aids they choose including a poster, brochure, but PowerPoint is recommended. Each team member must contribute to the presentation.
  3. The presentation must include:
    1. Company name and logo.
    2. Explanation of the rover design for any three (3) of the five (5) tasks.
    3. Identify specific NASA skills and technologies used in the three (3) tasks you selected.
      1. Share earth-based applications of the skills and technologies used in the competition.
      2. Identify specific benefits to communities with limited or scarce resources
    4. Share the public communication plan

 

X. Winning Team Selection

  1. 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners are recognized.
  2. The winning teams are determined using the scorecard.
  3. Weighted point values:
    1. 5% - Attendance;
    2. 5% - Team Spirit;
    3. 5% - Creativity;
    4. 50% - Lunar Base Camp Tasks; and
    5. 35% - Final Presentation.
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