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Critical Design Review

Critical Design Review

Critical Design Review (CDR) packages must be submitted no later than March 3, 2017.

The CDR is a competitive milestone, meaning that teams will be judged against each other.  Only the top 30 teams will be accepted to compete in the URC2017 field competition.*

Format and Submission Details
CDR packages shall consist of two components: a CDR Report and CDR Video.  They must be submitted together in a single email to kevin [at] marssociety [dot] org.  All submissions must be in English.

All content (including, but not limited to, text, images, video, and audio) not created by the submitting team must be credited or cited appropriately. Plagiarism concerns are taken very seriously, and are grounds for disqualification.

CDR Report
CDR Reports are limited to 5 pages of text and graphics (images, figures, etc.).  A cover page is optional, and is not included in the 5 page limit, but may only include the report title, team name, contact information (student team lead and an optional point of contact), etc. (if not included on a cover page, this information should appear in a header at the top of the first page).  Pages should be in letterpaper size (8.5 in. x 11 in.), with margins no smaller than 1 in. (2.5 cm), text in 12 point font, and single spaced.  CDR Reports may be submitted in *.doc, *.docx or *.pdf file formats, and sent via email attachment.  Google Drive files are not accepted.  Email attachments should be no larger than 4 MB.

Page 5 of the CDR Report is required to be the CDR Science Plan.  The Science Plan may only be discussed on Page 5; and Page 5 may contain no other information.

Judges will not consider any content after the end of the fifth page (not including cover page), regardless of the situation or content remaining on additional pages.

CDR Video
CDR Videos are limited to a single video that is no longer than 5 minutes (5:00).  Teams may use any combination of video techniques - to include individuals talking, rover demonstrations, voiced-over-slides, etc.  However, audio quality of any voice used is absolutely imperative, even at the expense of video quality.  Videos may be submitted via a link to YouTube, Vimeo, Dropbox, or other publicly accessible video sharing service.  The video must be accessible to anybody with the link so that it can be shared among judges.  Video file attachments are not accepted due to the potential for video file incompatibility.  By submitting the CDR Video, teams acknowledge that some or all of their video may be utilized by URC for promotion purposes.

Judges will not consider any content after 5:00 in the video, regardless of the situation or content remaining.

CDR Content
Pages 1-4 of the CDR Report should describe the technical solutions to the core rover system, as well as the specific approach to each task (excluding the Science Plan, which is covered on Page 5).  Teams should further describe the programmatic state of the project, to include status, scheduled work remaining, and the team's approach to testing and training.  Teams must also clearly state whether or not they have the necessary funds available to complete the project and travel to the field competition.

Page 5 of the CDR Report should consist exclusively of the CDR Science Plan, which is expected to discuss the team's planned instruments and methods for both the rover and lab testing.  Teams are also expected to explain why those instruments/methods** are being chosen as they related to Mars science.

The intent of the video is to expand upon the written component, and demonstrate rover capabilities.  While teams are not required to demonstrate any working systems/subsystems as part of the CDR package, such evidence will be considered by judges in the competitive down-selection process.


*Only 30 teams will pass the CDR milestone and be invited to compete in the URC2017 field competition.  This limit is due to logistical, timing, environmental and staffing constraints, and is required to maintain the quality of the competition for competing teams.  There will not be a stand-by list in the event of teams withdrawing prior to the competition.

**In the CDR Science Plan teams are required to identify any hazardous materials planned for use.  Teams will further be required to explain how they will be used, as well as the safety measures being implemented (to include transportation to, and storage at, URC).  Commercial Off The Shelf (COTS) systems with integrated safety measures from the original manufacturer will be looked upon more favorably by the judges and staff.
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