Current Challenge

2018 AFRL University Design Challenge

You are tasked to design an Active Debris Removal (ADR)device to safely deorbit large, massive objects such as intact rocket bodiesand non-functional ...
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Meet the Teams

Learn about the teams and the talents participating in the Challenge–from team bios and sponsors to their individual social networks.
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  • When do the three operator interviews and feedback need to be completed?

    We recommend that the interviews and feedback be ongoing (starting prior to PDR) and that you maintain a dialogue throughout the year.  This would allow the operators to potentially provide initial design input (ranging from concerns with current methods to new ideas) as well as feedback on your design and feedback on your prototype.

  • Is there a restriction on which branch of the military that is interviewed (i.e. Army Rangers, Navy Seals, Air Force Special Ops, Infantrymen, Recon, etc.)?

    There is no branch requirement, but relevant experience (based on job function) is most desirable and improves the feedback that the operators give. FYI Special operators usually have a wide range of experience and can, at times, be a good source of information.

  • What does the phrase “Resistance to strike, impact, drops, fluids”line in our scoring criteria mean exactly?

    We may try to identify the weakpoints and what would cause it to break. Strike could mean hit with another vehicle, shoot with a rifle, drop outof a helicopter at ground level (~3-feet), etc. 

  • Are military code standards applicable?

    By all means, we want this to be safe.  Some standards exist to ensure safety.  You’re building a prototype and we know meeting MILSTDsmay be difficult; we expect that these prototypes (while not necessarily meeting all MIL ruggedness, maintainability, etc. standards) will incorporate appropriate safety factors in the design and execution of the prototypes.  What would win ourhearts and minds is if you know the MILSTDs your vehicle would undergo if thiswas to go mainstream.

  • What is the desired ground clearance?

    Be prepared for rough terrain, depending onlocation there may be scrub bush, weeds, rocks, potholes, downed logs, etc.around a landing zone.  Thinkexpeditionary landing zones, you can do an internet search that at see whatcomes up.  We aren’t looking to hitDetroit International, rather, think about Alpena Range.

  • What is the expected terrain gradient that thevehicle will traverse?

    IAW survey guidance for Assault LandingZones.  Of course better is better!

  • What is the maximum footprint for transportproduct when not in use?

    SWAP plays an extremely important role here—weneed to fly it in a military helicopter and possibly carry it with manpower!

  • Is this vehicle meant to be dependable above allelse, compromising capability, or is capability more important than overalldependability? (i.e., mission critical)

    If it doesn't work we don’t take it. With that being said, we recognize that this is an engineering competition and will take into account the engineering rigor applied

  • What are the dimensions of obstacles that thevehicle should be able to overcome?

    IAW survey guidance for Assault Landing Zones

  • Given distance (2 mi), speed (3-15 mph), andnegotiating stairs, is it anticipated the vehicle could achieve all at theirmax:  2 miles of stairs at 15 mph, notingthis would likely come at a tradeoff with other capabilities?

     The greatest challenge to warfare is uncertainty andchallenging that uncertainty is the difference between everyday citizens andwarriors.

  • What is the maximum desired storage time?

    This will not be assessed during this competition; although, competitors may want to address this issue when discussing a "future state" of their product in their presentation.

  • For what environments is our device being designed?