UAE Mini-Satellite Challenge


Objective of the Competition

The UAE Mini Satellite Challenge targets university students. The challenge provides the opportunity for students interested in the fields of engineering, material sciences, physical sciences, etc. to develop technology applications and experiments that are exposed to the space environment and have a clear view of the Earth and universe. The goal is to foster creativity, collaboration, and critical thinking among young innovators bridging the application of technology and the unique environment of space for the advancement of engineering research and development.   It aims to spark students’ interest in engineering research and development by equipping them with 21st century skills.  The challenge will provide hands-on educational experiences in developing aerospace and satellite technologies to the winning team. 



 The Competition

The competition will consist of submission of a white paper proposal to design experiment(s) that can solve real-life space exploration problems.

Participants will submit a white paper proposal to design experiments that can solve real-life space exploration problems such as:

•          Earth Observation - collecting data on the global climate, environmental change and natural hazards.

•          Space Science - cosmic radiation, astrophysics, planetary observation, micro gravity measurement

•          Engineering Research and Development – navigation, solar cell technology, communications

No equipment or lab supplies are needed to enter this contest.  The winning team of the white paper competition will receive grant funding that will be used to develop the proposed payload idea. 

The competition will consist of a Letter of Intent, submission of a white paper proposal, and for the finalists, a 20 minute presentation to a panel of judges. 


White Paper (by Invitation only):

Based on judgment of the submitted LOI, only selected teams will be invited to submit a White Paper and will be formally inducted into the UAE Mini Satellite Challenge  as Participants. Detailed Instructions for submitting White papers will be sent separately to the invited teams. All the qualified teams will be invited to an introductory workshop on CubeSats to help them with their proposal.


By accepting to participate in the competition, the teams will need to agree to the intellectual property terms of the competition.  They are as follows:


1.        For purposes of this competition, the term Intellectual Property shall mean patented and unpatented inventions, mask works, copyrighted works, trade secrets, know-how and Proprietary Information. 

2.        Both UAE Space Agency and the winning party shall retain full ownership in all Intellectual Properties that were generated or acquired by such Party prior to or independently of this contract (Background IP).

3.        Should Intellectual Property be generated by the winning team in performing this contract (Foreground IP), then the ownership, use and exploitation of the Intellectual Property generated will owned by the winning team and the UAE Space Agency. 


Finalist Presentation (for qualifying teams only):

 Following the White Paper judgement, select teams will advance to finalist status and must prepare a presentation, to be given publically, in-person at the UAE-CubeSat Workshop for Finalists event. The presentation should be electronically created and presentable through overhead projection. The presentation should be no longer than 20 minutes.



The white paper proposals will be evaluated by a panel of academic, commercial, and government experts in space technology and deployment.  Criteria for judging will include:

1.        Innovation:  a central element of the proposed mission must be a line of scientific inquiry, a space flight technology, a destination, or a system that demonstrates a space-business model that is new to the world

2.        Feasibility:  is the proposed mission practical and can it be developed within a short period of time?

3.        Relevance to the space community:  how important is this question to the space community?

4.        Technical feasibility:  can the payload be developed in the UAE? 

5.        Budget:  can this project be built for the amount available? 

6.        Presentation:  overall presentation of the idea

7.        Team’s Management plan for the payload development 



1.        Technical support from Khalifa University on the integration of the payload in a 2U CubeSat for their flight experiment. CubeSat in space communication radio and telemetry data service will be coordinated with operators of the ground station at YahSat Space Lab of Khalifa University.

2.        Support for payload deployment and qualification services from Boeing’s ISS partner(s)

3.        Student winner(s) will participate in a specialized training session provided by Boeing and its partners about the International Space Station.

4.        Student/team winner(s) travel and logistics costs for trip to launch site in the USA.  Restrictions may apply based on government guidelines.

5.        Student winner(s) will participate in a specialized training sessions provided by Khalifa University.


For any questions please contact:


  • Science and Technology
You have not been invited to this private challenge

21 June 2018
21 August 2018