LEAPFROG LANDER COMPETITION

Hosted by the University of California San Diego,
the University of Southern California, and
the University of California Berkeley

COMPETITION DETAILS

The 2021 Lunar Entry and Approach Platform for Research on Ground (LEAPFROG) challenge is a multi-stage student competition funded by NASA’s Artemis Student Challenges Program. It consists of a software challenge through a simulation followed by a vehicle-building boot camp for the top teams across the country. The competition will be held starting May 2021.

SOFTWARE CHALLENGE

Crater Landing OV1

Virtual Simulation Challenge Announced for May 2021

Spring 2021

For more information see Registration.
The Summer Software challenge will play out in a virtual environment that simulates obstacles on the lunar surface designed to test your understanding and control of a representative lunar landing sequence. The challenge is designed to transfer the skills your team gains in flight control and stability into a real-world flight of the LEAPFROG Lunar Lander prototype vehicle here on Earth! This challenge begins in May 2021 .

During March and April, the LEAPFROG team will run some informational webinars on the software challenge architecture and software operations. Following the software challenge’s conclusion, the top-ranking teams around the nation will receive full lander kits (without the jet engine) which includes all parts needed to construct a full Artemis LEAPFROG prototype vehicle. Subsequently, a summer “boot camp” will walk teams through the construction of their vehicles. The boot camps will also provide information and ideas on how each team can develop infrastructure to conduct attitude control testing to validate their control algorithms developed in the software challenge on their own “air bearing” fixtures.

Teams interested in the Artemis LEAPFROG software competition should have an understanding of disciplines such as controls theory, flight dynamics, modeling and simulation for flight systems, etc. Our simulation environment uses a suite of open-source software that includes PX4, ROS, and Gazebo.

VEHICLE BUILD BOOT CAMP AND EXHIBITION FLIGHTS

Payload Delivery OV1

Boot Camp and Exhibition Details

Summer 2021

For more information see Registration.
During Summer 2021, the winners/competitors in the software challenge will each receive a complete LEAPFROG lunar lander kit (except for the jet engine)! The LEAPFROG team will hold a series of building boot camps that will guide each of the teams through the assembly, construction, and integration of their vehicle. The LEAPFROG team will provide input on how to develop a simple lab-based “air bearing” test stand to actually test the vehicle and showcase each team's ACS code! In parallel, the LEAPFROG team will run actual exhibition flights that will be live-streamed to all teams to give them direct understanding of how the vehicle flies and operates using the code and software they developed.

REGISTRATION

If you're a student or a student team leader interested in competing, please connect with other students at your university and register your team here. We'll send out notices to final teams in the mid-late April timeframe.

Register

Here's a timeline for the competition:

Event Start Date End Date
Announce software competition 3/8/21 4/22/21
Run signups for all potential teams 3/5/21 4/15/21
Run PX4 and simulation webinars 3/28/21 4/11/21
Finalize teams and notify 4/15/21 4/22/21
Run software challenge (4 weeks) 5/15/21 6/15/21
Finalize and contact winners 6/16/21 6/30/21
Ship out LEAPFROG vehicle kits 7/1/21 7/15/21
Run vehicle-building bootcamps & exhibition flights 7/28/21 8/11/21

ARTEMIS PROGRAM AND STUDENT CHALLENGES

Find out more about the Artemis mission and other related challenges

Public Release

LEAPFROG’s first official public release

From the NASA press release: “[The University of California, San Diego] will develop a Lunar/Martian Lander skills competition, using existing technology to execute the competition in Earth’s gravity and atmosphere. The competition requires competitors to develop and demonstrate Artemis-relevant systems engineering skills by building a lander free flier and navigating it through a 3D obstacle course. This team includes a co-investigator from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, working in partnership with the Space Science Laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley.”

Artemis Student Challenges

LEAPFROG’s parent program

Artemis Student Challenges are a new set of coms and initiatives funded by NASA to engage and inspire college students, as well as younger students for a few select challenges. These challenges aim to solve various problems faced by space explorers (both the human and robot variety) through teamwork and creativity.

Artemis Program

NASA’s mission to return to the moon

From the NASA press release: “[The University of California, San Diego] will develop a Lunar/Martian Lander skills competition, using existing technology to execute the competition in Earth’s gravity and atmosphere. The competition requires competitors to develop and demonstrate Artemis-relevant systems engineering skills by building a lander free flier and navigating it through a 3D obstacle course. This team includes a co-investigator from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, working in partnership with the Space Science Laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley.”

MEET THE TEAM

The team is comprised of undergraduate and graduate students from the University of California San Diego, the University of Southern California, and the University of California Berkeley.

Project Investigators (PIs)

  • John Kosmatka Headshot
    John Kostmatka
    UC San Diego PI
  • David Barnhart Headshot
    David Barnhart
    USC PI
  • Dan Zevin Headshot
    Dan Zevin
    UC Berkeley PI

Project Leads

  • Antariksh Narain Headshot
    Antariksh Narain
    Software Lead
  • Isabel Yarwood Perez Headshot
    Daniel Belzberg
    Competition Lead
  • Michael Smat Headshot
    Michael Smat
    Hardware Lead

Team Members

  • Andrew Fletcher Headshot
    Andrew Fletcher
    Software
  • Jose Orozco Headshot
    Jose Orozco
    Software
  • Hubert Wang Headshot
    Hubert Wang
    Hardware
  • Dimitri Gianousopoulos Headshot
    Dimitri Gianousopoulos
    Hardware
  • Kenya Foster Headshot
    Kenya Foster
    Hardware
  • Shreya Nagpal Headshot
    Shreya Nagpal
    Competition
  • Thanh Tran Headshot
    Thanh Tran
    Competition
  • Allen Maung Headshot
    Allen Maung
    Competition

Project Alumni

  • Bianca Monique Luansing Headshot
    Bianca Monique Luansing
    Competition
  • Daniel Belzberg Headshot
    Isabel Yarwood Perez
    Competition Lead
  • Nikita Persikov Headshot
    Nikita Persikov
    Hardware
  • Dan Brogan Headshot
    Dan Brogan
    Hardware