Updated March 5, 2022. Please review for changes and how your team will document their efforts.

All competition rules and scoring are subject to change before final review the morning of the competition.

Teams will be judged in five different areas with a total of 100 points available. Some specific points will be announced in advanced while others will only be announced the morning of the competition. Teams should be flexible in the design and implementation of their drone platform to accommodate variations to these tasks and points.

FAA rules and navigation (prior to and day of competition) – 20 points

Teams will be assessed on their knowledge of FAA regulations and their ability to navigate the drone through a variety of tasks. These will include:

4FAA TRUST Certificates for all team members (submitted by March 24)
4FAA knowledge test (answering FAA regulation questions in “pit” area right before flight)
3Fly to 3 m, hover, and return to ground within target area
4Fly to 3 m, move horizontally to target return to launch area
5Fly through an obstacle and return safely to the launch site
-3Drone crash that requires human assistance to correct (can occur multiple times)

FAA knowledge will be tested both by the submission of the FAA TRUST Certificates (submitted by March 24) and a knowledge test administers in the “pit” area right before each team’s flight time. Teams will be asked four questions and given 1 point for each correct answer. These questions will be derived from the FAA’s Rules for Recreational Flyers (see

Multiple attempts can be made to successfully complete each navigation tasks, but each task can only be completed once. A judge will notify a team when a task is successfully completed.

A “crash” is any situation, e.g. caught in arena net, flipped drone, broken propeller, that requires human assistance to return drone into a state where it can fly again. Rough landings in arena space that do not require human intervention to regain controlled flight do not count as a crash. Repeated crashes may count against a team if controlled flight is regained in between crashes.

Reconnaissance: observations and measurements (day of competition) – 40 points

Teams will be assessed on the number of successful reconnaissance tasks that are completed within the allotted time. Multiple tasks can be completed during any individual flight. These include:

5Successful communication from sensor microcontroller to base
5Successful demonstration of three operating sensors (reporting valid values to the ground control station)
5Measure “soil” moisture
5Measure the height/distance of a target object (using LIDAR)
5Measure the volume of target object (using LIDAR) – not eligible for “walked” drone
5Measure the color of spectrometry target (using spectrometer)
10Retrieve “soil” sample and return to base – not eligible for “walked” drone

All measurements must be reported on the “Mission Reconnaissance” form and turned in within the allotted time after flight time. Judges may award partial credit for measurements that are close to correct values.

If a drone crashes and becomes inoperable, teams may elect to cancel the rest of their flight time and “walk” the drone around the competition arena to make their measurements for half credit. All measurements must still be sent to the operator in the base area via Bluetooth. Note that not all measurements are eligible for “walked” drone credit.

Mission planning (submitted prior to competition day) – 20 points

This is a written component of the competition (submitted by 5pm March 24). Points would be awarded in several areas:

  • Identifying drone mission objectives (what are reasonable expectations for the information that a drone could provide).
  • Technical challenges in achieving these objectives.
  • Assessment of current technology in meeting these challenges.

Judges will use the following rubric for mission plan scoring:

AreaHigh scoreMedium scoreLow score
Lunar navigation, communication, and propulsion6 points
Thorough assessment of propulsion options and control/navigation systems; feasibility on lunar surface
4 points
Most areas addressed; some gaps
2 points
Some areas addressed but moderate gaps in technologies assessed
Sensor options and review6 points
Thorough assessment of possible sensor array and how it may be useful on lunar surface
4 points
Most areas addressed; some gaps
2 points
Some areas addressed but moderate gaps in technologies assessed
Assessment, conclusions4 points
Effective overall assessment of using UAV systems as part of Artemis lunar mission
3 points
Some overall assessment of UAV feasibility; gaps in coverage
2 points
Lack of overall assessment of UAV feasibility on lunar surface
Sources, bibliography4 points
At least 10 sources, used appropriately in text, correctly formatted bibliography
3 points
At least 7 sources, mostly used appropriately in text, bibliography has some formatting mistakes
2 points
At least 4 sources, only some used appropriately in text, bibliography incomplete or substantial formatting issues

Scientific communication with the public (submitted prior to competition day) – 10 points

Use of publications, local media, social media, or other venues to communicate to the regional public about the drone competition, the challenges that teams are facing, how these challenges are being met, and the relationship to the NASA Artemis program. Teams will be judged on:

  • The content and coverage of their communication efforts.
  • The effectiveness of their communication efforts (number of views, venue, engagement, comments, etc).
  • The creativeness of their communication strategy.

Teams will submit their documented scientific communication efforts by April 4, 2022.

Judges will use the following rubric for scientific communication scores:

AreaHigh scoreMedium scoreLow score
Overall content6 points
More than 3 attempts at public outreach; different formats utilized
4 points
More than 2 attempts at public outreach
2 points
At least one attempt at public outreach
Effectiveness2 points
Evidence of having reached target audience
1 point
Limited evidence of reaching audience
0 points
No evidence provided
Creativeness2 points
Novel and effective approach to communicate
1 point
Novel approach, but limited effectiveness
0 points
No evidence of creativity

Collaboration (earned on and prior to competition day) – up to 10 points

Each team will be allocated 10 points that they will be rewarding to other teams that provide support in some form during the school year leading up to and including the day-of competition.

  • Teams make their own judgement call on the support provided by another team and can allocate points accordingly.
  • Once rewarded, points cannot be revoked.
  • Teams are required to reserve at least 3 points for the day-of competition.

Teams will submit any points they’ve awarded other teams by April 4, 2022.