The UTAT Space Idea Challenge is a two-phase competition to devise, research and propose a suitable payload for a 1U, 2U or 3U Cubesat mission in low Earth orbit. The first phase of the competition will consist of the submission of a (max) 2-page document which outlines the motivation, significance and technical details of the proposed payload (as structured in the provided submission template).

Selected teams that have submitted suitable payloads in the first phase will move on to the finals, which will consist of a 10-15 minute oral presentation at the annual UTAT Aerospace Showcase.


The UTAT Aerospace Showcase is an annual event where each of UTAT’s divisions has the opportunity to present their projects and accomplishments of that year, to professors, members of the Canadian space industry, UTAT members, alumni and news outlets. This serves as both a networking and learning opportunity for presenters and UTAT members.


Teams between 1 and 4 members are eligible to submit proposals to the competition.

  1. All full-time or part-time undergraduate and graduate students in any campus, program or faculty of the University of Toronto (including UTSG, UTM, UTSC and UTIAS) are eligible to participate in the Satellite Idea Challenge.

  2. Each team should sign up once, and submit one final proposal document (as per email instructions sent out after sign-up is completed).

  3. The document must be submitted as one .pdf file, max two pages.

  4. Any relevant diagrams or visuals can be submitted in the designated field on the submission form.


If you have any questions not listed here, email us at spacesys@utat.ca.

Q: I am not an engineer or studying aerospace, can I still participate?

Yes, you do not need any background in engineering or aerospace to participate. There won’t be low-level technical aspects required for your submission. You only need a good idea and reasoning for it.

Q: Can graduate students participate?

Yes, we welcome submissions from any students at UofT, including UTIAS.

Q: How many submissions can I make?

Only one submission per team is allowed, so pick your best idea.

Q: Do I need to have any experience in aerospace to submit a good idea?

No! You do not need a deep understanding of satellite design, orbital mechanics or other space engineering areas to come up with a good idea. On the other hand, you should be familiar with the domain of the payload (whether that is physics, biology, international development, etc.) that you are proposing. We want you to focus on your payload idea and leave the implementation details of the rest of the satellite to us.

Q: Are there any restrictions on the type of payload I can submit?

For the purposes of this challenge, any feasible payload is eligible. We will focus on submissions that have a measurable and positive technological, scientific, social or economic impact, so we discourage submissions involving weaponized satellites or spy satellites.

Q: How do I join UTAT Space Systems?

Everyone who participates in the Satellite Idea Challenge will be welcome to join UTAT Space Systems once the competition is over! This will be an exciting time to join, as we will be starting the development of an entirely new satellite.