The Background and Question of 2014 ICDIC

written by The International Collegiate Design and Innovation Competition (Bejing 2014) Committee 2014.7.16| 1547hits

Background and Question of 2014 ICDIC

Background materials related to Spaceflight

Investigate the benefits and effects result from satellite technologies on people’s daily life, and then conceive a new idea or concept of satellite applications

Since the former Soviet Union launched the first man-made satellite in 1957, satellite technologies have been greatly developed and widely applied in many fields. Here the satellite technologies do not just mean the techniques only dealing with on-orbit satellites themselves, they also include the many ground facilities like ground stations, data process centers, tracking telemetry and command (TT&C) systems, launch sites as well as launch vehicles. You can easily find lots of the convenience in daily life, which profit from satellite technologies. Perhaps you even cannot imagine how confused and difficult to human societies if all the satellites working on orbits were shut off. In fact satellite technologies now are influencing the human societies or individuals almost at any moment.

The functions and contributions of satellites largely depend on their special position situations. If put in the proper orbits, satellites can overfly any part of the earth. They can view (and be in view over) large areas of the earth at one time. They can also view large volumes of outer space relatively quickly and without the deleterious effects of the atmosphere. These attributes make satellites very useful and often indispensable for benign purposes such as monitoring weather conditions, environmental erosion, and refugee migrations; making astronomical measurements in the wide swaths of the spectrum not accessible from the ground; providing rapid, secure, long distance communications and data transfers (like international crisis hotlines, instant credit card authorization); providing a conduit for long-distance education and medical services to remote locations; hosting navigation systems (e.g., GPS), and so on.

Today, you can stay in Beijing and watch a World-Cup football match that is just real-time happening on the other side of the Earth. No matter you travel by vessel in the ocean, by airplane in the sky, or even go on foot in the desert, GPS can tell you the exactly position and speed you are. If you drive a car in a city, vehicle-bone navigator can let you easily get to the place which you have never been there. These are some examples of benefits and effects result from satellite technologies on people’s daily life. Scientists and engineers now are constantly developing different kinds of satellite applications, so that people can get more benefits from the technologies.

This project encourages you to conduct two issues as below.


  1. Complete a systematic investigation on the existing satellite applications, and summarize the benefits and effects that the satellite technologies can bring to people in their daily life.


  1. Try to conceive a new idea or concept to make use of satellite technologies, as a novel satellite application with civil targets. It should clearly describe the purpose(s), principle(s) and required techniques. The idea or concept could be not perfect but should be different, or even attractive.


Background materials related to Aviation

In 2014, the missing MH370 of Malaysian Airline has aroused attention around the world. This incident has highlighted six major aviation safety problems which are urgently needed to be addressed.

Firstly, the ground passport control system is loose. The relevant staffs even have not checked the stolen passport database of International Criminal Police Organization (ICPO), although this may not have direct relations with the result of this incidents.

The second problem is about information management. People are given hope over and over, but their hopes fail again and again. People have no way to tell whether the information is believable or not.

Thirdly, we need to pay more attention to cockpit doors. It is a good way to resist hijackers like 911 attackers if we can reinforce cockpit doors. However, the cockpit doors will be opened when aviators use toilets, rest during catering break and make rotation when they are in long-distance flights. Therefore, the function of cockpit doors will be reduced heavily. The man in the cockpit cannot let anyone else enter it. Last month, on the flight of Ethiopian Airlines which flied from Addis Ababa to Rome, the captain of the airplane was locked out of cockpit by copilot and then the copilot hijacked the aircraft to Switzerland to seek refuge.

Fourthly, we need to check pilots’ mental health regularly—semiannual check will be the best. Some pilots complain that flights of long distances with autopilots are extremely boring and may cause problems of paranoid, pressure and so on. At present, there is not enough research about the impact of flights of long distances on pilots. Moreover, we also need to take into account the radiation of the universe and the sun.

Fifthly, no one on the airplane should be allowed to turn off the ACARS or the transponder.

The sixth problem lies in the air safety officer on the international flights. Australia and other countries once have cut down investment on in this area. Therefore less than 5% international flights have got air safety officers so far. If MH370 is equipped with those officers, things may be different now— of course on condition that air safety officers are able to open the cockpit doors.


At present, the aviation problems appeared mostly in information management, infrastructure, personnel management, transportation and so on. Please put forward countermeasures of solving aviation safety problems in new circumstances from perspectives of information management or infrastructure.