McGill Space Elevator Team (MSET), led by Associate Professor Andrew Higgins and team captain Cyrus Foster MSET has already made significant progress towards their goal of claiming the US$500K first prize in the Climber (Power Beaming) segment of the Spaceward Foundation's 2007 Space Elevator Competition (SEC2K7)
"Our design philosophy is to make something small,simplistic and lightweight. Ideally we want our climber to weigh 10kg, the minimum weight allowed by the rules," explains Foster via email.
MSET Climber Prototype"We are indeed a first-year team [but] we studied photos and videos of the 2006 competition as we were designing our climber. The biggest pointer we picked up was to account for wind drag. We're going to have a cone over the flat photo-voltaic array to minimize drag."
MSET's 22-person roster is made up of students from the venerable Montreal university's mechanical, electrical and computing departments and is composed of three sub-teams; Beam, Climber and Driving/Braking that will try to get up the tether faster than the other teams within their proposed budget of $30,450.
The team has completed their design, and are testing their prototype even though they are still looking for sponsorship. Potential patrons can refer to MSET's Sponsorship Package for details.
MSET has their work cut out for them as another Canadian team from University of Saskatchewan (USST who will have their own profile on the Space Elevator Journal soon) has posted the fastest climbs the last two years in a row without surpassing the minimum speed of two metres per second required to claim the US$500K purse provided by NASA. This year USST may finally finish in the money only to have to split it with MSET or one of the other 24 teams in the race.
The 2007 McGill Space Elevator Team
MSET Climber Prototype