Awards & Nominations

Neiraw has received the following awards and nominations. Way to go!

Global Nominee

The Challenge | Design by Nature

Design an autonomous free-flyer to inspect a spacecraft for damage from Micro-Meteoroid and Orbital Debris (MMOD).


Our decision is an adjustable system for detecting asteroid strikes in casting using piezo-electronic acoustic sensors. Also it has different work modules suitable for different situations.


Space is full of micrometeorites and orbital garbage that orbits Earth. That's why our purpose was to create an autointegrated system that allows space module to identify MMOD damage.

Statistically every year the problem of MMOD becomes more and more actual. Our team is made of a whole spectrum of engineers (from Optics to Biomedical),and we care about the astronauts. We designed a octopus like self-sustainable system to solve this problem.

Imagine a giant octopus, ready to grab its prey. We can locate module damage using piezoelectric sensors installed on simple belts, by means of mirrored sound flaw detection.

Accent is made on a holes with diameter much smaller compared to the depth.

Also, in a long-term operation adhesion may occur, which we can turn to our advantage.

Our system is based on the principle of sound flaw detection. Due to the fact that the piezoelectric element works in two directions - both the generation and the reception of sound waves, we developed two modes of functioning:

  • Mirrored sound flaw detection(Active analysis). The idea is to analyze the surface at a specific point in time: one of the sensors starts to work as a speaker and the others, as receivers. When they receive a signal, they compare it with the previously stored correct signal. In case of a mismatch, the system notifies the host computer about it.
  • Passive analysis. The essence of the method is that the system runs continuously, reading the current data. At the slightest change, the system immediately sees a drop on the graph of signals, and lets know about it. This allows not only tracking damage to the casing, but also changes in the operation of the ISS's equipment based on the noise level.


  1. Can only be installed on a cylindrical shape, different type of shapes may be harder to cover;
  2. Calibration is required as a part of installation process to ensure proper system work;
  3. Output power of solar panels may vary and depends on current ISS position;


  1. System is autonomous due to logic module on each sensor and solar panels feeding;
  2. Easy to install using drone, manipulator, astronaut or in fully automated mode.
  3. System reliability and interchangeability;
  4. Easy maintenance and upgrade, broken sensor replacement. Belts can be used to install additional features;
  5. High accuracy and reaction speed;
  6. Can be installed on a new or existing module and tested in Earth conditions.

info-graphic of two modes of work

Resources used:


SpaceApps is a NASA incubator innovation program.