A $1.2 million competition to advance how we measure Earth’s magnetic field.
The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency calls upon solvers to submit novel approaches to geomagnetic data collection for the World Magnetic Model.
In Phase 2, MagQuest seeks detailed designs for data collection methodologies.
A potential Phase 3 of the challenge will likely be restricted to winners or other selected Phase 2 solution providers, at the discretion of NGA.Learn more
MEET THE PHASE I WINNERS
10 winners were nominated by the judges according to the Phase 1 selection criteria. The total Phase 1 prize purse of $200,000 will be distributed evenly across Phase 1 winners.
Compact Spaceborne Magnetic Observatory (COSMO) CubeSat
CubeSat-powered Geomagnetic Data Collection
Diamonds in the Sky: Vector Magnetometry for Space and Airborne Platforms
Distributed Network of Microsensors Onboard Picosatellites
EOI Pathfinder with Magnetometry Suite
Equatorial Ground Observations and Scalar Satellite Mission
Global Acquisition of Magnetic Measurements at Altitude (GAMMA)
MagSAT: Magnetic Field Mapping NanoSat Constellation
Oceanic Observations from Autonomous Profiling Floats
Terrestrial and Seafloor Automated Magnetic Observatories
About the Challenge
What is the World Magnetic Model?
Earth is a giant magnet. Compasses — both digital and analog — are oriented by the magnetic force at a user’s location. Since geographic and magnetic poles do not align, geomagnetic models like the World Magnetic Model (WMM) correct for this difference.
As the Earth’s magnetic field is constantly changing, the difference between geographic and magnetic poles also changes, and the WMM must be regularly updated.
An opportunity to rethink geomagnetic data collection
Production of the WMM currently uses space-based magnetic field measurements that the European Space Agency (ESA) Swarm mission has provided since 2013. Swarm mission satellites contain several instruments capable of producing a variety of measurements, including magnetic vector field measurements. To ensure sustainability of the WMM, the U.S. government is taking a proactive approach to identifying new methods of data collection independent of Swarm.
The World Magnetic Model is used every day around the world
The WMM is embedded in thousands of systems. More than a billion smartphone users depend on the WMM to point them in the right direction when they use mobile navigation apps. Drivers rely on the WMM to power the compasses in their cars. The WMM is also critical for military and commercial uses around the world. Among other applications, it supports navigation and attitude determination for submarines, satellites, and aircraft, while also informing operational logistics like the numbering of runways.
- Call for phase 1 submissionsMarch 21, 2019
- Phase 1 submission deadlineMay 16, 2019
- Phase 1 winners announcedJune 20, 2019
- Call for Phase 2 submissionsJune 20, 2019
- Webinar: Phase 2 overviewJuly 10, 2019
- Webinar: Technical considerationsJuly 24, 2019
- current stageWebinar: Program management considerationsJuly 30, 2019
- Phase 2 submission deadlineAugust 28, 2019
- Phase 2 winners announcedSeptember 2019
Phase 2 is open to solvers from Phase 1, as well as new solvers who did not participate in the first phase of the challenge.Detailed Schedule
TOTAL PHASE 2 PRIZE POOL
Phase 1 awarded $200,000. At NGA’s discretion, additional phases of the challenge may follow Phase 2. These phases, if executed, are anticipated to award an additional $2.5 million in cash prizes plus potential nonmonetary incentives.
A potential Phase 3 of the challenge will likely be restricted to winners or other selected Phase 2 solution providers, at the discretion of NGA.