A $2.1 million competition to advance how we measure Earth’s magnetic field
The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency is accelerating novel approaches to geomagnetic data collection for the World Magnetic Model.MEET THE INNOVATORS
About the competition
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 align the compasses in their cars.
March 21, 2019 – May 16, 2019
Open to all eligible solvers
In Phase 1, the challenge sought concepts that proposed novel methods or technologies to collect geomagnetic data for the World Magnetic Model (WMM).
June 20, 2019 – August 28, 2019
Open to all eligible solvers
In Phase 2, the challenge sought detailed designs and plans for data collection methodologies, including a concept of operations, a description of expected performance and potential risks, and an overview of potential future program management.
March 2020 – October 2020
Limited to invited teams
In Phase 3, the challenge sought refined designs and testing plans for WMM data collection methodologies.
Phase 1 was open to all eligible solvers from March 21, 2019 to May 16, 2019. Phase 2 was open to solvers from Phase 1, as well as new solvers who did not participate in the first phase of the challenge. Submissions opened June 20, 2019 and closed August 28, 2019.
Six innovator teams from Phase 2 were invited to participate in Phase 3, which began in March 2020 and concluded in October 2020.See the detailed Schedule
COMPETITION LAUNCHMarch 21, 2019
PHASE 1 WINNER ANNOUNCEMENTJune 20, 2019
PHASE 2 LAUNCHJune 20, 2019
Phase 2 WINNER ANNOUNCEMENTSeptember 27, 2019
PHASE 3 KICKOFFMarch 2020
PHASE 3 DESIGN REVIEW EVENTSeptember 2020
- CURRENT STAGE
PHASE 3 WINNERS ANNOUNCEDOctober 2020
PHASE 3 TEAMS
Six innovator teams were invited to participate in Phase 3, which awarded $900,000 in cash prizes. Two of the teams — Spire Global and SBQuantum — formed a Phase 3 partnership.
Satellite Instrumentation for Geomagnetic Analysis (SIGMA)
Diamond powered Geomagnetic Data Collection from LEO
Compact Spaceborne Magnetic Observatory (COSMO) CubeSat
Terrestrial and Seafloor Automated Magnetic Observatories
Global Acquisition of Magnetic Measurements at Altitude (GAMMA)
PHASES 1-3 TOTAL PRIZE POOL
Phase 1 awarded $200,000 in cash prizes, and Phase 2 awarded $1,000,000 in cash prizes. Phase 3 awarded $900,000 in cash prizes.
At NGA’s discretion, additional phases of the challenge may follow Phase 3.
The independent judging panel for Phase 3 included distinguished experts in sensors, platform engineering, mission operations and program management, the World Magnetic Model, and geomagnetism.Meet the judges