The Opioid Detection Challenge

A multimillion-dollar competition to advance how we measure Earth’s magnetic field.

The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency is supporting the development of possible magnetic measurement solutions for the World Magnetic Model 2030.



How MagQuest is accelerating novel approaches to geomagnetic data collection. Phase 1 was an open call for concepts and Phase 2 was an open call for detailed designs. Six teams invited to refine their designs in Phase 3 and three teams are invited to build, test, and launch their solutions in Phase 4.



  • Phase 1: Concept

    Spring 2019
  • Phase 2: Design

    Summer 2019
  • Phase 3: Iterate and refine

    Spring - Fall 2020

    Phase 4: Build and launch

    2021 - 2026


Phase 4 teams will build, test, and launch their solutions to produce high-quality geomagnetic data for the WMM.


Iota Technology

A CubeSat featuring a deployable helical boom, vector fluxgate magnetometer, and atomic scalar magnetometer. Iota Technology is working alongside industry-leading partners, combining expertise in sensor technology, deployable structures, and mission design.

Spire Global and SBQuantum

Diamond-Powered Geomagnetic Data Collection from LEO
A diamond quantum magnetometer system deployed on a CubeSat, combining SBQuantum’s novel magnetometer technology and sensor expertise with Spire Global’s existing infrastructure for satellites, ground stations and data processing.

University of Colorado Boulder

Compact Spaceborne Magnetic Observatory (COSMO) CubeSat
A CubeSat specifically designed and tested for magnetic cleanliness and accurate data from a compact form factor. A compact scalar-vector magnetometer designed specifically for CubeSats enables high-quality collection of magnetic field data.

Partners and experts

Teams will have access to experts from NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information. Phase 4bc will also provide teams access to external mentors with interdisciplinary perspectives spanning magnetic measurement, space-based technology engineering, and successful mission management.


MagQuest provided informational resources for solvers as they developed their Phase 1 and Phase 2 submissions.

During Phase 3, subject matter experts from academia, industry, and government provided expertise in sensors, platform engineering, mission operations and program management, the World Magnetic Model, and geomagnetism to participating teams.

See the Resources