The Opioid Detection Challenge

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.

Phase 1
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).

Phase 2
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.

Phase 3
March 2020 – October 2020
Limited to invited teams


Phase 3 seeks refined designs and testing plans for WMM data collection methodologies.

TIMELINE

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 will conclude in September 2020.

See the detailed Schedule

 

  • COMPETITION LAUNCH

    March 21, 2019
  • PHASE 1 WINNER ANNOUNCEMENT

    June 20, 2019
  • PHASE 2 LAUNCH

    June 20, 2019
  • Phase 2 WINNER ANNOUNCEMENT

    September 27, 2019
  • PHASE 3 KICKOFF

    March 2020
  • PHASE 3 DESIGN REVIEW EVENT

    September 2020
  • CURRENT STAGE

    PHASE 3 WINNERS ANNOUNCED

    October 2020

PHASE 3 TEAMS

Six innovator teams were invited to participate in Phase 3, which will award $900,000 in cash prizes. Two of the teams — Spire Global and SBQuantum — formed a Phase 3 partnership.

First place
Satellite Instrumentation for Geomagnetic Analysis (SIGMA)

Iota Technology
A 3U CubeSat featuring a novel deployable boom and digital magnetometers. Iota Technology is working alongside teams from Oxford Space Systems and AAC Clyde Space, combining expertise in sensor technology, deployable structures, and mission design.

Second place
Diamond powered Geomagnetic Data Collection from LEO

Spire Global and SBQuantum
A diamond quantum magnetometer system deployed on a Cube-Satellite, combining SBQuantum's novel magnetometer technology and sensor expertise with Spire Global's existing infrastructure for satellites, ground stations, and data processing.

Second place
Compact Spaceborne Magnetic Observatory (COSMO) CubeSat

University of Colorado Boulder
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.

Runner-up
Terrestrial and Seafloor Automated Magnetic Observatories

Royal Meteorological Institute of Belgium
A flexible network of automated magnetic observatories on land and the seafloor. The observatories can be deployed at almost any global location; automation delivers continuous near real-time data while decreasing staffing and support needs.

Runner-up
Global Acquisition of Magnetic Measurements at Altitude (GAMMA)

Stellar Solutions
GAMMA leverages planned satellite missions by adding easily integrated magnetometer payloads, plus an expanded ground-based scientific magnetometer array. New miniature space sensors and payload hosting opportunities dramatically decrease costs while supporting collection of the required magnetic measurements.

Awards

PHASES 1-3 TOTAL PRIZE POOL

$2.1 million

Phase 1 awarded $200,000 in cash prizes, and Phase 2 awarded $1,000,000 in cash prizes. Phase 3 will award $900,000 in cash prizes.

At NGA’s discretion, additional phases of the challenge may follow Phase 3.

Award Details

Judging Panel

The independent judging panel for Phase 3 will include distinguished experts in sensors, platform engineering, mission operations and program management, the World Magnetic Model, and geomagnetism.

Meet the judges

Resources

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

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

See the Resources