The World Magnetic Model
The following resources detail the history and ongoing development of the World Magnetic Model.
- MagQuest informational webinar recording. MagQuest. This webinar recording provides an in-depth overview of the challenge, shares considerations and guidelines for submissions, and concludes with a live Q&A.
- NGA Office of Geomatics. NGA. The official website for the NGA Office of Geomatics.
- World Magnetic Model technical overview. NOAA / NCEI. Provides a detailed overview of geomagnetic forces and important considerations for creating the WMM.
- World Magnetic Model video overview. COLABS Colorado. Provides an approachable overview of how the WMM is created and what applications it informs.
- World Magnetic Model summary. British Geological Survey (BGS). Provides an approachable summary of the World Magnetic Model purpose and development process.
- World Magnetic Model applications. NOAA / NCEI. Describes common applications of the World Magnetic Model, including uses for navigation and within consumer electronics.
- 2015 World Magnetic Model Report. NOAA / BGS. Contains a complete report of the World Magnetic Model.
- World Magnetic Model update. Nature International Journal of Science. Describes the erratic motion of the north magnetic pole that necessitated an out-of-cycle update to the WMM.
- World Magnetic Model Mil-Spec. NGA. Details the specifications required for the World Magnetic Model.
The following resources detail technologies that are used to collect data for the World Magnetic Model or may be potential alternatives.
- ESA Swarm mission overview. ESA. Provides an overview of the Swarm mission, including primary objectives and technology.
- ESA Swarm mission. BGS. Provides a background on the Swarm missionthat collects data for the WMM today, including an overview of technologyand instrumentation.
- Magnetic field: learning more with Swarm video. ESA. Provides a visual overview of the ESA Swarm mission history and objectives.
- INTERMAGNET ground observatories. Intermagnet. Provides an overview of theglobal ground observatory network structure and objectives.
Potential solution areas
The following examples demonstrate a range of solutions that could be submitted. Note that this list is illustrative, and is not a comprehensive list of all potential solution areas
- Spaceborne. A solution that integrates one or more small or large satellites, or proposes adding instrumentation to an unrelated mission as a hosted payload.
- Terrestrial. A solution that indicates how the existing ground observatories or mobile technology could be leveraged.
- Aerial. A solution that proposes drones, balloons, or other aerial technology.
- Data analysis. A solution that proposes how available data sources could be utilized through new advancement in data modeling and processing techniques. (Reminder: the Challenge does not ask solvers for alternate methods of creating the WMM; it asks solvers to identify new data sources to inform the current WMM production.)
Target performance metrics
MagQuest seeks solutions that will capture data sufficient to produce the World Magnetic Model. The performance specifications below represent target thresholds for solutions to consider. In Phase 1, these specifications are intended to provide guidance, as demonstration of performance will not be required until later phases.
|Measurement geographic distribution||Sufficient number of homogeneously distributed points that would satisfy the Nyquist criterion (for example, 162 points as specified by Langel et al1) for a model complete to degree and order 12 along with its secular variation
|Measurement positioning and timing accuracy||Preferably provided by dual frequency GPS receiver and with specifications similar to previous satellite mission performance (e.g., Ørsted, Swarm3)|
|Measurement accuracy||(In geographic frame) < 5 nT per component accuracy|
|Measurement precision||(In geographic frame) < 1 nT per component precision|
|Measurement sampling rate||At least 1 measurement passing by each node every 30 days (1) At least 1 measurement per minute (ground-based) (2) Satellite and airborne measurements (a) at least 1 measurement per second when passing near the nodes of the equal area grid defined above|
|Measurement range||-70,000 to 70,000 nT|
|Measurement time interval||Minimum requirement: at least 3 years Preferred: continuous measurement solutions|
 A. Langel, R & T. Baldwin, R & W. Green, A. (1995). Toward an Improved Distribution of Magnetic Observatories for Modeling of the Main Geomagnetic Field and Its Temporal Change. Journal of geomagnetism and geoelectricity.  This angular distance is a best guess and is not based on any quantitative analysis.  Swarm (Geomagnetic LEO Constellation). European Space Agency.