NGA Names 10 MagQuest Scientific Challenge Phase 1 Winners

Jeff Brody

The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency has named 10 companies and research organizations that will support the first phase of a $1.2M global challenge to build technologies to measure Earth’s magnetic field.

NGA also announced Thursday it is now accepting proposals for the second phase of the MagQuest challenge, which will focus on designs for new geomagnetic data collection methodologies to create the World Magnetic Model.

The challenge aims to enhance collection of geomagnetic data through new ideas from the industry and academia. Each selected team for Phase 1 will receive $20K in funding.

The winners are:

  • Earth Observant

  • Helmholtz Center Potsdam GFZ German Research Center for Geosciences

  • Hypergiant

  • Pumpkin

  • Royal Meteorological Institute of Belgium

  • SB Technologies

  • Spire Global

  • Stellar Solutions

  • University of Colorado Boulder

  • University of Washington Applied Physics Laboratory with partner Oregon State University

NGA received 40 proposals and picked a space-borne magnetic observatory, a global constellation of cubesats, a swarm of picosatellites, new ground stations, magnetic field mapping satellites, autonomous ocean platforms and automated magnetic observatories.

“From seafloor observatories to satellites, the breadth of ideas that emerged from Phase 1 of MagQuest is impressive and energizing,” said Richard Salman, director of the Office of Geomatics at NGA. “We look forward to seeing the novel thinking and new technologies solvers will bring to Phase 2 of the challenge.”

Phase 1 winners and those that did not participate in the initial part of MagQuest can submit proposals for Phase 2. The winners of Phase 2 will share $1M in cash prizes.

Interested parties may apply until Aug. 28.

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