The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency has partnered with crowdsourcing platform operator HeroX to conduct the next phase of a prize competition that seeks data collection methods for a geomagnetic reference model widely used in navigation systems.
HeroX said Tuesday it will host the MagQuest Challenge‘s Phase 4a, where three teams will aim to demonstrate the instruments they designed to measure magnetic fields and support future World Magnetic Model production efforts.
Participants in the demonstration stage will have the chance to win a prize purse amounting to $1.55 million and other awards to further develop their proposed magnetometers.
Iota Technology, University of Colorado Boulder and a Spire Global-SBQuantum partnership qualified from the contest’s third phase.
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center will act as the evaluator of prototypes and the NGA will collect data after Phase4a winners acquired data from satellites equipped with the magnetometers, HeroX noted.
“Our ultimate goal is for all three teams to successfully develop a magnetometer, each of which can be sent into orbit to determine viability for WMM production,” said Mike Paniccia, a program manager at NGA.
WMM, which was initiated in 1905, now uses European Space Agency satellites that are approaching the end of service life. The MagQuest competition is seeking small-sized technologies that can generate data for the model.