VQ Prize: Space Situational Awareness User Interface

$100,000 USD

Challenge overview

The population of satellites in Earth orbit is growing at unprecedented rates.  There are currently over 23,000 objects larger than 10 cm, consisting of payloads, rocket bodies, and debris, which are regularly tracked by US Air Force Space Surveillance Sensors. It is becoming increasingly important that we understand the complex interactions of these objects as they travel through their orbits.  Given that they are moving at speeds measured in multiple kilometers per second, it is imperative that space operators have a complete and thorough understanding of this constantly evolving and highly dynamic situation. This challenge is to provide novel situational awareness to operators that may quickly process the vast amounts of information necessary for decisive action on compressed timelines when only minutes or seconds may be available to prevent or mitigate catastrophic events.

This Challenge requires a written response (design, wireframe, or computer code)

We are interested in the creation of innovative visualization tools which improve space operator understanding and awareness for all aspects of satellites in Earth orbit.  These tools must enable operators to intuitively absorb and quickly navigate massive amounts of space object data, processing it pictorially or graphically in a natural and efficient manner with the ability to traverse different types of views as desired or upon alert.  Contestants should know that producing simple graphics of satellites in orbit around a 2D or 3D map is already available through a variety of existing tools, and replication of these capabilities is not desired.  As an example, see Stuff in Space website.

Proposals may be submitted in the form of a visual design, operational wireframe with discussion of how it works, or working software that will interact with the simulated ephemeris data set that will be available for all solution providers.  The Challenge award will be contingent upon theoretical evaluation of the proposal by the Seeker. After this competition the Seeker will invite the winners to a tech sprint to combine the winning solutions into a final design. The Seeker may pay for travel and per diem to participate in the final integration of their design into a usable design for AF use.   

To receive an award, the Solvers will not have to transfer their exclusive IP rights to the Seeker.  Instead, they will grant to the Seeker non-exclusive license to practice their solutions.

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