NASA Space Apps Challenge Dnipro 2022: from Venus exploration rovers to smart apps recognizing military equipment

19 Oct 2022
NASA Space Apps Challenge Dnipro 2022

The world’s largest space hackathon, the NASA Space Apps Challenge, once again held its local stage in Dnipro 1-2. October. The global hackathon has been an annual event since 2012 and is estimated to be attended by tens of thousands of participants each year. During the 48-hour marathon, space enthusiasts from around the world work simultaneously to solve real-world challenges set by NASA. Noosphere has been organizing the local hackathon stage in Dnipro since 2017. The hackathon is just one of many Noosphere initiatives to build and foster the Ukrainian space innovation ecosystem.

This year, 195 participants joined the NASA Space Apps Challenge Dnipro. The online hackathon united space fans from different parts of our country. They formed 41 teams and presented 38 projects. Experienced mentors helped the participants with project development. Among them were representatives of the space companies Dragonfly Aerospace and EOS Data Analytics, as well as experts in the fields of engineering, technology, computer game development and design.

The theme of this year’s hackathon is Make SPACE. The projects of the hackathon’s local stage varied from purely space-based to gaming and social spaces, and some even used space data for military purposes. For the task “Earth Data Analysis Developers Wanted!” the Eye for AI team unveiled an app capable of detecting military equipment on the battlefield using drones and satellites. Neural networks process images faster than human brains. The Eye for Ai team chose this topic since current events make it extremely important for the Ukrainian military to detect enemy equipment as quickly as possible.

Our local stage jury, led by the chairman of the board of the NGO “Association Noosphere” Mykhailo (Michael) Ryabokon, selected three teams to move on and participate in the international stage:

PureAir. The team worked on the task “Earth Data Analysis Developers Wanted!”  where they presented a virtual reality program that will allow you to easily reformat complex mathematical calculations and indicators into images of various weather phenomena on our planet. This way it will be possible to see different types of natural phenomena such as water, wind, fires, and clouds. The team believes that in the future this project can become the basis for creating a mini-school about our world for children and adults.

TSUBASA. The team tackled the On the Way to the Sun challenge and produced a creative story about the Parker Solar Probe’s record-breaking journey in 2021 and all the dangers it faced along the way. TSUBASA created the video game Sun Runner. By solving the different puzzles of the game, children and teenagers learn about space phenomena in general, as well as the history of the Parker Solar Probe, which records it broke and why its launch was so important.

NEXT SPACE LAB. The task “Exploring Venus Together” had this team working to create an energy storage system for a rover or lander that would retain energy for 60 days or more. For the basis of this system, the team looked to the technology of sodium-sulfur batteries, which are perfectly matched for the conditions of Venus.

Some of the participating teams of the NASA Space Apps Challenge Dnipro presented projects that, while not moving on to the global stage each showcased a high level of excellence. The Dnipro jury chose to also recognize these teams with Judges’ Choice Awards in recognition of their efforts:

INTERSTELLAR tackled the “Exploring Venus Together” task.

EYE FOR AI answered the call of “Earth Data Analysis Developers Wanted!”

Einstein’s sect defended the earth from another Carrington event in the “Save the Earth” task.

All hackathon winners were awarded cosmic gifts from Noosphere.

The winners of the local stage will continue the fight for the title of Global Winner, which will be announced on December 8, 2022.