Neural networks, survival on Titan, and a Moon map: results from this year’s record-breaking NASA Space Apps Challenge Dnipro

12 Oct 2023
Учасники NASA Space Apps Challenge Dnipro

The NASA Space Apps Challenge Dnipro has come to an end. This year, the local stage of the world’s largest space hackathon gathered a record number of participants.

Noosphere organized the local Dnipro stage of the hackathon for the seventh time. On October 7-8, over the course of 48 hours, students, scientists, programmers, engineers and even schoolchildren united in teams, solved practical tasks from NASA, and prepared to present them to a jury. Experienced mentors helped participants prepare projects and presentations.

The event took place online, but students and mentors from Noosphere Engineering School laboratories gathered at their locations to work on projects together.

The Dnipro stage of the hackathon gathered 245 participants from across Ukraine, as well as in Greece, Lithuania and Norway. This was a record-breaking turnout for the NASA Space Apps Challenge Dnipro.

At the end of the Challenge, the teams presented 37 projects. The winners were:

Einstein’s sect (Ihor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute) – a neural network that can predict a planet’s planetary index (PI) based on new solar wind data in real time.

Titans2.0 (Bohdan Khmelnytsky Cherkasy National University) – a board game about survival on Saturn’s moon Titan. The main goal is to survive with limited resources and successfully colonize the planet.

ISCIPKPI (Ihor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute) – a digital 3D lunar globe that displays seismic data.

The projects were evaluated by a jury which included:

  • Oleksiy Kulyk – candidate of technical sciences, head of Space Labs Noosphere Engineering School, associate professor of the Department of Rocket, Space and Innovative Technologies of the Faculty of Physics and Technology of Oles Honchar Dnipro National University. General Director of the O.M. Makarov National Center of Youth Aerospace Education.
  • Serhii Veretiuk – head of Noosphere Engineering School, candidate of technical sciences.
  • Evhen Yakovlev – CBO of Dragonfly Aerospace.
  • Vira Petryk – Marketing Director of EOS Data Analytics, a global provider of AI-based satellite imagery analytics.

The event also included an international team, which included Ukrainians and specialists from Greece and Estonia, namely from the National Observatory of Athens, the University of Tartu, and Aristotle University in Thessaloniki. The team did not aim to win, but simply wanted to present their project to receive feedback and expertise from the jury. The project was devoted to the protection of Ukrainian cultural heritage with the help of space data and satellite observations.

“The event was very dynamic this year. I was pleasantly surprised by the number and quality of the projects. I also want to note the originality and ingenuity of the tasks from NASA. A significant number of the topics were focused not only on engineering and science, but also on forming a deeper understanding of the role and place of humans in the universe. I want to thank both the organizers and the teams. To the teams, first of all, for trying to go beyond stereotypes and framework thinking,” said jury member Serhii Veretiuk.

In total, more than 50 thousand space enthusiasts from all over the world joined the hackathon. In Ukraine, it was held as a part of Space Week organized by Association Noosphere.