NGA Seeks Geomagnetic Data Collection Concepts for MagQuest Challenge

The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency will award up to $1.2M in prizes for the MagQuest challenge focused on collecting geomagnetic data from the Earth's magnetic field, the agency said Wednesday.

The agency seeks U.S. and international participants that can provide aerial, terrestrial and space-based capabilities to update the World Magnetic Model, which supports global military, commercial navigation and communications.

The model, created by the NGA in partnership with Britain's geographic defense agency, currently requires alternative data collection methods to ensure its sustainability.

“MagQuest is a critical component of NGA’s work to develop a new system for measuring Earth's geomagnetic field to power the future of navigation,” said Richard Salman, director of the NGA Office of Geomatics. 

An independent judging panel will select up to 10 awardees for Phase 1 who will share a prize of $200K. Phase 1 participants and other parties that were not able to participate in the first increment may compete for Phase 2.

NGA may award a maximum prize pool of $1M to five winners that can provide detailed descriptions, 3D models and prototype development and testing plans for their concepts. The agency might offer additional phases for $2.5M in cash and potential non-monetary prizes. Interested parties may submit proposals through May 16.

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