Astronaut Jeremy Hansen speaking at the Waterloo Space Apps Challenge
Astronaut Jeremy Hansen speaking at the Waterloo Space Apps Challenge. Credit: CSA.

Canadian Space Agency Announces 2017 Space Apps Challenge Winners

The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) participated for the first time this year in the NASA Space Apps Challenge with a trio of open data challenges of their own. Of the 31 teams that participated in the Canadian venues of Ottawa, Toronto and Waterloo, five were nominated for the CSA to consider.

The CSA then awarded a winner for each of their three challenges.

On the CSA blog post announcing the winners, the CSA said “not knowing how participants would use Canadian space data, we were thrilled to see teams from all three cities tackle our challenges. The creativity, innovation and skill displayed during the space apps were impressive and inspiring! Based on the success of this experience, we are eager to explore opportunities to expand our involvement in such initiatives in the future, especially as we make progress in terms of open government and make more space data available.”

The winners for each CSA challenge are:

Challenge 1: Be part of Canada’s legacy in space

Dataset: Ionosphere images from Alouette-I (Open Government)

CSA Award Winner: JAM (Waterloo)
“JAM developed an image recognition algorithm to identify the metadata hidden within years of space information! Their solution receives the CSA award because, although still being refined, it was verified to be technically sound and shows very real potential for meeting the specific Challenge 3: Design your own challenge! task of the challenge. Such a tool could allow scientists and experts to search historical Alouette-I data.”

JAM team.
JAM team. Credit: Skywatch.

Challenge 2: Get ready for next-generation Earth observation data

Datasets: Simulated RCM data over Vancouver (FTP site), RADARSAT-2 data over Vancouver (FTP site) and RADARSAT 1 data over Vancouver (FTP site)

CSA Award Winner: Peri Peri (Ottawa)

“Peri Peri developed a strong conceptual idea for a user-friendly interface to access and display modelled RCM data.”

Peri Peri team working.
Peri Peri team working. Credit: Judy Chang.

Challenge 3: Design your own challenge

Dataset: RADARSAT-2 data – Mosaic of Canada (Open Government)

CSA Award Winner: Yes I Can (Toronto)
“This creation brings together space and art to celebrate Canada’s 150th! Motivated by CSA astronaut Jeremy Hansen’s presentation and the problems that could arise if we were to lose access to space technology for even a brief period of time, Yes I Can uses images from the RADARSAT-2 mosaic of Canada to build digital mosaics of symbols.”

CSA astronaut Jeremy Hansen chats with Arushi, Artash and their father Vikas Nath after the opening session of the Space Apps Toronto.
CSA astronaut Jeremy Hansen chats with Arushi, Artash and their father Vikas Nath after the opening session of the Space Apps Toronto. Credit: Arushi Nath/CSA.

About Marc Boucher

Marc Boucher
Boucher is an entrepreneur, writer, editor & publisher. He is the founder of SpaceQ Media Inc. and CEO and co-founder of SpaceRef Interactice Inc. Boucher has 18 years working in various roles in the space industry and a total of 25 years as a technology entrepreneur including creating Maple Square, Canada's first internet directory and search engine.

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