Canadian Space Agency, Wyvern to provide data for Space Apps Challenge

The 10th International Space Apps Challenge. Credit: Canadian Space Agency/NASA.

The International Space Apps Challenge created by NASA is set for the first weekend of October globally including in a record nine Canadian cities.

The cities hosting a challenge in Canada include St. John’s, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Mississauga, Hamilton, Waterloo, Calgary, and Vancouver.

Of the nine Canadian cities, six of them are being hosted by SEDS Canada. This includes Toronto, Calgary, Hamilton St. John’s Vancouver and Montreal. The Montreal event however still says that registration is pending and it’s unclear if that event will move forward.

The Canadian Space Agency is participating in its 5th consecutive Space Apps and is providing mentors along with seven challenges. Those challenges include:

  1. Historic space storm hunter;
  2. Indigenous art and science: prototype of an Earth observation satellite;
  3. Radiation risk scale;
  4. From coast to coast to coast: a tool for assessing climate change vulnerability (challenge from Science Advisor to the President);
  5. Pollution spills high above us;
  6. Explore space with Canada’s space telescope, NEOSSat and;
  7. Leveraging AI/ML to monitor, detect and quantify ozone recovery in the stratosphere.

Previous global winner SkyWatch is once again organizing the Waterloo event and this year has added Edmonton based startup Wyvern as a partner.

According to SkyWatch, Wyvern are providing data for seven challenges of which the first five are “eligible for the NASA Space Apps global ranking (correlated NASA Challenge linked in each item).” The last two are “smaller challenges, which can be completed alongside your regular challenge, or by younger participants”:

  1. (Warning: Things Are Heating Up!) Wyvern wants you to use hyper-spectral data, alongside other datasets, to measure desertification of North America over the last 3 years.
  2. (Warning: Things Are Heating Up!) Wyvern wants you to use hyper-spectral data, alongside other datasets, to determine how much farmland has been reduced over the last 3 years across Canada.
  3. (Warning: Things Are Heating Up!) Wyvern wants you to use hyper-spectral data, alongside other datasets, to determine the risk of forest fires in regions across Canada.
  4. (Space For Change) Wyvern wants you to focus on the effects of the Alberta oil sands, particularly on water and soil quality, using hyper-spectral data and other datasets, as needed.
  5. (Identifying Risk with Science + Communities) Wyvern wants you to utilize hyper-spectral imagery, alongside datasets from other satellites, to investigate if vegetation health and downstream mineral changes can feasibly predict the occurrence of a landslide.


  1. Create a program that detects desirable places for humans to live on Mars, using hyper-spectral imagery of Mars analog sites.
  2. Create a collage of an iconic Canadian symbol using snippets of hyper-spectral imagery.

This is the 10th Space Apps Challenge and there are nine other national space agencies participating including the European Space Agency (ESA), Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), Australian Space Agency, Brazilian Space Agency, National Space Activities Commission of Argentina, Paraguayan Space Agency, South African National Space Agency and the Bahrain National Space Agency.

There are local prizes at each venue and the winner of each venue goes on to participate against other venues for NASA’s global grand prize.

About Marc Boucher

Boucher is an entrepreneur, writer, editor & publisher. He is the founder of SpaceQ Media Inc. and CEO and co-founder of SpaceRef Interactive LLC. Boucher has 20+ years working in various roles in the space industry and a total of 30 years as a technology entrepreneur including creating Maple Square, Canada's first internet directory and search engine.

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