Goal Is To Make 100 Terabytes Of Data In Planetary System Archive Accessible For Everyday Use
The NASA Tournament Lab and digital creation community Topcoder said Monday that they are embarking on the second phase of the Planetary Data System (PDS) Challenge series, an open call competition to create new mobile and web-based apps that will provide easier access for the general public to the Planetary Data System's vast 100 terabyte archive of images and data gleaned from planetary missions from the past 30 years. This part of the PDS Challenge series is offering $13,000 in total cash awards, an invitation to visit the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA to experience the Mars Science Laboratory mission landing on site and an opportunity to meet members of the NASA astronaut-led judging panel.
NASA is holding this series of open and collaborative innovation Challenges to help developers produce new and different ideas for mobile and web based apps with non-technical users in mind – millions of school children, their teachers and parents, game designers, puzzle enthusiasts or anyone with a curious mind and an interest in considering the possibilities of harnessing this wealth of space information for new discovery. The "Idea Generation Two: High School" track tasks students submit great ideas for the PDS application that are not specifically education but are inspiring. The "Mashup Challenge: Best Teaching Tool" competition seeks the best teaching tool developed by either building upon an idea from a previous mashup ideation competitions or by creating a completely original concept using the provided API.
Total cash awards in the amount of $13,000 will be made during this phase of the series. Five top solutions in the High School category will each earn $500.00. The two top teaching tool solutions will earn $7,000 and $3,000 respectively. If a US Citizen, the competition winner will receive an invitation for two to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA during the Mars Science Laboratory landing event on August 5, 2012.
"There is a huge untapped potential for the extraction of knowledge and insight from within the PDS archive which could be transformed by average people from different, non-scientific walks of life," said Jason Crusan, NASA Chief Technologist for Human Exploration and Operations. "These kinds of Challenges are being made to produce useful tools which will allow, for example, high school-level students to access, organize and make their own discoveries from this huge volume of digital data."
The PDS is a free archive of space images, telemetry, models, and statistics gleaned from 30 years of NASA planetary missions. The archive is sponsored by NASA's Science Mission Directorate as a basic resource for scientists around the world. All PDS-produced products (imagery, geolocational data, etc.) are peer-reviewed and well-documented via a system of online catalogs that are organized by planetary disciplines.
Competition registration is open now through 6:00 pm Eastern Friday, April 20.