From June 23 to 29, 2021, NASA, ESA and JAXA will host a hackathon. The occasion is the one-year anniversary of the collaboration between the three space agencies, which jointly launched the Earth Observation Dashboard last year. This measures and makes available the environmental, economic, and short- and long-term impacts of global constraints related to the Covid 19 pandemic using satellite-based Earth observation.
The data collected is now to be evaluated and solutions developed for the most pressing challenges of our time. To this end, the three space agencies are calling on "all programmers, entrepreneurs, scientists, designers, storytellers, makers, designers, artists and technologists" to work together on solutions.
Challenges are awarded in six categories and all aim to raise awareness of the dashboard and make the data it generates useful. Topics include air and water quality, economic, social, and agricultural impacts, greenhouse gas effects, and impacts on the interconnected Earth system.
During the hackathon week, solutions are developed in teams and experts from NASA, ESA and JAXA help with their expert knowledge via chat. At the end of the week, awards will be presented for the best solutions. To emphasize the content focus, exactly how the winners will be decided and what the prize will be will only be announced in the coming days. The following awards will be offered:
- Open Science Award: This rewards the solution that best applies open science principles, such as transparency, inclusiveness, accessibility, and reproducibility.
- Outreach Award: Here, the solution that most creatively communicates the narrative power of the dashboard wins.
- Data Award: The solution that maximizes the use of Earth observation data and applies it to a unique application receives an award.
- Technology Award: Another award will go to the team that develops the most innovative technical approach and prepares it for integration into the dashboard.
- Impact Award: Here, the solution with the greatest potential to expand knowledge about the impact of pandemics using EO data wins.
- An additional ESA ESRIN Award will be given to an overall winner that maximizes the use of ESA data.
Already on June 01, 2021, the topics of the challenges will be announced to give all participants a preparation time. Registration for the hackathon, which will take place exclusively online, is still possible.
Thomas Zurbuchen, NASA's associate administrator for science, said in a Press release from NASA about this unprecedented collaboration among the three space agencies, "Our three space agencies recognize that if we join forces, we can bring a more powerful set of analytical tools to understanding the environmental, social and economic impacts of the global pandemic."