Home Science Space Introducing the International Space Apps Challenge

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The primary set of problems is:

Open Data Challenge - Kepler: a task to make data from the Kepler space telescope, which is searching for habitable planets in our galaxy, more usable and accessible.

Handheld Hardware for Citizens: this challenge seeks to develop new hardware that may be used as part of any one of NASA's citizen science missions.

Size of Earth App: Participants are challenged to develop an App that can collect cooperative observations from multiple parties and use the combined data to determine the size of the Earth.

Eratosthenes succeeded around 500BC in making a pretty-good estimate with nothing more than simple geometry.  Can you do better?

NASA Planetary Data Systems Interface: Develop a tool for anyone to better access the data stored on the Planetary Data System data set.

HTML5 Access to NASA Earth Observations: Create a stand-alone tablet App to access the NASA Earth Observations web site.

Preliminary Design for Open Data API: This is a more technical challenge - NASA is looking for help in developing an API for generalised access to their data sets.

Create Semantic Data Descriptor File: Another technical challenge.  Here NASA is seeking assistance to create a semantic XML/RDF method for describing the contents of NASA datasets.

Prospective participants are asked to register in advance and to nominate the centre they propose to attend (it helps if they're living in the same city!).  Having registered, it will be useful for people to start considering their selected problem in order to have prepared material when they join the happy throng.

Here in Melbourne (where iTWire is based) the gathering will take place at the Victorian Space Science Education Centre in Pascoe Vale (close to the intersection of Bell St and the Tulla).  A second Australian location (in Canberra) is at the Advanced Instrumentation and Technology Centre at the Australian National University.  There is no announcement (yet) for Sydney, but there is still time for someone to get involved.

Australian governmental partners of the event include:

Australian Department of Innovation, Space Policy Unit
Space Industry Innovation Council
National ICT Australia (NICTA)

In addition, these organisations are also partnering the event:

Victoria Space Science Education Centre
Australian Youth Aerospace Association
Australian National University, Advanced Instrumentation and Technology Centre.

iTWire will be attending the Melbourne event - hope to see you all there.



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David Heath

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David Heath has over 25 years experience in the IT industry, specializing particularly in customer support, security and computer networking. Heath has worked previously as head of IT for The Television Shopping Network, as the network and desktop manager for Armstrong Jones (a major funds management organization) and has consulted into various Australian federal government agencies (including the Department of Immigration and the Australian Bureau of Criminal Intelligence). He has also served on various state, national and international committees for Novell Users International; he was also the organising chairman for the 1994 Novell Users' Conference in Brisbane. Heath is currently employed as an Instructional Designer, building technical training courses for industrial process control systems.