Ukrainians from Storm Prophet became the winners of the NASA Hackathon

The winners of the NASA Space Apps Challenge 2023 have become known. The Ukrainian team Storm Prophet was among the winners. Their project is related to the processing of data from the Deep Space Climate Observatory study system and early warning of magnetic storms.

Storm Prophet Team

NASA named the winners of the hackathon

On the evening of January 23, the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration named the winners of its NASA Space Apps Challenge 2023. The Space Agency has been conducting it since 2012. This time, the Ukrainians, the Storm Prophet team, were among the winners.

The main purpose of the NASA Space Apps Challenge is to attract numerous technically gifted young people to solve certain tasks faced by the space agency. These are mainly various software solutions, but participants can also develop various mechanisms, electrical devices, or even conduct experiments in the field of applied chemistry and biology.

Each group of participants chooses a task from the ones proposed by the organizers and solves it. In total, more than 58 thousand participants, united in 8,718, participated in the qualifying stages around the world last year. The Ukrainian stage took place in October in Kyiv and Dnipro. Because of the war, it was held mainly in an online format.

As a result, NASA selected 40 teams from different countries, which were allowed to reach the final stage. Only Storm Prophet got there from Ukraine. Next, 10 winners were selected from them. Our participants were in the Best Use of Data nomination.

What did Storm Prophet do

The members of the Storm Prophet team say that they have been working towards this achievement for quite a long time. At first, Yevhen Tatarynov, Anastasiia Lukianenko, Maksym Kopystko, Vadym Lozovskyi, Kostiantyn Kuzmychov and Andrii Solovienko wanted to take a challenge to simulate evolution on a computer. However, later, they decided to focus on what they understood better— data processing.

The task they chose for themselves was called the “Develop the Oracle of DSCOVR”. The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has a Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) spacecraft. It is engaged in studying the solar wind. From time to time, the influence of space weather causes disruptions in its operation, and this may indicate the approach of a solar storm.

In turn, solar storms can cause problems with communication and navigation systems on Earth. The answer to the question of how to predict them may be hidden in the “raw” DSCOVR data. However, they still need to be processed, and this has become the task for the Ukrainian team. Storm Prophet handled it brilliantly.

In their work, Storm Prophet relied on the use of Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM). This is a type of neural network that works using the previously accumulated amount of information. Ukrainians managed to optimize the data flow from the satellite and achieve an accuracy of 90–95 percent in predicting space weather with an hourly forecast for a month. NASA recognized the Ukrainians’ project as extremely successful. Now they have to go to the USA for the award ceremony.

According to

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