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NASA’s Asteroid Data Hunter Launch at SXSW

By joey-poarch In Uncategorized

Posted April 16th, 2015

At SXSW ‘14, NASA announced the Asteroid Data Hunter project and at SXSW ‘15, we’ve come full orbit circle.

Over the span of a year, nearly 200 Topcoder members via 10 challenges submitted solutions in the quest to build Asteroid Data Hunter.

It’s been an insanely awesome year. And it’s all thanks to you – the members of the topcoder.com community.

While at SXSW, NASA representatives hosted a panel – and it’s also where they announced the launch of the app – and it was a resounding success.

I was very fortunate, and got to attend SXSW and help provide demos of the new Asteroid Data Hunter app. As a desk jockey, standing on my feet for 9+ hours a day was grueling – but getting to interact, meet folks and walk them through the app was inspiring. It was also tons o’ fun.

This is me. I’m very good at pretending to know what I’m talking about.

If this is your first time hearing about Asteroid Data Hunter, here’s a brief overview:

  • Using the latest developments in machine learning algorithms, we have developed an algorithm that is capable of utilizing imagery data from modern telescopes to find more asteroids than has previously ever been possible.
  • This new method is approximately 15% better than the current method of identifying asteroids in the main belt (Asteroids that orbit between Mars & Jupiter).
  • The algorithm is capable of running on a common laptop/desktop. Algorithms like these will be used on future spacecraft to identify asteroids to maximize the capability of missions in the future.
  • The application contains a user interface that anyone can use without too much of a learning curve for new users. It’s also easy to install and comes with a one-click installation process (no configuration necessary!). For the expert user, full documentation and source code are available for modifications and tweaking.

It’s been an incredible journey and an amazing opportunity working on this project. My sincere and deepest thanks to everyone in the topcoder.com community that helped make this happen.

Want to learn more about Asteroid Data Hunter, or download the code? Please visit: topcoder.com/asteroids



#AsteroidHunters #PewPew


Go to topcoder.com/asteroids and type “asteroids” after the page loads. I hope you have a few hours of free time.