This past weekend I participated in the NASA 2013 Space Apps Challenge; an event where thousands of people across the globe work on creating solutions to challenges related to Earth and space.
The weekend was a lot of fun. ANZ Innovyz provided the Adelaide location for the event, in which around 15 other people and myself spent the two days creating various projects. These projects included a game centralized around the costs of bootstrapping a space industry, Mearth (a web app which compares the current weather at the location of the Curiosity Rover on Mars and wherever is closest on earth Earth) and MagnetoMap, which I helped create.
MagnetoMap was a solution to the software component of the ArduSat challenge. It consisted of an Android app which samples the total magnetic force experienced by android phones and pipes it to a database, and a web app which persists the data so that it can be displayed in a heat map.
Unfortunately, my presentation was a rather poor; and I think I failed to communicate any of my ideas clearly at the end of my competition. I'm fine with that, though. The solutions which continued to the next round were definitely more useful than MagnetoMap (about which's practicality I have doubts, given the amount of magnetic interference phones typically experience)
I intend to participate in the Space Apps Challenge 2014, and create something more meaningful. Even if I don't create something successful, it's a great way to spend a weekend, and I'm glad I participated this year.