2019 International SpaceApps Challenge Tartu

Ideas and Challenges

Meet our Challenges – Solve Problems on Earth

The International Space Apps Challenge is a global hackathon, and NASA, ESA and local communties and teams bring in their ideas. We have selected several NASA challenges and also present to you project ideas from our sponsors and partners which are of real importance here. In order to be eligable for global NASA competition your project needs to be related to one of the NASA challenges – and many of our presented challenges can be easily related to similar NASA challenges. However, all projects that you work on this weekend can compete for local winning and prizes 🙂



Create a cloud mask for Sentinel-2:

The idea is that raw Sentinel-2 image comes in and for every pixel the tool needs to identify whether it is cloudless, cloud, the shadow of the cloud or half-transparent cloud. Machine learning could be one of the solutions used in the tool.

Tartu Science Park and Tartu Observatory:

1) Detect Atmospheric Pollution 

Your challenge is to develop a solution (e.g. website or mobile app) that would give an assessment and a warning, if necessary, to the user based on the atmospheric pollution of the location. There are various compounds that are measured from the Sentinel satellites and on the ground that can be combined to a pollution index which would indicate measures needed for wellbeing.

2) Hazard Warning

There are various hazards from nature that can jeopardize people’s health and life including floods, fires, air pollution and low ozone concentration that would protect from high UV radiation. Your challenge is to create a solution (app, tool …) that would give a safety assessment or an index for a region based on the combination of available data from Sentinel satellite data and ground measurements. It should help people to confirm or change their travel plans, so the most recent data should be used.

3) Future Climate Crop App

Your challenge is to develop an app that would give information about the crops that are suitable for the selected fields in the time of 30 years. It should use Copernicus Climate services data about the future climate projections as well as data from the dataset of crop needs.

4) Snow App

Your challenge is to develop a workflow that would give information about the actual snow conditions and perspectives in about one week/one month time in the regions of ski-resorts. From one side the real satellite product of snow coverage could be used, from the other side it could be combined with the weather forecast from climate open data sources.

5) Whats here? 

When moving on the landscape while hiking, biking, mushroom picking we want to know if we are in the state forest or private forest? Or what cadastrial unit is this? Am I in the environmental protection area? Water protection zone? All this information exists in Estonian Land Board as public information but your task is to create an app that can give a person quick info or warning about their surrounding.

Department of Geograhy

Detect Land Cover Change (Change Detection workflow):

Create yearly layers of land cover maps for Estonia, starting with Landsat images from 1970ties and ending with a combination of Landsat and Sentinel to give historical overview of the changes. For each year create land cover classification in a unified classification schema. For each subsequent year create change maps and calculate change matrices to identify the magnitude of the change. Ideally the results can be easily explored in a web site or app.

Selected recommended NASA Challenges

NASA has now also announced their Challenges and project ideas:


We have selected a few to make it easier for you. It is also important that our focus this year is on Earth Observcation and Remote Sensing and we really hope that you would be looking at our planet and solve problems here 🙂

1) Air Quality – Integrate NASA data, ground-based air quality data, and citizen science data to displays accurate data for a location and time:


2) Rising Waters – help communicate the impacts of rising oceans by creating a visualization:


3) Algae blooms – how can we better predict their occurrence to prevent harm to aquatic and human life:


4) Green Infrastructure – Create a tool to assess the characteristics of an urban or rural area of your choice, and integrate green infrastructures, or nature-based solutions, into that region’s development plans to 1) reduce flood and/or drought risk 2) establish sustainable land use practices 3) support water management, and/or 4) produce local economic opportunities.


5) Web-app that visualizes Earth science data:


6) Integrate satellite data and information about vulnerable populations and environmental hazards:


7) Use Earth observations to address the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)


A little background info on the relevance and idea of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG):

– https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/sustainable-development-goals/

– https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/?menu=1300

8) Leverages near-real-time and archival wildfire datasets along with other tools to support firefighting and fire mitigation efforts:


9) Design a mission to help clean up garbage from the ocean: