Stellar Solutions’ QuakeFinder Selected for Phase 1 of National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency Competition

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Humanitarian research initiative of aerospace engineering leader is among early winners of competition to advance geomagnetic data collection

Stellar Solutions, Inc.

Stellar Solutions’ humanitarian program QuakeFinder has been recognized for its tremendous advancements in maturing technology aimed at forecasting large earthquakes, providing days-to-weeks’ advance notice – and ultimately saving lives. – Michael Lencioni, Stellar Solutions CEO

Stellar Solutions, Inc., the global aerospace systems engineering company, has announced that QuakeFinder, its pioneering electromagnetic earthquake forecasting research initiative, has been named one of 10 winners in Phase 1 of MagQuest. This $1.2 million National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) global open innovation challenge was launched in March to attract novel approaches to advance the efficiency, reliability, and sustainability of geomagnetic data collection for the World Magnetic Model (WMM).

“We are proud that Stellar Solutions’ humanitarian program QuakeFinder has been recognized for its tremendous advancements in maturing technology aimed at forecasting large earthquakes, providing days-to-weeks’ advance notice – and ultimately saving lives,” said Michael Lencioni, Stellar Solutions’ CEO. “As we can see in this competition, QuakeFinder’s innovative capabilities in pursuit of earthquake prediction are being applied to the World Magnetic Model challenge. This has the potential to improve our way of living in countless other ways.”

The WMM is vital to thousands of systems already in daily use, from application in commercial industries as diverse as energy and telecommunications to maps in consumer products like smartphones and cars, and navigation and attitude determination for submarines, satellites, and aircraft. To ensure accuracy and sustainability of the WMM, the U.S. government is using efforts like Magquest to identify new methods of data collection.

“We’re thrilled that we could apply our expertise in collecting high-resolution magnetic field data to another global-scale challenge,” said Dan Schneider, QuakeFinder’s Director of Research and Development. “Enhanced magnetic observation will not only allow construction of the WMM, but it will also help us explore the connections between the magnetic field and the earthquake process.”

Stellar’s submitted novel approach, Global Acquisition of Magnetic Measurements at Altitude (GAMMA), proposes to add magnetometers as hosted payloads to planned satellite launches with optional integration of ground-based sensors. The combination of spaceborne and terrestrial data could increase coverage and decrease risk.

Stellar Solutions is a Malcolm Baldrige Award-winning company that for 25 years has solved some of the most complex systems engineering problems, from national security to space exploration, across commercial and government sectors.

It has invested $30-million in QuakeFinder, which is expected to unlock the algorithm for forecasting earthquakes in a matter of years, and has collected data nonstop since 2005 using 170 stations around the world. With a database containing information on more than 1000 earthquakes, the team is now hard at work at developing algorithms to analyze these signals.

The QuakeFinder program draws on the skills and passions of experts with experience drawn from leading aerospace organizations like NASA, and includes geoscientists from the University of California at Berkeley and Stellar’s own aerospace engineers. Originally inspired by the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake in California, QuakeFinder founder Tom Bleier devised the idea of placing sensors to capture underground pre-seismic electromagnetic disturbances.

Stellar Solutions: Delivering High-impact Performance on Earth and in Space

Stellar Solutions is a woman-owned business that for nearly 25 years has delivered high-impact engineering expertise to government and industry customers across a range of professional and technical disciplines. Serving the intelligence, defense, civil, and commercial sectors, Stellar provides rapid-response capabilities related to global surveillance and cyber-security, space exploration, risk management, and technology optimization. These solutions to clients’ critical needs involve satellites in space, sensors on Earth, and intricate technology connections across multiple frontiers. This agile business has forged a competitive advantage by crossing boundaries among vital programs and applying the expertise of its entire seasoned workforce to technical challenges.

Named one of the best small and medium workplaces in the U.S. by Fortune Magazine and Great Place to Work® since 2014, Stellar Solutions recently received the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, the nation’s highest honor in performance excellence and sustainability. It offers global reach through international sister companies and programs in the UK and continental Europe, and social responsibility with its foundation and Quakefinder humanitarian research and development effort.

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