Stellar Solutions Wins Phase 2 Award in $1.2M National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency Competition

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Humanitarian research initiative of aerospace engineering leader takes its place in the winner’s circle of second round of competition to advance geomagnetic data collection

Our initiative is transforming definitive earthquake forecasting from a science fiction dream into an achievable goal, and our success with MagQuest shows the much greater and wide-ranging impact of this work -- Michael Lencioni, CEO, Stellar Solutions, Inc.

Global aerospace systems engineering company Stellar Solutions, Inc., has announced that a proposal submitted by its QuakeFinder team has been selected as one of five winners in the second round of the MagQuest competition. Stellar had previously been named one of 10 winners in Phase 1 of the $1.2 million National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) global open innovation challenge that was launched in March. The competition aims to attract novel approaches that advance the efficiency, reliability, and sustainability of geomagnetic data collection for the World Magnetic Model (WMM).

Phase 2 was open to solvers from the first phase as well as new entrants, and sought detailed designs and plans for data collection methodologies. An independent panel helped select Stellar’s Quakefinder team proposal as one of five Phase 2 winners that each will receive $200,000 in cash prizes. Additional phases of the challenge may follow at the discretion of NGA, such as a potential third phase that would likely be restricted to winners or other selected Phase 2 participants.

“This award provides important validation of the expertise and value of the team responsible for Stellar Solutions’ humanitarian research & development program, QuakeFinder. Our initiative is transforming definitive earthquake forecasting from a science fiction dream into an achievable goal, with peer-reviewed results expected to be published later this year—and our success with MagQuest shows the much greater and wide-ranging impact of this work,” said Michael Lencioni, Stellar Solutions’ CEO. “The World Magnetic Model is vital to society, and this competition is showing the broad application of QuakeFinder’s innovative capabilities. This is a phenomenal opportunity to benefit our way of life with science, possibly even saving lives which is the ultimate reflection of corporate citizenship.”

The WMM is key to thousands of systems we use every day, including: commercial industries like energy and telecommunications; maps in smartphones and cars; and navigation and guidance for military vehicles on land, in the air, and at sea, as well as satellites in space. The U.S. government is using efforts like MagQuest to identify new methods of data collection that will help ensure accuracy and sustainability of the WMM.

“What an exciting moment for the QuakeFinder team that has been hard at work for over fifteen years,” said Dan Schneider, QuakeFinder’s Director of Research and Development. “Successfully bringing our expertise to bear on the WMM challenge highlights the numerous possibilities to achieve global benefit through public-private partnerships that will enable improved monitoring and expanded knowledge of earth’s magnetic field. We are hopeful for the opportunity to participate in potential future phases of MagQuest.”

The Stellar Solutions Global Acquisition of Magnetic Measurements at Altitude (GAMMA) approach will leverage planned commercial microsatellite missions by adding an easily integrated magnetometer payload that is augmented by an expanded ground-based scientific magnetometer array. New miniature space sensors combined with commercial hosting opportunities will dramatically decrease costs while ensuring continued collection of the magnetic measurements necessary to produce the WMM, upon which many millions of users depend.

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.

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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