Asteroid Tracker Challenge

As a part of the NASA Asteroid Grand Challenge Series, the 2014 Asteroid Tracker Challenge attempted to optimize the use of an array of radar dishes when tracking Near Earth Objects (NEO) from the time they become visible over the horizon until the point at which they cease to be visible (see the Topcoder problem statement).

NASA's Asteroid Tracker on YouTube

This tracking allows scientists to gather information from each object such as composition and spin rate, among other properties. Forty-three competitors submitted 299 solutions over two weeks in order to win a $15,000 prize. The top two algorithms demonstrated reliability of the optimization procedure and adaptability to the variations in the radar operational conditions.

Asteroid Tracker Summary