Space Challenge 2023 - Incubator

Phase 1: Online Space Research Incubator 2023

We are excited to announce the 20 teams invited to the 2023 Space for Planet Earth Online Research Incubator.

High School Level: 

  • Methane Mavericks – Melbourne Girls’ College and Kyneton High School, Australia
  • EIJC – James Cook International School, Dumbea, New Caledonia
  • Cashmere Space Club – Cashmere High School, Christchurch, New Zealand
  • CH5 – OtĹ«moetai College, Tauranga, New Zealand
  • Beyond Horizons – Tauranga Boys’ College, Tauranga, New Zealand
  • Initiators – UP High School, Iloilo, Philippines
  • Usbong Me UP HIgh School, Iloilo, Philippines

University/Startup Level: 

  • Interplanetary Exploration Institute – IXI and Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia
  • ESpy Earth – ESpy Ocean, Adelaide, Australia
  • GSIG – GSIG Timor-Leste, Dili, East Timor
  • HackaBro – Noumea, New Caledonia
  • The Methane Mapping Mavericks – University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand
  • VUW – Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand
  • School of Computing – University of Otago, New Zealand
  • Methanogenesis – University of Auckland, New Zealand
  • Project AIM – Rizal Technological University, Caraga University,      

         Adamson University, Philippines

  • NOVA Josefina H. Cerilles State College, Zamboanga del Sur, Philippines
  • The Hubblers – University of the Philippines, Diliman, Philippines
  • Mugen – STeP-UP, Philippines
  • Earth Gang – Quezon City, Philippines

Team Introductions

Methane Mavericks (Australia)

When Liv and Chloe first met, they knew they had a lot of chemistry. It was akin to a spontaneous reaction! As two public high school students, passionate about leading environmental change in our local communities, we are excited to take up the Space Base Challenge and become Methane Mavericks.
With Liv’s experience in research on land management strategies and Chloe’s learnings in AI and Machine Learning, we are excited to learn and grow together during this process. We have the ability to build a powerful machine-learning platform, having demonstrated our scientific and mathematical ability by accelerating our studies and taking every opportunity to extend ourselves. Now? We are ready to take off on this new adventure!!

EIJC (New Caledonia)

We would like to introduce our team, consisting of five PRE-SACE (Year 10) students, three SACEi Stage 1 (Year 11) students and one SACEi Stage 2 (Year 12) student. This project has also been overseen by two of our teachers.
We are a group of proud students from James Cook International School (EIJC in French), located in Nouméa, New Caledonia. Thankful for the stimulating environment it provides, we chose to name our team after our school. Indeed, we have always felt supported in our academic, social, and emotional development at the school.

As students from various year levels, age-ranges, and with diverse backgrounds, we bring a wide range of strengths, skills, and perspectives. This is the first opportunity for us to collaborate and participate to an international challenge such as this one and we hope our enthusiasm, creativity and hard work pays off.

Beyond Horizons (New Zealand)

We are two Year 11 Highschool students at Tauranga Boys College. We are incredibly interested in space technology and climate change and always have been. We hope to make a difference in the world, and find a solution to climate change through the use of the public’s support.

Cashmere Space Club (New Zealand)

We are a group of Y9 – Y12 High school students from the Cashmere High School Space Club

Our solution to this years Space for Planet Earth Challenge is to use satellite data to improve the accuracy of farmers reporting their methane emissions to the New Zealand Government. Allowing the Government to then report a more accurate Greenhouse Gas inventory to the IPCC.

As an example, New Zealand currently uses an blanket average emission factor of 82Kg of methane per cow per year.
We have a plan to increase the accuracy of the emission factor initially from region to region and then increase the resolution to farm level, this will then provide farmers their individual accurate emission factor.
Farmers will then be able to use their personal emission factor to better reflect the efforts they are individually putting toward reducing methane emissions.

CH5 (New Zealand)

Hi, we are a group of five students from Ōtūmoetai College, Tauranga. Our approach to the problem statement involves using isotopic signatures to detect weaker sources of methane and identify target locations by differentiating between biogenic and anthropogenic sources. In our proposal, we investigate the feasibility of using isotopic signatures to pinpoint potential sources of weaker methane emissions.

USBONG ME – Unified Students By Observing National Global Methane Emissions (Philippines)

We are a group composed of 7 students from University of the Philippines High School in Iloilo dedicated to find solutions for environmental problems that are timely and relevant in the Philippines. Our proposal aims to find the specific sources of methane emissions in rice paddies with the use of satellite data, drone, and sensors.


Interplanetary Exploration Institute (Australia)

Methane is a potent greenhouse gas under immense scrutiny to reduce emissions in line with the Paris Climate Agreement. The Interplanetary Exploration Institute with Macquarie University is developing a laser heterodyne radiometer – a next generation space-based instrument – to detect and fingerprint methane thereby revealing its source type e.g., natural gas vs coal seam vs agriculture. This type of fingerprinting is the primary barrier to effective emissions accounting and regulation. 

The multidisciplinary team is combining signal processing, optics, geospatial analytics, environmental science, and agricultural expertise to increase the sensor’s Technology Readiness Level from 3 to space deployed. As part of the Challenge, the team will explore addressable markets and refine its business case.

ESpy Earth (Australia)

ESpy are experts in satellite data analysis, providing a unique method for detection of objects that are hard to monitor via traditional means.

Agriculture is a significant contributor to anthropogenic global warming and is also a sector that has been hard hit by climate change. ESpy Earth aims to provide the tools to allow the industry to better understand their environment, measure their methane output and meet future regulatory measures or incentives.

GSIG (East Timor)

Our interdisciplinary team of students and researchers is excited to leverage the power of satellite remote sensing to address one of the most pressing challenges of our time –Identification of Methane Emissions From Industrial sectors in Timor-Leste. Our innovative proposal aims to harness cutting-edge satellite technology to map methane concentrations, detect emission hotspots, and attribute sources accurately. With a data-driven approach, we will collaborate with national and international partners, utilize machine learning algorithms, and validate results with ground-based measurements to ensure accuracy.
By participating in the incubator program, we envision a transformative impact in understanding methane’s role in climate change and guiding effective mitigation efforts. Our commitment to sustainability and transparency drives us to openly share our findings, contributing to a greener and healthier planet for future generations especially for our beloved country Timor-Leste.

HackaBro (New Caledonia)

We are the HackaBro : a team of tech enthusiasts based in New Caledonia, loving to meet, have drinks, and doing IT contests

The Methane Mapping Mavericks (New Zealand)

Petra and Anna are students at the University of Otago, studying physics, mathematics, and computer science. Their project employs an innovative technical approach to locate and address methane emissions for MethaneSATs upcoming launch. By combining visual satellite imagery, satellite monitoring data of gases in the troposphere, and ground-based instruments, we aim to locate and quantify methane emissions from cattle herds in New Zealand. Our machine learning techniques will identify herds from high-resolution satellite images, and we’ll enhance our results by integrating data from other methane monitoring satellites. Additionally, we would like to explore observational data of substances that interact with methane for deeper insights. Our approach’s strength lies in its multidisciplinary integration of data and techniques, enabling us to map emissions accurately and contribute to sustainable solutions.

VUW (New Zealand)

We are a group of passionate students studying a wide range of degrees all of which are beneficial and give us a unique approach to the project. We have devised a software computer vision-based solution to Identify small sources of Methane. It involves using current methane detection technology such as Tropomi, Carbon Mapper, and GoSAT in combination with a high-resolution satellite like Landsat to create a unique software interface that uses figure detection to identify potential hotspots. With the initial goal completed, we hope to implement AI to automate and exponentially improve our detection method. We are dedicated to Science and the Earth and want to demonstrate that and our abilities with this project.

School of Computing (New Zealand)

The University of Otago team represents a formidable coalition of experts from the distinguished academic spheres of remote sensing and computing science.

Methanogenesis (New Zealand)

Methanogenesis is a team of undergraduate students at the University of Auckland, with backgrounds ranging from physics, environmental sciences, software, and mechanical/mechatronics engineering.

Project AIM (Philippines)

The Project AIM (Assessing Information of Methane) team composed of dedicated and innovative individuals with a keen focus on leveraging satellite data and IoT. With the collaboration and passion they have, the team seeks partnership to magnify impact. Project AIM strives to shape more sustainable future for generations to come using the available data and technology.

Their core focus includes harnessing the potential of satellite data and the Internet of Things (IoT) to gather essential environmental insights. Through teamwork and common goal, they plan to construct precise climate models, enabling near real-time trend analysis for proactive solutions. Through collaboration and innovation, the team actively seeks to partner with organizations and capable individuals who share their vision. 

Project AIM passionately merges technological advancements to support projects to address the climate crisis, solidifying their role as advocates towards creating sustainable practices.

NOVA (Philippines)

Nestled in the heart of Southeast Asia, the Philippines is a vibrant country known for its breathtaking landscapes and diverse biodiversity. We are proud to represent our nation in this global initiative, showcasing the ingenuity and dedication of Filipino researchers in contributing to environmental sustainability. Our proposal aims to revolutionize methane emission monitoring through cutting-edge remote sensing technology. With a shared vision for a greener future, we’re determined to make a meaningful impact on the environment.

The Hubblers (Philippines)

The Hubblers are a triumvirate founded on a shared love for physics, innovation, and healthy competition. We hail from the University of the Philippines Diliman: one student specializes in Physics and two students pursue Mechanical Engineering. Our proposal centers around the development of an innovative algorithm designed to address a critical environmental concern – the categorization of methane clouds into their respective source origins.

Methane emissions are a significant contributor to global warming. Our algorithm will utilize advanced data analysis techniques, drawing on principles from physics and engineering, to distinguish and categorize the various sources of methane emissions. This categorization will enable more precise tracking and mitigation efforts, ultimately contributing to a more sustainable future.

With our interdisciplinary expertise and shared commitment to addressing environmental challenges, we are excited to present this proposal as a potential solution to better manage methane emissions, paving the way for a cleaner and greener world.

Mugen (Philippines)

Colleagues from the Space Science and Technology Proliferation through University Partnerships (STeP-UP) Project of the then-STAMINA4Space Program of the Philippines. Our proposal, Mugen, will identify weaker sources of methane emissions across the Asia-Pacific region using a combination of satellite imagery, in-situ measurements, and machine learning.

Earth Gang (Philippines)

The team consists of competitive university students from the Philippines dedicated to learning through competing. Every victory is a reason to move forward, and every defeat is a lesson learned.


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