Pinoy IT professionals set to join NASA, ESA and JAXA collaboration on COVID-19 solutions

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With the great impact of COVID19 pandemic in the world brought uncertainties in almost all aspects of life, the U.S. space agency National Aeronautics Space Administration (NASA), European Space Agency (ESA), and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) organized a global virtual hackathon on May 30-31 dedicated to putting open data to work in developing solutions to issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Those who will participate are our talented Filipino developers who used NASA’s free and open data to solve real-world problems on Earth and space. And since 2016, many Filipinos participated in this annual hackathon, and just recently, a dengue mapping forecasting system was developed by data scientists from CirroLytix using satellite and climate data with the goal of addressing sustainable development goals of the United Nations. This web application, called Project AEDES won globally for the best use of data.

Also, a group of Filipino Information Technology professionals developed the ISDApp from the Tagalog word “isda” meaning fish. This apps sends useful information to fishermen such as real-time weather, sunrise and sunset, wind speed, and cloud coverage to plan their fishing activities using the NASA GLOBE Observer app. With this gl0bal competitiveness and innovations of the Filipinos, our IT professionals remain respect and in demand abroad.

Open for public
While most of those who would take part in the virtual global hackathon are IT professionals, the NASA Space App Covid-19 Challenge open the invitation to coders, entrepreneurs, scientists, designers, storytellers, makers, builders, artists, and technologists to participate in a virtual hackathon May 30-31 dedicated to putting open data to work in developing solutions to issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the global Space Apps COVID-19 Challenge, participants from around the world will create virtual teams that – during a 48-hour period – will use Earth observation data to propose solutions to COVID-19-related challenges ranging from studying the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 and its spread to the impact the disease is having on the Earth system.

“There’s a tremendous need for our collective ingenuity right now,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. “I can’t imagine a more worthy focus than COVID-19 on which to direct the energy and enthusiasm from around the world with the Space Apps Challenge that always generates such amazing solutions.”

With this tripartite collaboration of NASA, ESA, and JAXA, their unique capabilities in the areas of science and technology enable them to lend a hand during this global crisis. Since the start of the global outbreak, Earth science specialists from each agency have been exploring ways to use unique Earth observation data to aid understanding of the interplay of the Earth system – on global to local scales – with aspects of the COVID-19 outbreak, including, potentially, our ability to combat it. The hackathon will also examine the human and economic response to the virus.

European Space Agency

ESA will contribute data from the Sentinel missions (Sentinel-1, Sentinel-2, and Sentinel-5P) in the context of the European Copernicus program, led by the European Commission, along with data from Third Party contributing Missions, with a focus on assessing the impact on climate change and greenhouse gases, as well as impacts on the economic sector. ESA also is contributing Earth observation experts for the selection of the competition winners and the artificial-intelligence-powered EuroDataCube.

According to Josef Aschbacher, Director of Earth Observation Programmes at ESA, “EuroDatacube will enable the best ideas to be scaled up to a global level.’

“The pandemic crisis has a worldwide impact, therefore international cooperation and sharing of data and expertise with partners like NASA and JAXA seems the most suitable approach,” he added.

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency

JAXA is making Earth-observing data available from its satellite missions, including ALOS-2, GOSAT, GOSAT-2, GCOM-C, GCOM-W, and GPM/DPR.

JAXA Vice President Terada Koji said, “JAXA welcomes the opportunity to be part of the hackathon.’

“I believe the trilateral cooperation among ESA, NASA and JAXA is important to demonstrate how Earth observation can support global efforts in combating this unprecedented challenge”, he added.

Space Apps is an international hackathon that takes place in cities around the world. Since 2012, teams have engaged with NASA’s free and open data to address real-world problems on Earth and in space. The COVID-19 Challenge will be the program’s first global virtual hackathon. Space Apps 2019 included more than 29,000 participants at 225 events in 71 countries, developing more than 2,000 hackathon solutions over the course of one weekend.

Interested party or those who wish to register can visit the website on May 12 at

#SpaceApps #SpaceAppsPH