This particular challenge, brought to you by the Harvard-NTL, tasks challengers to optimize the use of an array of radar dishes when tracking Near Earth Objects from the time they become visible over the horizon till the point at which they cease to be visible. This tracking allows scientists to gather information from each object such as composition, spin rate, among other properties. Phase 1 will devise the optimum subarray selection per set of object tracks provided in a predefined configuration using a fixed number of dishes . Phase 2 will build on Phase 1 results but will focus optimal optimizing configuration and looking at placement of additional dishes. For more information, please visit: http://www.topcoder.com/asteroids/tracker
What is Harvard-NTL?
The Harvard-NASA Tournament Lab (NTL) is housed at Harvard University's Institute of Quantitative Social Science under the leadership of Professor Karim R. Lakhani, who specializes in distributed innovation and crowd sourcing at the Harvard Business School. Dr. Lakhani will be working with London Business School Professor Kevin Boudreau, Ph.D., an expert on platform-based competition and chief economist for the NTL.
The purpose of the lab is to design and field a competition to create the best computer code for NASA systems. Software developers compete with each other for the prize and, upon completion of the competition, a finished software package will be delivered at a comparatively low cost. This approach is often referred to as "crowd sourcing" and, with the creation of the Harvard-NTL, Lakhani, Boudreau, and others are able to conduct research into the optimal design parameters for innovation competitions of this type, facilitating the use of these tournaments within the public and private sectors. The Harvard-NTL also supports contests for Health and Human Services, Office of Personnel Management, USAID, Environmental Protection Agency, and the Department of Energy.