HADR Challenge 2020

The application of satellite technology and its increasing role in providing quick, accurate and effective response to frequent and complex disaster situations is evident. Across the world, countries have recognized the need of utilizing remote sensing satellite technologies as a critical tool in real-time disaster management. The Singapore Space and Technology Association (SSTA) has launched the HADR (Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief) challenge, to stimulate and tap into the creativity of students and identify new and translatable solutions to complex problems of coordination and technology usage within the context of HADR.

The objectives of the SSTA HADR Challenge are to:

  • Utilize satellite and mobile technology developed by participants to aid rescue efforts in the event of a disaster
  • Encourage youths and working professionals to incorporate space technology and engineering in their daily lives
  • Provide a ground for participants and subject matter experts to communicate and exchange ideas
  • Raise awareness of space applications and technologies to the public

Asia is regularly hit by typhoons (also known as hurricanes or tropical cyclones) during the monsoon season. These storms often result in flooding, deaths and the destruction of homes, roads, and other basic infrastructure. This year, participants are challenged to:

Develop an AI empowered application that can assist response teams in efficiently analysing satellite images of areas affected by typhoons.

For consideration, some challenges faced by HADR practitioners include:

  • Obtaining the latest updated map of the disaster area as soon as possible.
  • Quickly identifying features such as passable roads, damaged buildings, flooded areas, and possible landing sites for rescue helicopters and ships.
  • Identifying changes to the terrain due to the disaster.

The submission date for the HADR Challenge is on the 5 January 2020, 5PM (GMT+8).

Report of not more than 10 pages to include the following points:

  • Detailed explanation of the application and how it can assist in HADR during a disaster event
  • Possible disaster plan – A list of steps showing how the application will operate in tandem with HADR in event of a disaster
  • Detailed architecture of the technical solution and an explanation of why it is designed as such
  • Roadmap for future development towards commercialization


And video presentation no more than 5 minutes, consisting of:

  • Description of the disaster scenario
  • Description of the application
  • Explanation of the application’s ability to help in the identified scenario
  • Customised scenarios for role-playing in order to highlight or facilitate certain roles interaction.

Participants stand the chance to win a trip to Italy hosted by Arianespace to visit Avio’s facility in Colleferro, Rome where they are currently building the Vega rocket.

SSTA will cover the cost of:

  • Round-trip flight tickets to Rome
  • 2-night accommodation at a 3* Hotel
  • Ground transport to-and-from Rome-Fiumicino International Airport
  • Ground transport to-and-from Avio’s facility in Colleferro

The sections below provide the official Rules and Regulations for the HADR CHALLENGE. By entering the challenge, participants agree to be bound by the following rules and regulations. All decisions of the SSTA are final and without appeal.

  1. The challenge is open to full-time Southeast Asian students enrolled in a tertiary education institution.
  2. Entries may be submitted as an individual or group effort – however, the entries must be unpublished work. For entries of group effort, only a maximum of 3 group members are allowed.
  3. Participants must be registered to participate in the HADR CHALLENGE 2020 online here
  4. Each group must submit a report not more than 10 pages, typewritten with Arial font size 11 with all pages numbered. A video presentation (no more than 5 mins) will also need to be submitted together with the proposal.
  5. If you wish to submit your entries, email to ssta@space.org.sg.
  6. By submitting the entries, you grant SSTA and the sponsoring companies permission to display, copy, combine, compile, distribute and disseminate your entry as needed to support the HADR CHALLENGE 2020. Entries will not be accepted if they include:
    • Threatening, slanderous or obscene language
    • Personal attacks
    • Discriminatory language (include hate speech) based on race, national origin, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion or disability
    • Sexually explicit material or other material that would violate the law
    • Material that promotes commercial services or product
    • Proprietary information that you do not hold the right to make public
    • Personally Identifiable Information (e.g., social security numbers, postal and email addresses, phone numbers)
    • Entries submitted to which the submitter will retain the rights participants have in the copyright and other intellectual property rights comprising the competition entry but, participants grant SSTA and the sponsoring companies free of charge to republish the competition entries.
  7. The closing date of the competition is 17 January 2020. Entries which do not comply with any of the competition rules will be disqualified.
  8. The entries will be assessed in confidence by an independent panel of judges. No appeals will be entertained.
  9. SSTA will notify the shortlisted teams via email by 20 January 2019. If the teams cannot be contacted by SSTA, or does not respond within one calendar days from the time SSTA sends its notification, SSTA may decide to award the prize for the challenge to the other participant(s).
  10. The HADR CHALLENGE has a strict policy regarding plagiarism. Plagiarism includes using text, information or ideas from other works with proper citation. Any cases of alleged plagiarism will be promptly investigated. It is the responsibility of the participants to ensure that all his sources are properly cited using the correct format.
  11. For further information, please contact us through email at  gillian.chin@space.org.sg or ssta@space.org.sg.


31 August Registration Opens
15 Dec, Wed, 5PM (GMT+8) Registration Closes
18 Dec, Mon,  4PM (GMT +8) Webinar Briefing
Early January Facility Visit
17 Jan 2020, Fri, 5PM (GMT+8)

Submission Deadline

Penalty for late submission: 10 points for every 6 hours

6 & 7 February 2020 GSTC Showcase & Pitching
14 February 2020 Announcement of Results


For more information, download the information deck here.

Are you prepared to take on the Challenge

Registration is now open!

Interested participants must satisfy the following conditions:

  • Participants must be a full-time student from Southeast Asia enrolled in a tertiary education institution
  • Up to 3 participants per team
  • Team members must have valid email addresses

We look forward to your participation and may the best team win! Stay tuned and follow us on our social media for the latest updates

Sponsors & Supporting Organisations

Last Update: 16:50  15/10/2019

Please contact us for further details on our data protection policy, including how you may access and correct your personal data or withdraw consent to the collection, use or disclosure of your personal data.

For enquiries on sponsorship, please contact Ms Gillian Chin: gillian.chin@space.org.sg For enquiries on registration and participation matters, please contact us : ssta@space.org.sg