Detect, Track, and Remediate: The Challenge of Small Space Debris

Ensemble has announced a new prize challenge on behalf of NASA: Detect, Track, and Remediate: The Challenge of Small Space Debris. The challenge is aimed at tackling the issue of small space debris in Low Earth Orbit (LEO). 

In recent years, Earth’s orbital environment has become cluttered with tiny fragments, posing a risk to spacecraft and satellites. The Detect, Track, and Remediate prize competition is designed to harness the power of open innovation and crowdsourcing to address this critical problem.

Small space debris, with diameters ranging from 1 millimeter to 10 centimeters, currently eludes efficient surveillance methods. Despite the meticulous tracking of larger debris by the US Space Surveillance Network (SSN), the smaller fragments, numbering in the millions, remain invisible to current monitoring techniques. Traveling at extraordinary velocities, these tiny objects in LEO pose a threat to both crewed and robotic space missions. As Earth’s orbital environment grows increasingly congested, the likelihood of collisions with small space debris is expected to increase tenfold within a decade. This challenge hinges on the critical need for innovative solutions to detect, characterize, track, and remediate small space debris, ensuring the safety and sustainability of space operations.

Challenge Overview:

This challenge invites participants from around the world to contribute groundbreaking concepts for detecting, tracking, characterizing, or remediating space debris ranging from 1 millimeter to 10 centimeters in size. 

The challenge is offering a prize purse of $120,000 to incentivize innovative solutions that can make a real impact. Participants will submit concept papers, no longer than 12 pages, outlining their technical concept in one of three problem domains: Detecting, Tracking, or Remediating. Challenge participants may submit technical concepts in more than one category and will be eligible to win up to $20,000 in each category.  

How to Register:

Registration for the challenge is now open and will run until November 15, 2023. To participate, follow these simple steps:

  1. Visit the challenge website
  2. Register as a user on
  3. Complete the Challenge Registration Form on the website, providing your contact information and selecting your problem domain (Detect & Characterize, Track, or Remediate).

 For more information and to register, visit the challenge website

Recent stories

Our professional services

We offer a range of innovative services to leading federal agencies, universities, and corporations.  

Prize Challenge Management

We build prizes and engage niche solver communities

Application Development

We develop human-centered digital experiences

Web & Mobile Design

We design interfaces to delight and educate users

Cloud services

We build and maintain cloud architectures on AWS and Microsoft

Communications Support

We creatively reach and educate target audiences

Program Management

We deliver projects with high quality client services