Counting Every Drop Challenge: Phase 1
- Status: Closed
- Prize: $10000
- Entries Received: 34
- Winner: richardvecsey
COUNTING EVERY DROP CHALLENGE PHASE 1
Design an Innovative Precipitation Measurement Device
Important: Please read the full Challenge Rules that contain all the challenge and submission requirements and rules.
CHALLENGE RULES (Last updated: October 28, 2022): https://app.box.com/s/0xgdag18aqhkmzu2ofa7vot1z86v1sdn
REGISTRATION FORM: https://app.smartsheet.com/b/form/4773d262718f4c25900cb38f75f3c7aa
WEBINAR RECORDING: https://youtu.be/j9lEmTGFQyc
FAQ (Last updated: October 7, 2022): https://app.box.com/s/wbgtdeohmek591bl9rodwgteqzajle89
Phase 1 Start: August 04, 2022
Phase 1 Submission Deadline: October 24, 2022 at 5:00pm ET
Phase 1 Total Prizes: Up to $80,000 USD.
The Counting Every Drop Challenge seeks new devices that will better inform water management decisions critical for human safety and environmental health, including forecasting water supplies, monitoring water-year precipitation, controlling floods, and planning for irrigation needs. Competitors that can create a solution that meets the requirements could win their share of the $300,000 USD prize.
To participate in Phase 1, Competitors (whether an individual or team or anyone acting on behalf of an individual or team) must submit a white paper describing their proposed precipitation measurement device and how it will satisfy the requirements. Up to eight Competitors will be awarded $10,000 and move forward to Phase 2.
For Phase 1, Competitors are asked to submit a white paper describing their proposed precipitation measuring device and how they will address all the requirements of the challenge. Submissions will be judged on their novel approach to the challenge requirements including eliminating or decreasing use of fluids, improving accuracy and reliability, and decreasing O&M loads, and on their ability to complete a prototype that will be ready to be installed in the field in Phase 2.
The US Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation), in partnership with the US Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), is looking for new and improved ground-based precipitation measurement devices that are reliable, accurate, low maintenance, and able to operate in remote locations under extreme environmental conditions. The ideal solution would not rely on fluids that require frequent maintenance, such as the use of antifreeze fluid to melt solid precipitation (e.g., snow, sleet, hail, etc.), would have low power demands, report data frequently, measure precipitation with high resolution and accuracy, have stable measurements not impacted by extreme weather conditions, and be easy to install, maintain, and calibrate. The Counting Every Drop Challenge seeks new devices that will better inform water management decisions critical for human safety and environmental health, including forecasting water supplies, monitoring water-year precipitation, controlling floods, and planning for irrigation needs. Competitors that can create a solution that meets the requirements could win their share of the $300,000 USD prize.
The Counting Every Drop Challenge is a two-phase challenge. To participate in Phase 1, Competitors (whether an individual or team or anyone acting on behalf of an individual or team) must submit a white paper describing their proposed precipitation measurement device and how it will satisfy the requirements. Up to eight Competitors will be awarded $10,000 and move forward to Phase 2. In Phase 2, Competitors will complete their prototype which will be lab and field tested. A preliminary review during Phase 2 will allow Competitors to show the progress they’ve made on their prototype through a written description and a video demonstration. Up to five Competitors that show the ability to complete their prototype and meet the challenge requirements will be awarded a Phase 2 interim prize of $15,000 to continue work on their prototype. The Competitors moving forward will have the opportunity to work with a Subject Matter Expert (SME) who will advise Competitors in product and business development. Prior to sending the prototypes for testing, Competitors will have a virtual meeting with Reclamation and NRCS to demonstrate installation and operation of their prototype. Competitors with prototypes that are ready for the field will ship their prototypes to NRCS for lab and field testing and receive a $3,000 milestone award. Prototypes will be deployed in the field alongside a benchmark device for at least eight months. One solution that meets the requirements and doesn’t require fluids to operate will be eligible for a $100,000 prize. All solutions are eligible for a share of the $30,000 innovation awards. If there are no fluid-free designs, the prize amounts will be redistributed.
- Phase 1: up to $80,000.
- Phase 2 Preliminary Review: up to $75,000.
- Phase 2 Pre-shipping Review: up to $15,000.
- Phase 2 Final Review: up to $130,000.
Phase 1- White Paper Challenge
Submissions for the White Paper Challenge must describe your proposed precipitation measurement device, how you will address the solutions requirements, and your ability to complete the prototype. To compete in Phase One, Competitors will need to upload PDFs of all required materials prior to the deadline of October 24, 2022, at 5pm ET. If a Competitor enters the challenge with updates to an existing device, they must clearly describe how their updates improve on the existing device to solve the challenge.
The solution must meet all the required criteria. The solution will be judged on how well it meets the other criteria.
A solution must:
- Be able to measure all forms of liquid and solid precipitation
- Cannot discharge anything into the environment except water; cannot discharge a mixture of precipitation and any other fluid including antifreeze or oil
- Use a 12V DC power supply
- Output data compatible with widely used dataloggers: SDI-12, pulse count, 0-5V signal, or analog output. Must be stored in .csv format
A solution should:
- Decrease the maintenance load due to fluid replacement
- Fluid-free design
- Significantly limit the volume of fluid that must be replaced or disposed of during regular maintenance.
- Provide measurements at least once/hour
- Measure at a resolution of 0.1" (2.54 mm) or less under all field conditions
- Accurately measure 0.1" (2.54 mm) at +/- 5% under all field conditions
- Minimize or eliminate fluctuations in precipitation readings during periods without precipitation (fluctuations must be < 0.25” (6.35 mm) over a 24-hour period without precipitation)
- Need to be maintained less than or equal to once/year. May not require maintenance be done at a specific time of year
- Run on 2 100 AH batteries or the equivalent for one month without solar input
- Function reliably under extreme environmental conditions
- Function at extreme temperatures; must function between -40C and 50C
- Function during extreme precipitation events (high rain, rime)
- Not break down with high UV exposure
- Accurate under high wind loads
- Be easy to install
- Doesn’t require specialized structure
- Doesn’t or cause major environmental impact
- Can be installed by 2 people in 1 day
- Easy to calibrate in the field or by swapping out components
Additionally, a solution could:
- Keep costs low including capital costs (purchasing instruments, housings, installation, etc.), training, and the frequency and cost of device or parts replacement
Bureau of Reclamation and employees of Challenge partners reserve the rights to update or modify this challenge at any time. Updated material will be made available to all participants.
Registration will be open from the launch of the challenge until the submission deadline of October 24, 2022, 5:00PM ET.
To Register for the Challenge, Competitors must:
1. Sign up for an account on the Freelancer.com platform
2. Complete and submit the Registration Form (https://app.smartsheet.com/b/form/4773d262718f4c25900cb38f75f3c7aa)
FOR THE FULL LIST OF REQUIREMENTS AND RULES, PLEASE READ THE CHALLENGE RULES AT https://app.box.com/s/0xgdag18aqhkmzu2ofa7vot1z86v1sdn
A Competitor who registers or submits an entry (whether an individual or team or anyone acting on behalf of an individual or team) to participate in this Challenge represents that they have read, understood, and agreed to all terms and conditions of the Official Rules.
Please submit your questions in the challenge Public Clarification Board or to email@example.com
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