Join NSIN, the National Security Innovation Network, for our continuing series of hackathons where you can test your innovation skills and tackle big national security challenges! We’re looking for students, developers, designers, and hackers from the academic, military, and start-up communities to come together for a weekend to explore non-traditional, innovative concepts to capture maintenance data and enable predictive maintenance. NSIN will provide up to $45,000 in total contract awards to winning teams to further develop their concepts!


Develop an AI-enabling user interface that can intuitively capture both structured and non-structured maintenance data, and associated maintainer actions, in an efficient and user-friendly manner to produce more accurate maintenance logs.

By that we mean when a maintenance technician replaces brakes or repairs an engine, we want to be able to easily and accurately capture what they did without making more work for them because they need to focus on repairing equipment, not entering data.

There are two focus areas imbedded in this challenge:

  • Data collection: How do you recognize, classify, and quantify maintainer action? How do you associate those actions with required maintenance data fields?
  • User interface: What are the most intuitive and user-friendly interfaces? How can you minimize the burden on the technician?

Challenge Background

NSIN, in partnership with the University of Michigan's Aerospace Engineering Department, is hosting "Into the Dataverse" where we're working with the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center (JAIC), the Air Force, the Army's Ground Vehicle System Center, and the Michigan Air National Guard to help them develop new, more intuitive capabilities for maintenance technicians to capture information about the work they've completed. Maintenance technicians are tasked with repairing many systems in a single day and the current systems for entering data is clunky, unintuitive, and antiquated. We need to bring this capability into the 21st century so we can fully implement predictive maintenance across the entire Department of Defense.

Operational Constraints:

Maintenance technicians work on, under, and inside of aircraft, vehicles, and other systems in hangars, maintenance bays, and the outdoors. Solutions need to be able to be used in these environments and conditions.

NSIN will provide up to $45,000 in total contract awards to winning teams to further develop their concepts!


Participation is open to all individuals over 18 years in age. Teams are welcome, but each member needs to register as an individual. All participants must have registered at https://nsin-into-the-dataverse.eventbrite.com

Winning teams receive the opportunity for funding to further develop or demonstrate solution. Any recipient of funding must have the ability to legally perform work in the United States of America.


Teams will submit, at minimum, a PowerPoint presentation of their solution to Devpost by 9:00 am on Sunday, September 22, 2019.

Teams will also have an assigned table in the hackathon space in the Francois-Xavier Bagnoud Building on the University of Michigan Ann Arbor Campus to display their solution, which must be set up by 9:00 am on Sunday, September 22, 2019.

Hackathon Sponsors


$45,000 in prizes

Awards (3)

NSIN will provide up to three $15K awards, for a total of $45K, to three winning teams to further their concepts.

Devpost Achievements

Submitting to this hackathon could earn you:


Representative Elissa Slotkin

Representative Elissa Slotkin
US House of Representatives, Michigan 8th District

Lieutenant General Jack Shanahan

Lieutenant General Jack Shanahan
Director, Joint Artificial Intelligence Center

Vicki Selva

Vicki Selva
Deputy Executive Director, Michigan Defense Center

Paula Sorrell

Paula Sorrell
Director, Economic Growth Institute, University of Michigan

Brigadier General Chad Raduege

Brigadier General Chad Raduege
A6, Air Combat Command

Myron Hohil

Myron Hohil
Senior Associate for Artificial Intelligence, Combat Capabilities Development Command - Armaments Center

Terry Wilson

Terry Wilson
Principal Electronics Engineer, Sensors Directorate, Air Force Research Lab

Judging Criteria

  • Judging Procedures
    The first round of judging will be science fair style at 9:00 am on Sunday. Five Finalists will be selected based on categories 1-3 below to make final presentations at 1:00 pm on Sunday. Up to three winners will be selected based on categories 1-4 below.
  • Award Selection
    The number of winners awarded is dependent upon the distribution of startup teams and individual teams selected to split the total $45,000.00 award. Three is the maximum, but it may be less.
  • 1. Impact
    Weighted at 35% for the science fair and 30% for the final round.
  • Impact - Problem Statement
    How well defined is the problem scope?
  • Impact - Problem Alignment
    How well does the Problem Statement align with the Challenge Statement and focus areas?
  • Impact - Need, DoD
    How significant is the DoD need for the proposed solution? What benefit does it provide over the status quo?
  • Impact - Need, Private Sector
    How significant is the private sector need for the proposed solution? What benefit does it provide over the status quo?
  • 2. Team Membership and Execution
    Weighted at 25% for the science fair and 20% for the final round.
  • Team Membership and Execution - Diversity of Team Members
    How diverse are the team members’ experience levels, skills, and backgrounds?
  • Team Membership and Execution - Hack Journey
    How well did you incorporate new information learned at the hackathon into your solution? How did you use this information to iterate to improved approaches?
  • Team Membership and Execution - Customer Engagement
    How well did you engage with hackathon mentors and subject matter experts?
  • 3. Product/Service
    Weighted at 40% for the science fair and 30% for the final round.
  • Product/Service - Description
    How well do you describe your product or service, its beneficial features, and how it is different?
  • Product/Service - Applicability
    How well does the proposed solution work in anticipated operating conditions?
  • Product/Service - Practicality for Stakeholders
    How practical is the solution for all stakeholders (not just end users)?
  • Product/Service - Resources required at deployment
    How reasonable are the resources required to deploy the proposed solution?
  • Product/Service - Technical Feasibility
    How credible is the scientific basis for the proposed solution?
  • Product/Service - Innovative approach
    Is your approach based on out-of-date technologies or ground-breaking ideas?
  • 4. Go-Forward Plan
    This criteria will only be used in the final round of judging and will be weighted at 20% of the total score.
  • Go-Forward Plan - Award potential
    What potential benefit could be provided with a $15K award to continue development?
  • Go-Forward Plan - Post-award investment potential
    What potential benefit could be provided with future investment beyond the $15K award?
  • Go-Forward Plan - Startup
    Is there opportunity for startup company formation for an individual team's solution or expansion of an existing startup team's solution market to include the Department of Defense?
  • Go-Forward Plan - Future technical risk narrative
    How well is the future technical risk presented and addressed?

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