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MORGOTH’S CROWN: IARPA Chemical Detection Algorithm Challenge

The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) this week announced an innovation challenge to develop models and algorithms to accurately predict changes in a chemical’s infrared spectrum caused by changes in its molecular environment.

The Modeling of Reflectance Given Only Transmission of High-concentration Spectra for Chemical Recognition Over Widely-varying eNvironments (MORGOTH’S CROWN) Challenge invites experts from across government, academia, industry and developer communities, with or without experience in infrared spectral chemical detection, to create fast and accurate IR spectral models using new approaches that will advance technology and potentially foster enormous humanitarian impact.

IARPA will provide solvers with spectra of a set of bulk chemicals and surfaces, as well as spectra of a subset of the combinations of the chemicals deposited on various surfaces as training data. Participants are asked to generate an algorithm to predict the spectra of the remaining combinations of chemicals on surfaces.

To assist builders in this challenge, IARPA has gathered a list of resources to prepare for each stage in the Challenge. The documents summarize key parameters and physical models relevant to chemical spectral prediction, a wide variety of relevant literature references, information on how the challenge datasets were gathered, and detailed metadata for each of the challenge spectra to support your submissions:

During the Challenge, solvers will work on their algorithm and track their performance against other competitors on a leaderboard. Participants will improve their algorithm throughout the Challenge duration.

MORGOTH’S CROWN is part of the Standoff ILluminator for Measuring Absorbance and Reflectance Infrared Light Signatures (SILMARILS) program. SILMARILS aims to develop a portable system for real-time standoff detection and identification of trace chemical residues on surfaces using active infrared spectroscopy at a 30 meter range.

Learn more at IARPA’s Morgoth’s Crown Challenge webpage.

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