Team Myonit and Muon Solutions Oy wants to thank all the people and institutions met during the Helsinki Challenge competition. You made the journey valuable. Merry Xmas and Happy New Year to you all!

Christmas card 2017 - Muon Solutions (2)


Congratulations to all Helsinki Challenge finalists!


The finalists in the Helsinki Challenge competition have been chosen. Unfortunately @TeamMyonit is not one of the teams continuing into the final round.  Some judges had considered us as a prominent finalist as our “solution is clearly tackling a global challenge” but the chosen teams met the selection criteria better. Congratulations to all Helsinki Challenge finalists!

The work started by @TeamMyonit is not ending here. We continue the development of our muon monitor according to the plan. Currently we are conducting subsystem tests before entering into the full phase testing. First field tests will be conducted together with the Geological Survey of Finland.

Clean water and sustainable usage of water resources is one of the United Nations sustainable development goals (UN sdg 6: water). During the Helsinki Challenge competition our team has gained a lot of insight into the meaning of clean and accessible water not only for the individual human beings, but also for communities and nations as well. No solution is just science-based; also the human interaction (social and cultural aspects) level has to be understood before introducing new solutions.

@TeamMyonit continues to tackle the water crisis and we hope that in the future we can be one part of the solution bringing clean, affordable and accessible water for all.

Thank you for your support and interest towards our journey so far. But this is not the end; our journey continues and you can still follow us on twitter (@TeamMyonit) and through this blog (

Best regards,

Jari Joutsenvaara
Team Myonit
Twitter: @jjoutsenvaara, @TeamMyonit

Helsinki Challenge is a science-based idea competition and accelerator programme.  Helsinki Challenge is part of the Finland 100 jubilee year’s programme. The University of Helsinki organises the competition in collaboration with Aalto University, Hanken School of Economics, University of Eastern Finland, University of Jyväskylä, University of Oulu, University of the Arts Helsinki, University of Turku, University of Vaasa and Åbo Akademi University.

Helsinki Challenge Pitch Nights 6.-7.6.

“Water is the difference between life and death.” started the pitch talk of team Myonit in Helsinki Challenge semifinal Pitch Nights 6.-7.6. at the great hall of University of Helsinki, Finland.

Team Myonit is one of the twenty scientific teams participating in the Helsinki Challenge idea competition and accelerator program. The semifinal Pitch Nigths 6.-7.2017 are the final part before the up to seven finalist teams are published. From the pitch nights the team getting the most votes goes straight to the finals while the rest will be carefully evaluated by the grand jury. The voting is closes at 19:50 (Finnish time), so remember to vote for Team Myonit by sending sms with the number 7 to +358 457 396 0300.

The Helsinki Challenge crew together with the amazing teams and supporting audience created an inspiring atmosphere. We are proud to be among these great semifinalist teams of Helsinki Challenge.

The team getting the most votes during the Helsinki Channel Pitch Nights 6.-7.6.2017 will go straight to finals.. The voting closes at 19:50 (Finnish time), so remember to vote Team Myonit by sending sms with the number to +358 457 396 0300.

Semifinal pitch nights in Helsinki Challenge are closing in – Team Myonit will be on stage on 6th of June.


Team Myonit is preparing to be in the the Final stage of Helsinki Challenge. The impact, the feasibility, the communications and the community build assignments are done and we strongly believe we are ready for the next phase. Come and vote for our pitch on 6th of June (registration through the following link).

helsinki challenge pitch nights sustainable planet june 2017

The semifinal phase of Helsinki Challenge competition is approaching its end and teams are now putting all in for the final pitches. The 20 teams still in the competion are pitching under two themes Sustainable Planet (6th of June) and People in change and urban future (7th of June). The team succeeding the best (getting the most votes) in pitching will be granted straight access into the finals. Other teams entering the finals are then chosen from based on their evaluated assignments on AI, Community building, Impact and Feasibility. Team Myonit is pitching on 6th of June.

The journey already to this point has been an amazing experience and has provided many insights into how to develop research ideas into feasible businesses, and thus proving the needed continuity into tackling the global challenges. But the competion is still going on and we, @TeamMyonit, plan to be in the Final stage as well. So come and vote our pitch on 6th of June (again, registration through the following link). You can also view the pitches through this live stream link in youtube.

The pitcher for Team Myonit is Mr. Jari Joutsenvaara (@jjoutsenvaara).

As a reminder you can check our last pitch from the link.

From lab size prototypes to the real size prototype – the progress of Team Myonit

The construction of the first real-size prototype of Team Myonit detector for underground density variation monitoring is underway.

Team Myonit in Helsinki Challenge has moved from lab scale tests to real size prototype.

It takes lots of time and resources to put a scientific idea into practice. In all product development careful planning helps to avoid obvious pitfalls but prototyping is the actual phase when the idea is put into the real test, i.e. into practice. Team Myonit is now moving from laboratory scale tests to the real scale prototype.

The data obtained with the detectors will provide valuable information for geologists, geophysicists and hydrologists to determine where the aquifers could be. Detection of potentially permeable (that is, layers that have empty pore spaces for water to enter in) sedimentary and/or rock layers is based on identification of density contrasts. On average, permeable formations and structures are less dense than their less permeable counterparts and neighbor formations. The same simple principle holds true also the other way around: layers, structures and formations too impermeable to contain any water are more likely denser than those areas of the subsurface that host, or at least could host, groundwater.

If density contrasts between permeable and non-permeable layers are not large enough for reliable interpretation, longer time monitoring of the subsurface by using our detectors will reveal which layers are experiencing density changes, for example soon after weather conditions at the surface change from dry to wet, or vice versa. After storm, rain season or melting of snow, ephemeral rivulets and pools, if not dangerous floods, may locally form on the surface of the ground. Part of this water seeps downwards in the ground, as long as there is space for that water to flow into. The most permeable layers in the underlying sediments or rocks may then be recharged from water. This water is called groundwater. If the bedrock is fractured or just highly permeable, some of the new groundwater will enter deeper sections of the underground realm where it can stay stored from years to tens of thousands of years.

When considering density mapping of ground employed for the indirect identification of groundwater reservoirs, our instruments and data analysis methods have enormous potential to be highly usable tools in the future.

Insights from the impact camp of #helsinkichallenge accelerator program

Twenty semifinalists in the Helsinki Challenge accelerator program gathered at Långvik in Kirkkonummi for to define the societal impact of their solutions. The Helsinki Challenge accelerator program is also a science and innovation competition. All activity in the Helsinki Challenge program fit under the main theme of “Finnish Universities for better future”.

For the teams, the impact camp was an unique chance to test and challenge their research ideas to solve United Nations’ global goals with the help of innovation investors, politicians, communication professionals and design thinkers. The keynote speakers and especially mentors gave valuable input for the teams to further develop their ideas and solutions. Their role was to put forward new thoughts for the teams regarding their respective projects, and that they did with great results!

Below are some of the Team Myonit’s key insights and best lessons learnt from the Impact Camp (not in any specific order):

  • Our idea is concrete and achievable; te potential is global and business opportunity scalable
  • Defining the beachhead market is important
  • Define well your next steps and think hard how to push them through
  • Environmental and social responsibility are values that may elevate your company above your competitors, but not unless you really believe in those values; be transparent, honest and consistent
  • Securing funding / income will see you through the valley of death
  • Invite your key stakeholders into a common platform to raise awareness and create collaborations; it’s better to be in the same mighty ship than sail the stormy oceans with multiple dinghies
  • Our impact level is global, and the impact touches everyone: five billion customers and that’s just on Earth! (be brave, be bold and go where no man has gone before) 😉

Big thanks to the impact camp organisers and mentors for the intensive and insightful camp!

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Runar Bäckström and K.H. Renlund foundations supporting Muon Solutions Oy

Corporate partner of Team Myonit, an Oulu based start-up company, received grants from both Runar Bäckström and K.H. Renlund foundations for the development of a detector system for underground density variation measurements. CEO of Muon Solutions, Dr. Marko Aittola, received both the grants at the Pörssitalo, Helsinki, on 4th of April. The event was organised by the Technology Academy of Finland.

Award and grant recievers at Technology Academy Finland event.  Photo by TAF / Matti Rajala

The technology under development has its root in the decade-long scientific research conducted at the Centre for Underground Physics in Pyhäsalmi (CUPP, now under Callio Lab R&D innovation centre) at Pyhäsalmi Mine in Finland under the University of Oulu and Kerttu Saalasti Institute.

Team Myonit consists of researchers and engineer from Universities of Oulu and Jyväskylä and multidisciplanary experts from Muon Solutions Oy.

The first pitch of the Team Myonit

The Team Myonit is composed of seven scientists, from whom each is equipped with different skills and talents. The academic backgrounds of our scientists range from physicists and geologists to engineers. One of our team members, Dr. Panu Jalas, represented us in the first pitch night of the Helsinki Challenge competition in February 22nd 2017. In the following 6 minutes 30 seconds long presentation, Dr. Jalas goes through the problem, which is the global fresh water crisis, and our solution to the problem, which is new technology-based application of particle physics.

The technology the Team Myonit is developing is founded on the phenomenon that takes place every day, every second in the upper atmosphere. This phenomenon occurs when cosmic rays collide with particles of the Earth’s atmosphere and subsequently generate particles knowns as muons. The muons are unstable subatomic particles with a mean lifetime of 2.2 µs or 0.0000022 s. To learn how we plan to harness the muons for ground water exploration, check our pitch talk below.

Best regards,

Marko H


Global Fresh Water Crisis

As the world’s fresh water resources are diminishing due to climate change, overpopulation, mismanagement and over-extraction, there is a great need for new social, political and technological solutions that could help to tackle this crisis that occurs on a truly global scale. Although some areas of the world are lucky enough to have plenty of fresh water resources, many others are facing serious problems and even catastrophic droughts.

If the humankind do not succeed to solve this crisis before it goes out of control, even the most fresh water-rich countries will suffer of the less stable political global environment. The Team Myonit is developing new ground-breaking, state-of-the-art technology that can be used for a variety of applications, including fresh water exploration and hydrological studies.

Global fresh water crisis is arguably the most visible and dire of the climate change risks. Providing stable fresh water supplies is a priority for every country in the world. In fact, it can be said that water is a key issue in the fight to eradicate extreme poverty. It is hence healthy to ask what we can do to diminish the problems caused by lack of fresh water. Or, even better, what we can do to get rid of the problem once and for all. However, before we can discuss about the possible solutions, let’s take a look into the water crisis. What exactly is the fresh water crisis many countries are suffering from? As the problem is multifaceted, let’s put it in perspective before explaining what we, the Team Myonit, could do about it.

  • Today, there are over 663 million people living without a safe water supply close to home, spending countless hours queuing or trekking to distant sources, and coping with the health impacts of using contaminated water
  • Some 1.8 billion people use a source of drinking water contaminated with faeces, putting them at risk of contracting cholera, dysentery, typhoid and polio. Unsafe water, poor sanitation and hygiene cause around 842,000 deaths each year
  • Over the past hundred years, the world’s population has increased three times but there has been a sixfold increase in water consumption. If present trends continue there could be a 40% gap between water supply and demand by 2030. The effects of increasing water consumption will be made even worse by climate change
  • The World Bank predicts that India, as an example, only has 20 years before its aquifers will reach ‘critical condition’ – when demand for water will outstrip supply – an eventuality that will devastate the region’s food security, economic growth and livelihoods
  • Global water demand is projected to grow by 55% by 2050. By then 40% of the global population will live in “water-stressed” areas. Groundwater depletion is identified as the greatest threat to both agricultural and urban water supplies

The list of sources that have led to the global water crisis is a long one and includes at least climate change, droughts, overpopulation and mismanagement, over-extraction and pollution of water sources, political and institutional incompetence, a lack of implementation of existing laws and regulations, pervasive corruption, poor adoption rates of new and cost-effective technologies, lack of funding, research and exploration, lack of political awakening to the water crisis, and so on and on.

The reasons behind the water crisis are so complicated that there is no simple way to solve it. Instead, the water crisis can be tackled only by institutional co-operation, education and improved recycling of water resources, irrigation and agricultural practices, as well as improved water catchment and harvesting technologies. Before we have any chance to fix the problem we need also to develop and enact better water policies and regulations.

Team Myonit focuses to improve survey technology the societies use for ground water exploration and understanding hydrological circulation of water in layered subsurface. We’ll share with you some information about our solution in the upcoming blogs. Stay tuned!

Best regards,

Marko H



Students at Harmukayle Haji Mumin School wait in line to get a drink of water from the school taps, constructed with the support of UNICEF. Taken on March 14, 2011. ©UNICEF Ethiopia/2011/ Getachew.

Footnote: This particular blog drew ideas and information from the following internet pages:

The Journey of Team Myonit in Helsinki Challenge competition

Hi there!

We are Team Myonit, a team consisting of researchers from Universities of Oulu and Jyväskylä, and corporate partners from Muon Solutions Oy. This is our Blog.

We are participating in Helsinki Challenge competition – Finnish Universities for Better World, and out of 110 applications we are currently in the top 20. The idea of the competition is to have research groups to bring their research to help to find solutions for global problems. We are aiming to get a solution to one of the severest problems of our time: the global fresh water crisis.

Our scientist are in the field of astroparticle physics, and we study cosmic rays. This might sound a bit far from Earth-related issues, but with the help of high energy cosmic ray particles it is possible to have a view pass the surface of Earth and see what lies underground.

With this blog we hope to provide you glimpses of what we do and how we are proceeding in the Helsinki challenge competition. This competition and the use of social media are small steps for the mankind, but huge steps for us, the researchers, to connect with the World.

You are welcome to tag along and join the journey of Team Myonit. You can find us in twitter #TeamMyonit and of course through this blog.

Best regards,

Jari J.

Communications manager for the Team Myonit