Oct 24, 2014

Copernicus MASTERS Awards 2014

The Copernicus Masters 2014, which was held worldwide for the first time, received more than 170 entries from 43 different countries. The application ideas submitted to the Copernicus Masters 2014 offer a glimpse into the next generation of Earth observations services in a wide array of business and societal sectors, including health, infrastructure, catastrophe management, agriculture and forestry, and environmental protection. Our thanks go out to all of our participants and partners for their dedicated support helped to make the 2014 edition a great success. We proudly present this year’s outstanding award-winners!

Estimated Article Reading Time: 4 min.


Radar Constellation Challenge by Airbus Defence and Space & Hisdesat
PUNNET – Land Stability Monitoring & Mapping

PUNNET is the world’s first solution for extensive, uninterrupted coverage of land stability monitoring and mapping. By using a novel algorithm, the software is now able to provide a much clearer picture of deformation over a wider set of land cover classes than other methods. This represents a major step forward for users in industries such as oil and gas, exploration, and construction; public authorities; and environmental organisations. PUNNET is creating millimetric-precision maps of land surface deformation from series of radar satellite images to support adherence to regulations and industry standards…

Dr Andrew Sowter and Paul Bhatia, University of Nottingham, UK


Ideas Challenge
CyanoLakes – Cyanobacteria Public Info Service

Millions of lakes and other freshwater bodies around the world are threatened by the occurrence of harmful algal blooms caused mainly by cyanobacteria. CyanoLakes is a public information and warning service that uses novel algorithms and cutting-edge research to differentiate between toxic cyanobacteria blooms and harmless algae. The service offers weekly updates, forecasts, and nowcasts (in near-real time) on cyanobacteria blooms through mobile applications and assists in the management of aquatic systems around the globe…

Dr Mark William Matthews, CyanoLakes, South Africa

ESA App Challenge
Fallen Trees – Storm Inventory Management App

The Fallen Trees mobile project monitors windthrown forests and addresses the acute need for inventory management when big storms strike. Satellite-based monitoring inherently covers large areas and offers a quick and efficient alternative to traditional methods involving helicopters, UAVs, or other light aircraft. Based on technology newly available through the Copernicus Sentinel-1 satellite, the Fallen Trees app offers an affordable and attractive forest monitoring and administration solution for owners, insurance companies, and the forestry industry at large…

Anders Wihlborg, The Code Company AB, Sweden

DLR Energy & Environmental Challenge
Global Seagrass Monitoring Initiative

Seagrass ecosystems serve as sealife nursery grounds, wave protection, a source of oxygen, a buffer against coastal erosion, and more. The Global Seagrass Monitoring Initiative aims to create a network of NGOs, universities, and ecotourism businesses dedicated to the monitoring and conservation of seagrass habitats. Using remotely sensed data from multispectral scanners (SPOT-5, RapidEye, Sentinel-3), this initiative can rapidly and consistently map seagrass distributions whilst retrospectively assessing degradation rates and the efficacy of restoration efforts…

Samuel Matthews and Dimosthenis Traganos, Archipelagos Institute of Marine Conservation, Greece

T-Systems Big Data Challenge
rasdaman – Science SQL on Petabyte Datacubes

Science SQL enables scientists and engineers to flexibly explore and analyse massive amounts of multidimensional data from sensors, images, simulations, and statistics. Its concept provides scientists and engineers with a higher quality of service at greater speed: They express what they need, and the server delivers precisely tailored results. This enables new styles of discovery and dramatic cost savings. rasdaman is in use on Earth observation satellites and climate databases containing hundreds of terabytes, where it offers analyses of snow and ice cover, atmospheric and oceanography data, and subsurface and geophysical information…

Dr Peter Baumann, Jacobs University, Germany

The European Space Imaging & Skybox Imaging High-Res Challenge
Nuclear Test Sight – Frequent Global Imagery for Non-Proliferation and Disarmament

This research showcase aims to raise public awareness for the value of emerging high-res satellite resources in ensuring international peace and security. An example application has been designed to monitor prohibited nuclear weapon-testing activities at a North Korean case-study test site. Experts will analyse Skybox Imaging satellite data on the test site at weekly, daily, and sub-daily intervals. The resulting research will provide informative support to multilateral bodies, thus helping them verify compliance with the applicable international treaties…

Tamara Patton, Vienna Center for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation, Austria

CloudEO Farming Challenge
FieldSense – Simple Monitoring of Crop Health Using Satellite Data

FieldSense is a smartphone and tablet application that allows farmers to easily monitor the health of their crops. Based on high-resolution optical satellite images (Sentinel-2A and -2B), FieldSense will provide farmers with easy-to-understand colour maps indicating the health status of crops. The app will help farmers to make informed decisions about how to tackle crop health issues, reduce crop loss, and improve yields. FieldSense will also reduce the need for travel to check crop health on-site…

John Smedegaard and team, Ceptu, Denmark

Transport and Logistics Challenge by Satellite Applications Catapult
Transport Sentry – “After-Event” Transport Infrastructure Scanning

Extreme weather events are having increasingly negative effects on our transport infrastructures, with roads and rails suffering from disruptions due to landslides and other such interruptions to service. The service proposed by Stevenson Astrosat will provide transport network operators with satellite information on pre-identified “problem spots” even in the most remote portions of their networks, thus eliminating the need for time-consuming patrols. Such operators will also benefit from the ability to quickly examine their infrastructure for signs of disruptive events…

Steve Lee and team, Stevenson Astrosat Ltd, UK

Best Service Challenge
FireHub – A Space-Based Fire Management Hub

The operational EO-based fire management service FireHub consists of three pillars: a) 24/7 real-time fire detection and monitoring at a spatial resolution of 500 metres, b) large-scale burn scar mapping during and after wildfires that populates a unique diachronic inventory and observatory of fire events across Greece, and c) hourly smoke dispersion forecasting. The service is freely available to end users through a Web-GIS application (http://ocean.space.noa.gr/FireHub) and is fully transferable to diverse sites all over Europe…

Charalampos Kontoes and team, National Observatory of Athens (NOA), Greece