ESNC and Copernicus Masters 2017 – Polish achievements

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The 2017 editions of ESNC and Copernicus Masters were very successful to Polish entrants. This article describes three winners.

Every year, two important competitions are organized in the field of satellite data use. They are named European Satellite Navigation Competition (ESNC) and Copernicus Masters.

ESNC is the largest international competition for practical use of satellite navigation (GNSS). This year, the prize pool reached over € 1 million and applicants had a chance to win prizes in over 20 categories. This competition is also known under its popular name “Galileo Masters” which is a reference to the European navigation system Galileo, up and running since December 2016.

Copernicus Masters, on the other hand, focuses on the use of Earth observation satellite data. This competition refers to the European Copernicus system, which consists at this moments of six Sentinel satellites.

Results of the Polish ESNC 2017 edition

The Żukbot team on the final gala of Satellite Masters Conference / Photo: Blue Dot Solutions

The winner of the Polish ESNC 2017 edition was team “Żukbot” (English: “Beetlebot”), consisting of students working in the Student Automation Club SKALP operating in Gdansk’s University of Technology. Żukbot is an autonomous farming robot capable of performing numerous measurements and tasks. The stage of work on this rover is quite developed. Żukbot has already participated to the Field Robot Event competition, where it managed to achieve a high place on the podium.

Additionally, the GSA’s special award was won by the international team “CENTRIP”, led by Ms Ewa Kądziołka. The CENTRIP (ChildrEN TRIp Protector) project’s goal is to monitor the movement of young children while they are not under their parents’ supervision. CENTRIP is partly based on GNSS and partly on wireless forms of data exchange. This project’s goal is also to assist teachers in improving kids’ safety during school trips.
CENTRIP will soon be available in several European countries. An important point is, that this product stands out from the rest of the industry due to its easy adaptability to the needs of young children.

Polish team awarded at Copernicus Masters

Winners of the 2017 edition of Copernicus Masters / Credits – AZO

The Copernicus Masters competition is divided into a number of thematic awards. One of them is the Sustainable Development Challenge, focusing on the use of Earth observation data for sustainable development, safe agriculture, reducing human impact on the environment, and identifying various hazards such as chemical contamination.
This year’s Sustainable Development Challenge was awarded to “BeeNebulaApp” from Poland. This project’s goal is the protection of bees made possible by usage of automated reports. Those reports, generated by the use of Earth observation data, would be provided for users from the agricultural sector and for local authorities. This is an important issue, not only for environmental reasons but also for bee-based farming. The creators of the BeeNebulaApp project are two scientists from the Department of Remote Sensing of the Institute of Aviation.

It is a great achievement for a Polish team to be this year’s winner of the Sustainable Development Challenge. So far, relatively few Polish projects have won major awards at Copernicus Masters, partly due to strong presence of experienced Western competitors.

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