New challenges and opportunities arise as Europe’s Copernicus programme continues to launch the Sentinel satellites, converting their data into accessible products that can benefit citizens. The Space App Camps give developers the chance to deliver data from these and other satellites to the everyday user, via mobile apps.
Five teams from Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, the UK, Greece and India were selected by an expert jury and invited to participate in this second camp, which ran for three days at the SAP stand of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.
Developers of the Building Radar App, which uses satellite data to supply verified construction tips that enable users to focus on sales, took home the trophy of this Spanish event.
Building Radar allows customers to keep up with any construction project in their neighbourhood and around the world, tracking competitors' next moves and evaluating new strategic partnerships, in one smart platform.
Building Radar was also the overall winner 2015 Copernicus Masters and is currently hosted in ESA’s Business Incubation Centre in Bavaria, Germany.
Each team of three or four demonstrated how they utilise Earth observation data and business data in retail, construction, agriculture, climate and farming, to manage our world better.
New to this event is that start-ups with existing services were invited to join, and, for the first time, all teams presented their enhanced service at the Mobile World Congress.
The attendees were all former participants of the Copernicus Masters, the Space App Camp or one of 16 Business Incubation Centres managed by ESA’s Technology Transfer Programme Office, through which 400 start-ups have been supported to date.
Josef Aschbacher, Head of the Programme Planning and Coordination Service for ESA’s Earth Observation Programmes, said: “App Camp participants with their innovative concepts have impressively shown how the free data from our Sentinel satellites become useful to everyone.
“They provide a unique information source to inform European citizens about the state of our planet.”
Other apps developed during the Camp included the GAIA App, which allows farmers to benefit from early warnings and predictions for evaluating crops at risk, and the VanderSat App, which will present a service designed to aid the Dutch government in inspecting agricultural fields.
The WxFusion App provides near-realtime thunderstorm detection and forecasting up to an hour in advance for much of the globe, which would benefit aviation. The Weatherlogistics App presents several forecast products, resolved on a fine spatial scale for user-defined farms.
ESA’s Copernicus Policy Coordinator, Thomas Beer, thinks: “In this second Spanish edition, participants were particularly driven and talented. That did not come as a surprise because the new concept for this camp calls for already-tested app ideas to reach for the next level, to a fully operational app. They all worked impressively, along with the coaches, which helped them to create a perfect prototype. This new concept has produced excellent results.”
The Space App Camps started by ESA, supported by the ESA Transfer Technology Programme Office, sponsored by SAP and organised by AZO, seek to combine innovative ideas with the development of mobile applications and a multitude of services that use cloud computing, based on the endless amounts of data from space.