A system to use satellite positioning and wind direction to help canine rescue teams search an area won the grand prize at this year’s European Satellite Navigation Competition. The Galileo Master top prize was given to Spain-based GMV for its Osmógrafo system at the competition’s award ceremony, held on 21 October at the Munich Residenz, Munich, Germany.
As the winner of the Galileo Master Prize, GMV was awarded a grant of €20,000 provided by Anwendungszentrum GmbH Oberpfaffenhofen, the competition’s organiser, and the European GNSS Supervisory Authority (GSA). The GSA sponsors the event as a means of fostering satellite-based applications that use EGNOS and Galileo.
Osmógrafo is a portable system that maps areas covered by canine search-and-rescue teams using satellite navigation positioning embedded on the dogs’ collars, their scent capabilities and the direction and speed of the wind. The real-time technology will allow rescue teams to coordinate a systematic search of an area and help ensure they have not missed those in need of help.
Osmógrafo was developed by GMV as part of a project that received funding through the EU’s Sixth Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP6).
GMV also won the competition’s regional prize for Madrid and the special topic prize for the best safety-of-life application, awarded by the Institute for the Development of Madrid Region (IMADE), the Madrid aerospace cluster and other sponsoring partners.
The European Satellite Navigation Competition is held annually to encourage the market development of applications based on the use of satellite navigation, including EGNOS and Galileo. Prizes include cash awards and the use of regional business incubation services.
In addition to the Galileo Master Prize, seven other special topic prizes and 16 other regional prizes were awarded at the 2009 European Satellite Navigation Competition.
Other special topic prizes
- The GSA’s special topic prize went to the team behind Nogago, an outdoor navigation system for smartphones. Dr Sara Brockmans, Dr Raphael Volz, and Dr Markus Noga were recognised for having submitted the best idea exploiting the unique properties of EGNOS, the European geostationary augmentation system for GPS.
- The European Space Agency (ESA) prize went to PosiTim for a software application that provides positioning data with millimetre accuracy to all Global Navigation Satellite System service providers. PosiTim also won the Hesse regional prize.
- The T-Systems prize went Munich-based Aipermon for AiperCare, a remote support system for at-home senior care. AiperCare combines movement sensors with satellite positioning and mobile communications to inform caregivers by text message in case certain predefined changes occur to the patients.
- The German Aerospace Centre (DLR) prize went to RWTH Aachen, a German technical university, for developing a security system to verify the defined positions of locomotives with increased accuracy using Galileo. The university also won the North Rhine-Westphalia regional award.
- NAVTEQ presented its prize to a team from Taiwan's Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) for developing TravMate, a real-time touring service for travellers that is financed by user fees and location-based advertising.
- The Baden-Württemberg Forum for Applied Satellite Navigation and Mobile IT (Forum SatNav MIT BW) presented its award to KLR Consult’s Galileo GeoSeal, which guarantees and verifies dynamic anti-spoofing codes issued by a its centre to contain the spread of counterfeit or potentially dangerous goods. KLR Consult also received the Lower Saxony regional prize.
- The EU’s Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) programme also awarded two special topic prizes at the competition. The GMES Master award for the best combination of dynamic earth observation data and satellite navigation went to France-based start-up Atmosphere, a Thalès spin off, for an application that allows aircraft to share geo-localised atmospheric observations. The proposal also won the Nice–Sophia Antipolis regional award and took third place in the final international round.
- The GMES prize for the best public-sector application was awarded to Italy-based Altran for a GPS sensor network that monitors and analyses the behaviour of complex dynamic systems – including atmospheric flows, oceanic surface movements, tectonic movements, and traffic on land, air and sea.
Other regional prizes.
Pocketweb was named Australia's regional winner for Hammer Crowd, a mobile, location-based community for truck drivers.
- GUIGO won the Baden-Württemberg award for a satellite-aided, hands-free tool designed for the visually impaired, competitive open-water swimmers, and other users.
- Bavaria’s prize went to Wolfgang Inninger of the Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flows and Logistics and Gerd Waizmann of proTime GmbH for their Avalanche Rescue Navigator (ARN), a satellite-based method of quickly, accurately, and simultaneously locating the position and depth of multiple avalanche victims.
- South Holland's prize went to three students – Erwin Marges, Stefan Zhelyazkov, and Georgos Valaouras - for developing SnowMate, a mobile device that uses GPS to measure speed, course and elevation profiles while helping to accurately locate avalanche victims by radio.
- The Basque region of Gipuzkoa awarded its prize to iSaski for a computerised system that localises the position and physical properties of incoming ships at port in 3D.
- Israel awarded its regional prize to Dimension 4 Ltd. for developing the first solid-state atomic clock on a silicon chip. Their idea uses the energy transitions in monolithic crystals to create highly accurate clock frequencies, which makes it possible to manufacture small, low-cost, energy-conserving clocks.
- Lombardy’s prize went to Thales Alenia Space Italia for an open platform architecture for GNSS receivers – one that can process GPS, EGNOS, and Galileo signals.
- Prague's regional award went to a consortium of four Czech companies (Cominfo, MacTech City, Medetron and Toumaz Technology) for Inpresol, an integrated system for remote prenatal monitoring that helps identify the time and location of premature births.
- Switzerland awarded its prize to HSR Hochschule für Technik Rapperswil for EveDars, a vehicle navigation system that aims to reduce energy consumption by up to 25% by providing suggestions on energy-efficient driving styles, mileage and routes.
- Taiwan's regional winner, ShadowGuide, was developed by a team from the Industrial Technology Research Institute and provides a system for group tours based on GPS-enabled wristwatches that communicate wirelessly with one other and can transmit distress signals to a server when needed. The system won second place in the overall competition.
- The United Kingdom and Ireland prize was awarded to Mudlark for Heartlands, a mobile, location-based game in which the player's body becomes the joystick.
- Valencia awarded its regional prize to Galileo Geosystems for the development of an intelligent, wireless GNSS microsensor network for use in monitoring catastrophes such as forest fires and toxic accidents.
Next year’s European Satellite Navigation Competition will commence with an international event held from 3-5 March 2010 at the European Commission's Charlemagne Conference Centre in Brussels. The event will be hosted by the European Commission and organised by the GSA and The Application Centre for Satellite Navigation in Oberpfaffenhofen (AZO) Germany.
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