The Satellite Applications Catapult, an independent technology and innovation company, last night presented the winner of the Copernicus Masters Transport and Logistics Challenge, Stevenson Astrosat Ltd, with its prize of business support worth £10,000.
The Copernicus Masters is an Earth monitoring competition that was set up to help stimulate innovative solutions for business and society based on Earth observation (EO) data. Stevenson Astrosat won the award for its ‘Transport Sentry’ technology, an infrastructure monitoring concept that exploits data from Sentinel-1, the first of the European Space Agency’s Copernicus Programme satellites.
Due to the changing climate, extreme weather events are increasingly causing huge problems for transport infrastructures. Roads and railways, in particular, suffer disruptions due to landslides and other interruptions to service. Given the widely dispersed nature of transport infrastructures, it can be difficult to identify disruptive events before they affect services, particularly in very rural areas. Transport Sentry uses Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) and optical satellites to rapidly examine road and infrastructures that network operators have previously identified as potential problem areas and quickly report damage back to a transport infrastructure operator.
Stuart Martin, CEO of the Satellite Applications Catapult, said: “The Catapult was very keen to support and develop the UK’s challenge for the Copernicus Masters Competition and was very impressed at the calibre of technologies and solutions submitted. Transport Sentry was chosen as the Transport and Logistics Challenge winner because its business offers significant commercial potential, particularly for large countries with low population densities, such as Sweden and Canada. Transport Sentry will help network operators around the world to take the appropriate action to help minimise disruption to entire transport networks and the end-users who rely on them.”
Stuart continued: “We are also delighted that this year’s overall winner of the competition was another UK organisation, the University of Nottingham, which developed ‘PUNNET’ – a novel procedure aiming at land stability monitoring and mapping, which offers millimetre-level precision. PUNNET enables large-scale coverage of land deformation that occurs due to mining, groundwater extraction or drilling. This technology represents a major step forward for users such as the oil and gas industry, exploration companies, and the construction industry, as well as for public authorities and environmental protection organisations.”
Notes for editors
The annual Copernicus Masters competition was established in 2011. Its aim is to reward companies that develop innovative solutions for business and society that are based on Earth observation data. The 2014 competition included nine different topic specific challenges.
Stevenson Astrosat is a space services and technology company based in Scotland. As winner of the 2014 Transport and Logistics Challenge, it will receive a tailor-made business support package from the Satellite Application Catapult that may include access to the Catapult’s technical and business expertise, use of its state-of-the-art facilities and/or use of its Climate and Environment Monitoring from Space (CEMS) cloud computing facility.