Approximately 44% of the world's population live within 150 kilometres of the coast, and the UK is in the top 15 countries with the longest coastline extents in the world, with nowhere in the UK being more than 113 kilometres (70 miles) from the coast.
Maritime services based on the integrated use of space-based systems are of interest to a wide range of user communities and classes: Fisheries, Coast Guards, Port Authorities, Military Bodies, Shipping Companies, Commercial Operators, International, National and European Institutions.
In Spring 2019 we ran a competition with ESA Business Applications, looking for new commercial and sustainable ideas that utilise space services and technologies for UK and global coastal monitoring. Topic areas for proposals included (but were not limited to):
The overall objective of the Coastal Applications Competition - "Mostly Coastly" - was to stimulate the submission of new ideas for commercially viable and sustainable services that show innovative utilisation of space services and technologies, such as: Satellite Communications, Satellite Navigation, Earth Observation or Human Spaceflight technologies.
This involved either the improvement of existing operational processes and services or the generation of new applications. The call specifically seeked proposals that concerned services and markets related to coastal applications in the UK and other territories.
The winning bidders displayed a strong market perspective and will receive the opportunity to investigate the commercial viability and the technical feasibility of their project via a LaunchPad Initiative applications project that utilises at least one space asset, or potentially a combination of assets.
Each of the 4 selected proposals have won the opportunity to investigate the commercial viability and technical feasibility of their project with funding of up to 25,000€ (as 50% co-funding of total project value).
For activities where a good market and technical feasibility can be proven, the bidders will have the opportunity to further develop and implement their idea up to a pre-operational level via a follow-on Demonstration Project within ESA Business Applications.
Four proposals have been awarded funding under the UK LaunchPad Initiative Coastal Applications Competition. It is anticipated that all four will be exhibiting at the UKSA Space2Conect event in London on 14 January 2020. A separate workshop is planned later in 2020 to present the respective project outcomes.
The funded companies and applications are:
Deploying low cost GNSS units in a monitoring network around assets of value (e.g. infrastructure, buildings, land estates, cultural sites, etc.) in areas at risk of damage from coastal collapse. Provides information on the onset of movement allowing users to take actions to react and mitigate losses.
Using EO (primarily Sentinel) to identify the current extent of UK natural flood defensive saltmarsh coverage. Also to identify where natural and sensible realignment might be selected based on historical evidence that can be observed from space.
Utilising high temporal and spatial resolution EO data to monitor the changing and dynamic extent and nature of intertidal features associated with coastal adaptation schemes such as realignment, sand-scraping and sand engines in areas of coastal erosion.
Pioneering seawater farming in the UK by combining satellite imagery with IoT sensor data to allow a holistic view of coastal site selection and monitoring to promote climate resilience through innovative sustainable farming and restoring wetland environments.