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Copernicus Masters announces winner of Astrosat’s End to End challenge

(21 November 2016)After consistent wins at the Copernicus Masters – one of Europe’s most prestigious and lucrative competitions in the field of Earth Observation (EO) – Edinburgh-based space services and management company Astrosat has set the challenge this year.

Astrosat posed an End-To-End challenge to aspiring space services companies, looking for a space based solution to an earthbound problem.

After a tough competition, the eventual winners were National Space Centre (Ireland), which came up with a proposed sensor suite designed to monitor seaweed growth, titled Seaweed Crop Assurance, Monitoring, Prospecting, & Ecological Resource (SCAMPER) management.

With seaweed production becoming a multi-billion Euro food crop, the team at the National Space Centre took note of the present difficulty in accurately quantifying the seaweed available. The best currently available method involves selective surveying and relies on estimation and extrapolation, with data collection methods running at least two years behind actuality.

With a tricky earth bound problem in its sights, the team went on to impress Astrosat judges with a clear and coherent set of plans to use novel sensors and services to monitor Intertidal – fast growing seaweed beds which are exposed at low tide – as well as Submerged seaweed – slower growing, underwater beds which are very difficult to accurately assess.

Alan McLarney, Chief Technical Officer at Astrosat, said: “National Space Centre (Ireland) was chosen as winner for the Astrosat challenge as its SCAMPER concept was targeted at a real world commercial need which could not yet be served from space.
“Most importantly they presented solid technical benefits and a realistic business case for how this service would run if it were to be deployed.
“This showed the National Space Centre (Ireland) had really thought through what the benefits of using MUSES were for both themselves and for their end customers. We really like that kind of thinking at Astrosat and are looking forward to working closer with them”.

The winners will not only receive a bespoke support package worth €8,000, but will get the chance to work with Astrosat in making SCAMPER a reality with a satellite data quota worth €10,000.

For further information, contact Ola Domagalska at