Copernicus Masters 2013: Earth Monitoring Competition to award EUR 335,000 in prizes and Satellite data

The European Geomatics environment is really something I envy. If the European Satellite Navigation Competition held earlier this year was about getting crowned as the Galileo Master for coming up with innovative ideas for utilizing Europe’s own GPS i.e. GALILEO, the Copernicus Masters is all about remote sensing!

The European Earth Monitoring Competition Copernicus Masters is rewarding ideas and innovative solutions benefitting business and society based on Earth observation data. Entries will be accepted in nine categories from 1 June until 15 September 2013. This year, the BMW Group Research and Technology has joined the competition as new supporting partner, with its “ConnectedDrive” Challenge.

Copernicus Masters 2013You can actually target any one of the nine challenges (I like to call them opportunities) that the Copernicus Masters has on offer. Here’s where you can get more information regarding them.

What makes the Copernicus Masters unique and happening is the variety in the challenges that it offers.

I can’t recall any Satellite Remote Sensing Competition having a challenge where the participants can use their artist skills; I am talking GEO Illustration

Participants in the GEO Illustration Challenge “Traces of Humankind” will be asked to reveal and illustrate humankind’s footprint on our planet – including all manner of effects produced by both current and long past developments – in vivid, artistic ways based on satellite images. But sadly only European Citizens are eligible for this particular GEO Illustration challenge. The  main reason why I envy the European Geomatics Environment!

My personal favourite among the nine “opportunities” is the BMW Challenge. BMW has been focussing quite a lot on the connected car concept – in fact, Aleks wrote about it this morning, so in a sense there are no surprises that “The BMW ConnectedDrive Challenge will reward the best idea that either brings a thrilling new service into the car using Copernicus data or unleashes novel business potential using crowdsourced, high-value Earth-monitoring data”

Cant blame me for being biased towards navigation 😉

BMW's connected drive challenge

BMW’s connected drive challenge

There’s an App challenge for all the android and iPhone programmers, the High resolution challenge for the “loyal” remote sensing enthusiasts .

Well that’s enough of me taking about the challenges 🙂 Good Luck with your ideas!

All hail the Copernicus Competition!

Copernicus?! Well, actually the European Satellite Navigation Competition was aptly called the GALILEO master after EU’s GNSS system. The Copernicus was something I had to dig deeper to find out. The former Global Monitoring for Environment and Security which is one of EU’s grand satellite programs was renamed as Copernicus in 2011. In short, its the European Earth Observation Program.

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GNSS Software Defined Receiver Project

The science behind the GPS/GNSS receiver is something that one marvels at; so many complexities. However, it still remains very very simple at a conceptual level.  But the science behind it is really advanced! In fact, I believe that Einstein would have been proud of the GPS industry. Now, wondering why would Einstein be so proud – it is in fact the only commercial domain in which the relativity theory is being actively used.

The first thing that comes to our mind when we say GPS is either a car navigation system or a hand-held receiver being operated by some guy with survey equipments. More often that not, each receiver has it own proprietary firmware on it and can be accessed only as the company wants to you to.

A lot of researchers have wanted to break the shackles so that they can write their own ionospheric modelling algorithm and see if it works fine or maybe change something in the way the navigation bits are being read. Without having to use simulators and the like. In a sense, the researchers and “rebels” wanted to work with their hardware, the way they wanted it to behave. With commercial receivers that was a little too difficult!

So for all of us who want to get to understand “more” about the GPS receiver at its code level and perhaps try and play around with the algorithm – Here’s the link to get to do all that and more.

GNSS-SDR is an open-source GNSS software receiver freely available to the research community. This project provides a common framework for GNSS signal processing which can operate in a variety of computer platforms. This tool is intended to foster collaboration, increase awareness, and reduce development costs in the field of GNSS receiver design and customized use of GNSS signals.

What is a Software defined receiver!?

What is a Software defined receiver!?

Good Luck with your algorithm 😉 Here’s how you can participate in this project – link.

P.S: I actually wanted to write about an amazing piece of work that helps experiment with GPS receivers using a really cheap and accessible piece of Hardware but I suppose I have to wait before I write about that. Soon, that’s a promise 🙂

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