Search-and-rescue application Osmógrafo won the Galileo Master prize of the 2009 European Satellite Navigation Competition October 21 at an awards ceremony at Munich Residence in Germany. Eight special topic prizes and 17 regional honors were awarded along with the €20,000 grand prize, all of which are designed to recognize the best GNSS application innovations of the year.
The competition covers 18 partner regions that reward innovative applications of satellite navigation. The best idea is awarded the grand prize: Galileo Master. Other prizes are awarded by ESA, T-System, DLR, GSA, NAVTEQ, SatNav, GMES, and the city of Madrid.
Osmógrafo combines satellite positioning with wind measurement and rescue dogs’ sense of smell in order to better determine which areas have already been covered by search teams. The prototype tool supports canine search and rescue. Following building collapses in events such as earthquakes, dogs are often used to find victims under the rubble. By tracking the dogs via satnav receivers on their collars, Osmografo reveals areas still to be searched, increasing the odds of finding survivors.
For this system — developed as part of the sixth framework programme of the European Commission — the Spanish company GMV was chosen as the Madrid regional winner and also received the special topic prize for the best safety-of-life application from Imade, the Madrid aerospace cluster and other sponsoring partners like Deimos and INDRA.
The ESNC’s international jury concurred, naming the Osmógrafo the competition’s overall winner. José Caro Ramon (pictured) was in attendance at the Munich Residenz to accept all three awards on behalf of GMV. Seven other participants were recognized by partners from research and industry for winning solutions in the following categories:
- Ralf Nejedl, director of T-Systems’ Galileo program, presented the prize for the best satellite-aided e-health solution to a team from the Munich-based company Aipermon. Thomas Schweizer, Dominik Wegertseder, Nancy Gimpel, Klaus Roleff, and Nils Böffel developed 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.
- Aerospace program director Hubert Reile and technology marketing director Rolf-Dieter Fischer of the German Aerospace Center (DLR) awarded a security system designed by RWTH Aachen, a German technical university. This system uses the exact rail-position markings of the European Train Control System (ETCS) to verify the defined Galileo positions of locomotives with increased accuracy. Dr René Rütters accepted the prize along with the North Rhine-Westphalia regional award.
- Pedro Pedreira, Executive Director of the European GNSS Supervisory Authority (GSA) presented his organization’s prize to the team behind Nogago, a highly precise outdoor navigation system for smartphones. Sara Brockmans, Raphael Volz, and Markus Noga were recognised for having submitted the best idea exploiting the unique properties of EGNOS, the European geostationary augmentation system for GPS.
- Marc Nadell, vice president of partner and developer programs at NAVTEQ, presented TravMate as the winner of the best location-based service idea for wireless devices and the receiver of a 12-month incubation program with NAVTEQ Network for Developers™ (NN4D). The TravMate team from Taiwan’s Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) – consisting of Hui-Kuo Yang, Yu-Hsiang Chuang, Je-Wie Liang, Chi-Chun Kao, Po-Wen Wang and Shih-Wen Wang – developed this real-time touring service for travelers. In addition to a professional service centre, TravMate involves local assistant networks and will be financed by usage fees and location-based advertising.
- The innovation prize of the European Space Agency (ESA) went to Tim Springer of the Hesse, Germany-based start-up PosiTim for a software solution that provides positioning data to all Global Navigation Satellite System service providers with millimeter accuracy. The award was presented by Frank M. Salzgeber, head of the ESA’s Technology Transfer Programme along with the Hesse regional prize.
- The Baden-Württemberg Forum for Applied Satellite Navigation and Mobile IT (Forum SatNav MIT BW) presented an award for the first time this year, recognizing the best security-related solution for the transport and logistics sector. The official honors were left to forum director Siegfried Wagner, who introduced Galileo GeoSeal — an innovation that uses dynamic anti-spoofing codes guaranteed and verified by a Galileo GeoSeal centre to contain the spread of counterfeit or potentially dangerous goods. Klaus Rieck of KLR Consult GbR also received the Lower Saxony regional prize for his idea.
- Also making its debut at ESNC 2009 was the GMES Masters award for the best combination of dynamic earth observation data and satellite navigation. The commercial version of the award went to Jean-Marc Gaubert of the French start-up Atmosphere (Thalès spin-off), whose application simultaneously complements weather data through general aviation and sends updates to other aircraft. The idea was also named the winner of the Nice / Sophia Antipolis region and took third place in the final international round.