The first Czech round of international innovation hackathon ActInSpace was launched this year at the initiative of CNES (French National Space Agency) and ESA (European Space Agency). The entire event took place concurrently in 71 cities in 35 countries and 5 continents. The goal was to find an innovative use of space technologies with business potential within 24 hours according to one of the 80 predefined challenges.
The ActInSpace 2018 Prague National Round took place on Friday and Saturday 25th - 26th May 2018 in the Round Hall of the Czech University of Life Sciences Prague. A total of 70 people in 9 teams participated, with a four-member team representing the CULS Prague. At the same time, 28 specialized mentors - 3 from the Czech University of Life Sciences Prague - were ready to help the teams in both business and technical matters. The five-member jury awarded the best three teams.
The third place went to the "RapidSense" team from Hungary, which has developed a multi-stage method that utilizes satellite data to optimize efficiency of rooftop solar panels, taking into account their average daily efficiency and shade shielding. At the same time, the team dealt with the issue of global temperature changes caused by the loss of vegetation.
The Silver Medal was awarded to the "Let's Earth" team that focused on reducing the financial burden placed upon consumers using an application allowing real estate owners to use renewable energy efficiently. With analytical services, customers are familiar with detailed recommendations on how to save money with the most feasible use of renewable resources.
As the best, the jury evaluated the "VRUE4" team with the Farway project, a visualization and planning 3D engine for missions and operations located at great distances - whether in space, on land or under ocean. Developed software enables operators to visualize the mission and behavior of the individual actors and to plan the mission to the smallest detail. As input, it gathers data from analytical and simulation tools such as Matlab & Simulink, LabView, ROS and STK. From this data, an accurate and photorealistic model of the mission is created, with the ability to visualize mission-critical elements, either in 3D or through immersive technologies such as virtual and augmented reality. This software can also receive live telemetry data from control systems such as OpenMCT to visualize the mission in real time. If something is not within the parameters of a given mission, the operator has the option to change it directly in the Farway tool and send this edit for validation back to analytical and simulation tools. The icing on the cake is then the ability to simulate sensory input based on visual data for machine vision and learning systems, which can help semi-autonomous and autonomous systems learn to behave based on the various situations that can occur within the mission and can be simulated in this tool.
The authors of the Farway project will take part in an international final at the Toulouse Space Showon June 27, 2018. They will present their ideas to internationally recognized technical and business space technology experts and compete with the winners of the national rounds of all participating countries for interesting prizes. The winner of the international round will receive, for example, pilot training on the A320 Airbus simulator, the opportunity to test the weightlessness of the Zero G flight, or a financial contribution of up to 100,000 euros for satellite imagery data and support for their own start-up.
The award-winning teams are not the only one who deserve recognition, but all participants in the event, including the present mentors. We would like to thank all those who participated in this ActInSpace Prague on behalf of the organizers of ESA BIC Prague. We believe that the time and energy spent on this event was meaningful. ActInSpace is more than just a competition. It's an opportunity to meet other space technology enthusiasts and try to use the creative and motivating atmosphere to create the most fantastic ideas that can become reality.
Taken and edited from ESA business incubation centre Prague.