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The Best GNSS Application Innovations of 2009

Eight special topic prizes and 17 regional honours awarded along with €20,000 grand prize

The grand prize winner of the 2009 European Satellite Navigation Competition, 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.

For this system – which was 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 was in attendance at the Munich Residenz to accept all three awards on behalf of GMV.

Seven other participants were recognised by partners from research and industry for winning solutions in the following categories:

- Ralf Nejedl, director of T-Systems’ Galileo programme, presented the prize for the best satellite-aided e-health solution to a team from the Munich-based company Aipermon. Dr. 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 programme director Dr Hubert Reile and technology marketing director Dr 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 organisation’s prize to the team behind ‘NOGAGO’, a highly precise outdoor navigation system for smartphones. Dr Sara Brockmans, Dr Raphael Volz, and Dr 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 programmes 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 programme 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 travellers. 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 millimetre 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, recognising the best security-related solution for the transport and logistics sector. The official honours 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.

The GMES prize for the best public-sector application was awarded to Ludovico de Cinti of the Italian company Altran for a GPS sensor network that monitors and analyses large-area chaotic systems, including ocean currents, tectonic shifts, and air traffic. Both GMES awards were presented by Thierry Bahougne, Managing Director of EPA Plaine du Var / Eco Valley project.

In addition, 17 regional winners were selected by the ESNC’s partner regions:
Pocketweb’s Australian-German start-up team – including Dr Alexander Koeppen, Hanno Blankenstein, Michael Heinzel, and Tony Culshaw – was named Australia’s regional winner for Hammer Crowd, a mobile, location-based community for truck drivers.
Frank Schubert, Christoph Abart, Jakob Jakobsen, Nagaraj Shivaramaiah, and Stefan Kappeler of the GUIGO team won over the Baden-Württemberg jury with their GUIding GOggles, a satellite-aided, hands-free tool designed for the visually impaired, competitive open-water swimmers, and other potential users.
Two regional winners were recognised for their avalanche rescue systems:
For Bavaria, Wolfgang Inninger of the Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flows and Logistics (IML) and Gerd Waizmann of proTime GmbH won with Avalanche Rescue Navigator (ARN), their satellite-based method of quickly, accurately, and simultaneously locating the position and depth of multiple avalanche victims. Meanwhile, three students – Erwin Marges, Stefan Zhelyazkov, and Georgos Valaouras – won South Holland’s prize for SnowMate, a mobile device that combines fun and safety on the slopes. Their solution uses GPS to measure speed, course and elevation profiles, and more while helping to simply and accurately locate avalanche victims by radio.

The newcomer Basque region of Gipuzkoa awarded Dr Kutz Arrieta of iSaski for a computerised system that localises the position and physical properties of incoming ships in 3D, which increases both safety and efficiency by optimising freighter berthing in port operations.

Dr Lahav Gan and Dr Or Peleg of the Israeli start-up Dimension 4 Ltd. won the award of another new partner region – Israel – for developing the first solid-state atomic clock on a silicon chip. Their idea utilises the energy transitions in monolithic crystals to create highly accurate clock frequencies, which makes it possible to manufacture small, low-cost, energy-conserving clocks.

Livio Marradi of Thales Alenia Space Italia won over the Lombardy region’s experts with an open platform architecture for GNSS receivers – one that can process GPS, EGNOS, and Galileo signals and thus facilitate considerable advantages in using current and future satellite constellations.

Prague’s regional award went to a consortium of four Czech companies: Vaclav Kolcava from COMINFO, Dr Jaroslav Jansa from MacTech City, Jan Korec from Medetron and Keith Errey from TOUMAZ Technology. The awarded solution is an integrated system for remote prenatal monitoring that helps identify the time and location of premature births called INPRESOL.

In selecting the winner of its first regional prize, Switzerland chose Dr Guido M. Schuster of HSR Hochschule für Technik Rapperswil for EveDars, an on-board navigation system that reduces energy consumption by up to 25 percent by providing suggestions on energy-efficient driving styles and instant feedback on both petrol mileage and routes that can be taken to increase it.

Second place in the overall competition went to Taiwan’s regional winner, ShadowGuide. Yi-Cheng Chung and Chi-Chun Chen of the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) developed a client-host system for group tours based on GPS-enabled wristwatches that communicate wirelessly with one other and can transmit distress signals to a server via Family Radio Service (FRS) when needed.

Rachel Jacobs of Mudlark took home Great Britain’s regional prize for Heartlands, a mobile, location-based game in which the player’s body becomes the joystick. Heartlands also offers a global platform for location- and biosensor-based entertainment.

Another new partner region, Valencia, awarded the development of an intelligent, wireless GNSS microsensor network for use in monitoring catastrophes such as forest fires and toxic accidents. The trophy went to Juan Barba Polo of the company Galileo Geosystems S.L.

With the partner regions’ awards presented, this year’s European Satellite Navigation Competition can now conclude. The next iteration will commence with an international kick-off conference on 3 – 5 March, 2010 at the European Commission’s Charlemagne Conference Center in Brussels.

Press contact:
Application Center for Satellite Navigation Oberpfaffenhofen (AZO)
Ulrike Daniels
Friedrichshafenerstr. 1
82205 Gilching
Tel.: +49(0)8105-7727710
Mobile: +49(0)162-2748570
Fax: +49(0)8105-7727755

Ulrike Daniels | Anwendungszentrum GmbH
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