Habtrail wins the Portugal Space Atlantic Challenge
The winner of the competition promoted by the Portuguese Space Agency – Portugal Space, within the scope of the Copernicus Masters,
was announced at this year's edition of Space Day.
Future: this is the word that guides Space Day. The event, which aims to celebrate the European space ecosystem, highlights the most promising solutions and entrepreneurs through the Space Awards, in which the Copernicus and Galileo Masters were handed out. The two award categories marked the pace of this year’s edition of Space Day, which took place last week, on 15 December. More than 35 prizes were awarded, emphasising the attribution of the first prize promoted by Portugal Space.
As part of the international Copernicus Masters competition, which aims to promote innovation in using data from the European Earth Observation program, the Portugal Space Atlantic Challenge was awarded to the Habtrail project by the Azorean company Eyecon Group. With this challenge, the Portuguese Space Agency sought to reward the most revolutionary, technologically sound and commercially viable solution that, along with the Copernicus data, would address the problem of oceans and coastal areas.
The Habtrail project aims to develop a tool to combat the proliferation of harmful algae on a large scale, which affects Portuguese waters and all coastal areas in the world. The company developed two “deep learning” models, the first functioning as an alert system, capable of detecting and monitoring the expansion of these algae through water quality pigments with images from the Sentinel-2 and Sentinel-3 satellites. The second is a mobile application that can identify harmful algae in near-real or real-time. Considering the impact of this type of algae on aquaculture, fishing, tourism and public health, Habtrail can become a good ally of maritime activity.
The president of the Portuguese Space Agency, Ricardo Conde, announced the winner of this challenge in the Space Awards and pointed that the Portugal Space Atlantic Challenge received “submissions from six different countries“.
The overall winner of this year’s edition of the Copernicus Masters was the mobile application Orbiter, which had also won the 2021 edition of the ESA Challenge. The application aims to share images and data collected by the Copernicus Sentinel 2, 3 and 5p satellites with the general audience, presenting recent information about the Earth.
Data for Agriculture and Water
Space Pitches also awarded the most promising solutions from several countries and regions.
Under the theme “Agriculture and Forestry”, the Galileo Portugal Prize was awarded to Enartin’s project Agroture. Agroture’s goal is to reduce costs and increase productivity in the agricultural sector through data provided by Galileo, the European Union’s satellite navigation system, and Copernicus, using Artificial Intelligence. With Copernicus data, farmers will be able to access information and weather forecasts, essential factors for decision-making and ensure efficiency.
Engenharia LS was also awarded, for its work, the Copernicus Azores Prize in the “Environment, Land and Pollution Monitoring”. The company uses Copernicus Sentinel-2 data to recover bathymetry in shallow areas with different levels of accuracy for other applications. This application of Copernicus data is quite relevant for coastal management and planning, especially in a scenario of climate change and sea-level rise.
The Galileo Masters awarded the overall prize to WAMO, a platform developed by e.Ray, a German company, for monitoring water levels and quality. This self-sustaining solution provides flood alerts but is also able, by monitoring water quality, to detect the existence early and control pollution.
The Portugal Space Atlantic Challenge, Galileo Portugal and Copernicus Azores awards were promoted by the Portuguese Space Agency, in partnership with the AIR Centre, Instituto Pedro Nunes, NOVA SBE and VCW Lab.
As in previous years, the 2021 edition of Space Day was organised by the networks Copernicus Masters and Galileo Masters and by AZO – Space for Growth.