Sports Event Live Photography - Space Assets Integration for Sports Event Photography

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Objectives of the service

The service focuses on AWOL existing core principles of delivering world-class photography:

Getting the perfect shot is everything - capturing a memento that means something to each runner is a must: AWOL will live quality control, apply adjustments, and can serve larger images to the user than ever before.

Capturing the event “buzz” and the urge to buy / share and possess the photo is critical: Next-gen hardware coupled with Satellite Comms means images will be available almost instantly.


Accurate tagging and presentation of a varied photo bundle to each participant is crucial. Combining Satellite time and location data with AWOL’s existing facial/character recognition, and smart notifications system means users will get exactly what they want to make their experience “out of this world”.

Users and their needs

Ultimately this service will be used by event participants and their families, friends and supporters across the world, via the Event Organisers bringing AWOL (or one of its partners) in to take photos.

Event participants have normally trained hard, investing time and money, and are looking to get a return on that investment, having taken part for any number of reasons.

User needs are simple:

  1. High quality photos
  2. Delivered quickly
  3. In a way that’s easy to engage with
  4. At a decent price

This is contrasted against an industry that is used to delivering relatively low-quality images, too slowly, in a complex way that confuses people and ultimately costs too much. AWOL’s service aims to tackle all of these objectives by bringing this industry up to speed.

Service/ system concept

What are we planning to do?
AWOL is bringing to bear the power of Space to deliver real-time, location-tagged and quality-controlled photos to Sports Event Participants and Supporters, delivered directly to the users’ smartphone or other device.

The Event Lifecycle according to AWOL

AWOL’s service brings together a number of “siloed” activities related to photography, autonomously linking them together in real-time

Course Map

In simple terms, photographers positioned around a running, cycling, or even swimming course will be connected via next-gen hardware, via satellite, to our service. As the athlete passes, the photographer takes a photo and once received at AWOL, it is quality controlled, processed, tagged to the user and sent as “push” notifications, emails or SMS alerts to all who “follow” that athlete: 

Space Added Value

This project will combine the following key space assets:

Satellite Communications:

Whether it is from busy marathon finish line (where mobile signal will be patchy) or from the top of a mountain (where signal will be non-existent) sending a high volume of data consistently from anywhere in the world is critical, and satcom makes this possible.

GNSS (Time and Location):

If a photo knows where and when it was taken, this opens up a world of possibilities with regards to “tagging” – i.e. attributing a photo to the athletes that appear in it, and linking with 3rd party platforms such as Strava or Runkeeper, meaning that users will have an array of choices in terms of how they find and engage with their photos.

Current Status

Live Photography is a GO!

The project has started in September 2020, with progress being made across hardware testing, system and software design, and planning the pilot events. The following progress has been made. 

  1. Project started! 1st Sept '20 
  2. Project Outputs, Requirements defined, and Business Plan agreed. 
  3. Pilot Event plan adapted in line with current COVID-19 pandemic, to ensure continuity in developing and testing the technology. 
  4. International Space Week - Press Launch (see below link) (W1 Oct '20) 
  5. Video Q&A at Mass Participation Worldwide conference (see below link) (W2-4 Oct '20) 
  6. Initial compatibility and performance testing of DSLR and Mirrorless cameras (Canon, Nikon, Fujifilm and Sony) (W1 – 4 Oct '20) 
  7. Initial compatibility and performance testing of the “Node” device, in association with Scan Computing. (W3 Oct – W4 Nov '20) 
  8. Initial integration of GNSS (Time and Location) inputs into the Node (W1 Nov – W4 Nov '20) 
  9. Testing of “beta” end-to-end Hardware solution via permanent SATCOM installation at AWOL Tech Hub 
  10. Development of Platform Software in the following areas:

1. AWOL AIR (Facial, Gait and Number Recognition)

2. Live Notifications (SMS, WhatsApp, Email and Push Notifications)

3. Serverless Storage and Indexing Architecture

Coming soon: 

The delivery platform ( has been pre-launched, with its main functionality being enabled in May 2021, prior to key Pilot events.

Prime Contractor(s)

Status Date

Updated: 14 December 2020 - Created: 14 December 2020