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Atlantic Area Kick-Start

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ATLANTIC AREA

From renewable ocean energy from tides and waves, to marine aquaculture, seabed mining and e-navigation. We're looking for business cases related to the Atlantic Area and powered by Space.  The European Space Agency’s Atlantic Area Kick-start Activity offers support and funding to companies looking to develop space empowered services to support the Atlantic Area’s economic and environmental development.

KEY FOCUS AREA

The Atlantic Area and its resources are increasingly recognized as being essential for addressing the multiple challenges that will be faced in the decades to come: it is a key source of food, energy, minerals, jobs and transport upon which hundreds of millions of people depend.

The maritime industry landscape is undergoing a transition from traditional shipping and fishing practices, into new activities which reshape and diversify the industry. Moreover, the Atlantic Area economy is expanding rapidly driven by a large number of factors: the increase in world population, global economic growth, increased trade, sustainability etc. In this new context, emerging industries are characterised in particular by the key roles played by their operations utilising cutting-edge science and technologies, moving increasingly towards high levels of automation.

  • Renewable ocean energy from tides and waves
  • Marine aquaculture
  • Seabed mining
  • E-navigation
  • Multi-use platforms
  • AI for marine ecosystem
  • Offshore
  • More information is available in the tender documentation.

WEBINAR

Webinars for this call have already taken place. Please find the presentation slides at the bottom of this page.

HOW TO APPLY

  1. Register by completing online questionnaire on ESA-STAR Registration (minimum ‘light registration’)
  2. Download the official tender documentation (Invitation to Tender) and create ‘Bidder Restricted Area’ via EMITS ‘AO 8872’ from 6th June 2018
  3. write your proposal and obtain Letter of Support from National Delegation, if needed (see above)
  4. Submit your proposal via ESA-STAR Tendering by the 18th July 2018.

WHAT ARE WE LOOKING FOR?

We’re looking for teams that have identified a market opportunity that’s attractive and has real potential for engaging customers. Motivation, business experience and domain expertise are key.

But most importantly of all, we want to hear business ideas that are commercially viable, technically possible and involve either space tech or data; such as satellite Earth observation, satellite navigation, satellite communications, spaceflight technologies.

WHAT WE OFFER

We offer funding and support to companies for business case assessment, as well as the development of new space enabled products and services focussed on the Atlantic Area's economic and environmental development.

  • Zero-equity funding up to €60K per activity
  • A personalised ESA consultant.
  • Technical & commercial guidance.
  • Access to our network of partners.
  • Credibility of the ESA brand.

THE VALUE OF SPACE FOR THE ATLANTIC AREA

Space assets integrated with terrestrial technologies are instrumental to address the needs of the above identified economic sectors and user communities.

Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) are the main source of geo referenced locations data and essential to support the sea navigation of leisure boats, commercial vessels, and Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) regulated ships. Each maritime application will take advantage of the features offered by GNSS  ugmentation: increased accuracy and integrity, certified services and high availability. GNSS can be used in every phase of marine navigation: ocean, coastal, port approach and port manoeuvres, under all weather conditions. In particular, the COSPAS-SARSAT service and Galileo Initial MEO Services can support Search and Rescue and emergency response operations.

Satellite Earth Observation can provide valuable information for several maritime applications, for example in maritime surveillance (fisheries,  efence, natural environment monitoring), satellite derived bathymetry, and disaster response. Earth Observation derived data can be used to obtain detailed meteorological data such as wind speed and direction, humidity, and others demanded to be taken into account into the models for services related for example to habitat mapping and fisheries.

Satellite Communications provide a means to communicate with the coordinating centre to and from remote locations where there is no terrestrial network. In case of network failures or cyber-attacks targeting terrestrial communication, SatCom may  be used to increase communication network robustness and resilience.

AUTHORISATION OF FUNDING

For the competitive tender on "Atlantic Area", the following ESA Member States have made funding available: Ireland, Germany, Norway and the UK.

If your company/organisation resides in another country participating to the programme, who has not made funding available, you must request a Letter of Support from your National Delegation.

 

ARTES Programme: 
Proposal Activity: 
Closing date: 
Wednesday, July 18, 2018
EMITS reference: 
AO8872
Opportunity: 
Teaser image: 
Opening Date: 
Wednesday, June 6, 2018

ORGANIC BEST PRACTICES AND ECOSYSTEM PRESERVATION

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The European Space Agency’s Organic Best Practices & Ecosystem Preservation Kick-Start Activity offers support and funding to companies looking to develop space empowered services for the preservation of our environment.

How to Apply

  1. Register by completing online questionnaire on ESA-STAR Registration (minimum ‘light registration’)
  2. Download the official tender documentation (Invitation to Tender) and create ‘Bidder Restricted Area’ via EMITS ‘AO 8872’ from 7th March 2018
  3. Write your proposal and obtain Letter of Support from National Delegation, if needed (see above)
  4. Submit your proposal via ESA-STAR Tendering by 19th April 2018 13:00 CET

What are we looking for?

Ideas for commercial services empowered by Space for the preservation of our environment. We consider three key factors:

  • Team
  • Market potential
  • Space application*

*The service you intend to develop must be using a technology developed initially for Space like Satellite Earth Observation, Satellite Navigation, Satellite Communications, Spaceflight Technologies, Space Weather.

Key Focus Area

  • Agritech
  • Horticulture
  • Smart Environment & Clean Tech
  • Traceability & Food Safety
  • Processing & Packaging
  • Bio-tech
  • Big Data & Analytics
  • Drones for Agriculture
  • Apiary Management
  • Artifical Intelligence (AI) & Machine Learning
  • Virtual Reality (VR) & Augmented Reality (AR)

What we offer

We offer funding and support to companies for business case assessment and development of new space empowered services for organic practices and the preservation of the environment.

  • Zero-equity funding up to €60K per activity
  • Technical & commercial guidance
  • Access to our network and partners
  • Use of the ESA brand for your service

The Value of Space for the Environment

Space technologies play a key role in monitoring our environment and supporting services that require communication and localisation data. Here are a few examples:

Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS)

GNSS are the main source of geo referenced location data. The ability to locate precise positions in a field allows the creation of maps showing the spatial variability of terrain features/topography, organic matter content, moisture levels, nitrogen levels, etc. Similar data can also be collected by beehives equipped with GNSS.

Satellite Earth Observation

Satellite Earth observation data can:

  • Monitor crop conditions
  • Monitor soil properties
  • Map tillage activities in order to manage land use (with a high degree of accuracy)
  • Predict harvests
  • Monitor seasonal changes
  • Assist in implementing policy for sustainable development

This data also offers a perfect overview of field developments as well as high and low yielding zones. Earth observation derived data can be used to obtain meteorological data such as wind speed and direction, humidity and more.

Satellite Communications

Satellite communications provide a means to communicate with the coordinating centre to and from remote locations where there is no terrestrial network.

Authorisation of Funding

For the Thematic Call on "Organic Best Practices & Ecosystem Preservation" Kick-start Activity, the following ESA Member States have already made funding available: Norway. In case your company/organisation resides in another country participating to the programme, you have to request a Letter of Support from your National Delegation.

 

WEBINAR

Do you have any question on how to apply? Or on how Space contributes to preserving the environment?

Rewatch the webinar on this link.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yAhYF8imJd0&t=3s

ARTES Programme: 
Proposal Activity: 
Closing date: 
Thursday, April 19, 2018
Opportunity: 
Teaser image: 
Opening Date: 
Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Automated Road Transport

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AUTOMATED ROAD TRANSPORT

Automated road transport is considered one of the major key technology influencing and shaping the future mobility and quality of life since it addresses many of the challenges of today's transport system such as road safety, to reduce accidents caused by human errors, efficiency, to increase transport system efficiency and reduce time in congested traffic, environment, to decrease vehicles emissions, and comfort, to increase accessibility to city centres. Several level of automation are envisaged from partially automated driving, meaning that the system assumes some control of the vehicles, to fully automated. A complementary aspect to automation is the connectivity where connected vehicles (cars, trucks or buses) can exchange information wirelessly with other vehicles and infrastructure and also with the vehicle manufacturer or third-party service providers.

WHAT WE LOOK FOR

Kick-start Activities elaborate the business opportunity and the technical viability of new applications and services exploiting one or more space assets (e.g. Satellite Communications, Satellite Navigation, Earth Observation, Human Space Flight Technology).

This call for Kick-start Activities is dedicated to the theme "Automated Road Transport", which means that is open to ideas for services addressed to local authorities, infrastructure/road operators, public transport operators, logistics companies, private drivers, fleet operators and other relevant stakeholders in this sector. Such services can cover topics as:

  • Managing a network of automated road vehicles
  • Monitoring automated trucks driving system
  • Providing optimal decision support systems for automated road transport from big data analytics and optimisation
  • Resilience of the automated road transport to cyber attacks on vehicles and infrastructure

Exploitation of space-based data and technology is key for the proposed Kick-start Activity theme, with the following considerations:

  1. Satellite Navigation (SatNav) is essential to provide an accurate location to track & trace automated vehicles, to guide to target locations, to operate traffic management systems and others. SatNav can also enable location-based services such as to geo-localise points of interest, to enable autonomous car sharing, parking and fare payment. In addition to GNSS receivers, wireless connections, radars, lidars and other sensors installed on the automated vehicles will enable them to monitor the surroundings, to talk to each other and with the infrastructure in real-time and respond to changes instantaneously.
  2. Satellite Communications (satcoms) is essential to ensure global communications for any of the above data services enabled by SatNav whenever the terrestrial communications are absent or not reliable. In case of network failures or cyber-attacks targeting terrestrial communication, satcoms may be used to increase communication network robustness and resilience.
  3. Earth Observation imagery can be used to provide the maps required by the traffic management, as well as evaluate the conditions on the ground, assess changes and provide key data for monitoring and forecasting the air pollution, etc. Earth Observation derived data are used to provide meteorological information such as wind speed and direction, humidity, and others that have to be taken into account into the models contributing to traffic management services.

Authorisation of funding

For the Thematic Call on "Automated Road Transport", the following ESA Member State have already made funding available: Austria, Germany, Norway, Luxembourg, Poland and the United Kingdom.

In case you intend to submit a proposal for a Thematic Call and your company/organisation resides in another country, you are encouraged to contact the National Delegation.

WEBINAR Presentations

Registered users can now download the webinar presentations below.
Not registered on our website yet? Register here.

ARTES Programme: 
Proposal Activity: 
Closing date: 
Monday, April 24, 2017
Opportunity: 
Teaser image: 
Subtitle: 
Tender Closing Date: 24 April 2017
Opening Date: 
Monday, March 13, 2017

Outdoor Tourism

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Tourism continues to grow in popularity worldwide, but local authorities are often faced with the conflicting challenges of both maintaining and preserving popular outdoor destinations as well as encouraging and managing streams of visitors, balancing environmental sustainability with economic development. In addition, tourists are getting more and more tech savvy, and expect to be able to use their smart-phones and tablets to both plan their journeys and get information while travelling.

WHAT WE LOOK FOR

Kick-start Activities elaborate the business opportunity and the technical viability of new applications and services exploiting one or more space assets (e.g. Satellite Communications, Satellite Navigation, Earth Observation, Human Space Flight Technology).

The first call for Kick-start activities is dedicated to the theme "Outdoor Tourism", which means that is open to ideas for services addressed to tourists, local authorities and other relevant stakeholders in this sector. Such services can cover topics as:

  • Safety and situational awareness
  • Preservation of touristic sites and attractions
  • Protection of the environment in popular locations
  • Improving tourists’ planning facilities

Exploitation of space-based data and technology is key for the proposed Kick-start Activity theme, with the following considerations:

  1. Satellite Navigation (SatNav) is essential to track and trace tourists and search and rescue teams. SatNav can also enable visitor flow-monitoring and location-based services to geo-localise points of interest in the tourist maps and to enable geo-fencing and time-fencing features. In addition, GNSS receivers and sensors can be installed in the tourist sites to be used as complementary ground surface deformation measurement points to Earth Observation data.
  2. Satellite Communications (satcoms) is essential to ensure global communications for any of the above data services enabled by SatNav whenever the terrestrial communications are absent or not reliable. Satcoms may be used also to provide broadband Internet access via WiFi hotspots to enable mobile immersive applications.
  3. Earth Observation data (both SAR and optical) can be used to periodically map the touristic sites to support the identification of geotechnical/structural criticalities that require preventive maintenance.

Data collected through Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) can be integrated/combined with data from Earth Observation satellites, providing an additional source of data with some specific characteristics (e.g. very high spatial resolution and potential lower costs).

Authorisation of funding

For the Thematic Call on Outdoor Tourism, the following ESA Member States have already made funding available: Germany, Luxembourg, Poland and the United Kingdom.

In case you intend to submit a proposal for a Thematic Call and your company/organisation resides in another country, you are encouraged to contact the National Delegation.

Webinar Presentation

Registered users can now download the webinar presentations below.
Not registered on our website yet? Register here.

ARTES Programme: 
Proposal Activity: 
Closing date: 
Monday, March 13, 2017
Opportunity: 
Teaser image: 
Subtitle: 
Kick-start Acivity: Invitation To Tender
Opening Date: 
Monday, January 30, 2017

Future Internet Kick-Start

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OPPORTUNITY

The Internet, created to provide resilient and interoperable communication across the globe, has evolved to transport today an immensurable amount of data and this continuing evolution will greatly impact many areas from industry to health care provision, to traffic management and intelligent logistics. 

During the last decade, the following trends have emerged as part of what we call “Future Internet”: the Tactile Internet, the Physical Internet, the Internet of people and Internet of Free Speech. Applications using these technologies are growing at a fast pace and spreading through a large variety of sectors and industries. The implications to society and applications for specific industries – including banking and finance, connected driving, utilities, transport, media and creative industry – are limitless. 

The Future Internet services requires the use of innovative ways of combining geo-referenced data with satellite derived data as open data, businesses data and volunteered data. Satellite communications and 5G networks underpin these applications providing ubiquitous connectivity and data relay capability. Exploitation of space-based assets data opens therefore new opportunities to develop applications related to the “Future Internet”.

TOPICS OF RELEVANCE

Tactile Internet (TI). The envisioned purpose of the tactile internet is to enable the delivery of real-time control and physical (haptic) experiences remotely, that means  to provide a medium for remote physical interaction in real time with exchange of closed-loop information between virtual and/or real objects, i.e. humans, machines, and processes by enabling haptic interaction with visual feedback. At the application level, automation, robotics, telepresence, augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and artificial intelligence (AI) all play a role. In this way, the Tactile Internet should be able to simultaneously accommodate applications, such as manufacturing, e-health, training, education, road traffic, gaming and others.

Physical Internet (PI). It represents an innovation in logistics which is based on the working principles of the digital Internet. An internet-like network for goods means no data is encapsulated in data packets, but goods are encapsulated in PI-containers. Furthermore, PI-containers are routed through the network via PI-hubs, like data packets are routed through the internet by routers. Most candidate PI architectures highlight the necessity of real-time continuous communication and positioning of the PI-containers. At sea or in zones not covered with cellular networks, the use Satellite Communications is a must to accommodate for ubiquitous communication requirements. The same goes for satellite navigation in order to always locate the PI-container along its path. Applications of the PI could be discovered in the logistics sectors that have most to gain from the PI capabilities, as for example the secure transport of medical goods (drugs, blood samples,..) and the delivery of fresh food requiring timely delivery and monitoring of integrity of the goods.

Internet of People (IoP). In the Internet of people, users’ personal mobile devices will assume a special role as the main interface connecting people to the Internet. As they will be the “gateways” through which the users access the internet, they become the proxies of their human users in the cyber world. The users’ personal devices are not anymore passive generators and consumers of data, but they play an active role, either through local decisions, or through collaborative decisions with other devices with which they interact by incorporating models of their human users’ behavior. Stretching this vision further, IoP could embrace even a tighter integration between the Internet and humans, allowing humans themselves to contribute (cognitive) resources to the Internet functions. In IoP, humans can also be “used” as network nodes. Applications of IoP could be discovered in creative industries, personal services and others.

Internet for All People. The benefits of the Internet are not accessible to everyone. In particular, one fundamental human right, the right to speech (Freedom of expression is recognized as a human right under article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights) is denied to many world citizens due to a lack of economic means to purchase or contract the communication means or censorship of the information to be transmitted or retrieved by authorities. Satellite Communications, and in particular upcoming satellite constellations, have the strongest potential to deliver the Internet for All People. Not just for the ones who can afford it or the ones authorized by their institutions, but for all. The potential market is large and includes countless NGOs operating abroad, poor communities and individuals facing critical or life-threatening situations.

WEBINARS

  • 27 September 2019, 15:00 CEST
  • 14 October 2019, 15:00 CEST

VALUE OF SPACE 

New technologies like augmented reality, big data analytics and image-recognition algorithms in combination with input data collection from satellites and integration of space technologies, offers a wide range of opportunities for new services.

SATELLITE NAVIGATION (SATNAV) 

Satellite navigation (GNSS) is instrumental in order to provide geo-tagging services and tracking of the robots in case of Tactile Internet, to locate the PI-container along its path for the Physical Internet and for any crowd sourcing applications to locate people and devices. In some use cases, the orientation (pitch, roll, yaw) of an object as a robot becomes important. For example, in the case of the cameras, it could be important to know in which direction a camera is pointing and which area the camera is covering. Or, in the case of pictures taken with smartphones, when the orientations and positions of photos are stored, the positions of objects or people in that photo can be determined integrating sensors, as gyroscopes, measurements with multiple GNSS data.

SATELLITE COMMUNICATIONS (SATCOM) 

Satellite communications offer a unique alternative to the transmission of data through the terrestrial internet with the coordinating centre to and from remote locations where there is no terrestrial network or to cope with a large demand for bandwidth, e.g. for live streaming of images. Used as a primary communication means or as back-up to terrestrial networks, Satcom can therefore enhance communication network robustness and communication resilience. It also provides means for Tactile Internet applications to connect to remote areas outside of terrestrial coverage areas and to act as back up for terrestrial network failure. 

EARTH OBSERVATION (EO) 

Earth Observation data can be used in combination with measurements of  in-situ sensors (i.e. in direct contact with an object or medium, e.g. a water temperature sensor in water) or remotely (i.e. in indirect contact with an object or medium, observing or interacting with an object or medium indirectly either actively or passively, e.g. a surveillance camera detecting cars’ number plates from a distance) to provide important information about events. People can also observe the environment and can publish their observations through applications (e.g. social media applications) that run on fixed or mobile devices, e.g. smartphones and this valuable information can be integrated with the satellite data to increase the understanding of the environment. For example, weather prediction from EO data can be used to initiate precautionary actions if a severe rainfall in a certain area is predicted. Remote sensing techniques could also very useful to identify targets, as areas of interest. 

5G SYSTEMS

5G systems, the next step in the evolution of fixed and mobile communication, could have a central role in the future Internet applications. 5G networks, which will integrate terrestrial and satellite connectivity means will permit meeting a set of requirements (i.e. high data-rate, wide coverage, high throughput, high reliability) which are fundamental for relying data with ultra-low latency, high availability and in a secure manner in remote locations. It is expected that sensor networks and IoT technologies will rely massively on the new capabilities offered by 5G networks.

WHAT WE LOOK FOR

Kick-start Activities elaborate the business opportunity and the technical viability of new applications and services that exploit one or more space assets (e.g. Satellite Communications, Satellite Navigation, Earth Observation, Human Space Flight Technology). This call for Kick-start Activities is dedicated to the theme "Future Internet", which means that the call is open to companies that intend to develop space-enabled internet applications and services.   

HOW TO APPLY

1. Register by completing the online questionnaire on ESA-STAR Registration (this provides for the minimum ‘light registration’)

2. Download the official tender documentation (Invitation to Tender) and create a ‘Bidder Restricted Area’ via EMITS Reference AO8872 from October 28th  2019.

3. Write your proposal and obtain a Letter of Support from your National Delegation, if needed (see Authorisation of Funding section below).

4. Submit your proposal via ESA-STAR Tendering by December 6th  2019 13:00hr CEST.

AUTHORISATION OF FUNDING

Currently, Austria, Germany, Luxembourg, Norway and the United Kingdom have pre-approved funding for this Kick-start activity. Applications from any other Member State will require a letter of approval from their National Delegation.

ARTES Programme: 
Proposal Activity: 
Closing date: 
Friday, December 6, 2019
EMITS reference: 
AO8872
Opportunity: 
Teaser image: 
Opening Date: 
Monday, October 28, 2019
Posted to Hero article section: 
No

Biodiversity Kick-Start

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OPPORTUNITY

Biological diversity is the variety of life found in any of, or across, Earth’s ecosystems. It is fundamental to life on Earth since it provides oxygen, food, clean water, fertile soil, medicines, shelter, protection from storms and floods, fibres for clothing, a stable climate and even recreation. It is estimated that the services provided by ecosystems are worth trillions of dollars, more than double the world’s GDP! Biodiversity loss in Europe alone costs the continent €450m a year or, 3% of its annual gross domestic product. However, the current state of biodiversity is ominous; overpopulation and overconsumption are driving a biodiversity crisis as people continue to expend resources in an unsustainable fashion. Space assets and satellite technologies, combined with advanced and innovative ways to use them, can make a crucial difference in the future of the biodiversity on Earth. 

TOPICS OF RELEVENCE

  • Agriculture. Agriculture is the largest contributor to biodiversity loss and the world’s biggest driver of deforestation. Reducing the food industry’s toll on biodiversity is therefore a critically important change to make for the future of the planet. Helpful developments are being implemented in two ways: land sparing (improving efficiency to intensify agricultural productivity and release other land for protection); and land sharing (improving sustainability through biodiversity-friendly farming over larger areas). For these methods to efficiently conserve, sustain and restore agricultural biodiversity, a view of the bigger picture is needed.

  • Fisheries and Aquaculture. Many ‘modern’ fishing methods, implemented on a global scale, have devastating consequences for ocean ecosystems and biodiversity. Overfishing, as well as by-catching and ghost fishing, diminishes the biodiversity of an ecosystem in an approach that is neither sustainable nor efficient in relation to food production. Combined with an industrial scale habitat destruction through dredging, seafloor trawling and blast fishing, this equates to a need for both large and small scale improvements in the aquaculture industry. Currently, satellite applications could revitalise country size ecosystems alongside substantial scope for positive change in the economics of the fishing industry.

  • Biofuel. Eighty percent of present day transportation fuels are derived from petroleum; including petrol, diesel, liquefied petroleum gas, jet fuel and marine fuel. However, biofuels could be both a suitable and sustainable alternative to petroleum, substantially improving climate change and biodiversity. Nonetheless, redevelopment and innovation is essential to improve on the predicaments of first generation biofuels. Possible implementations of this, spanning from waste water of farms, forestry and domestic leftovers to miscanthus grass, could redefine use of poor quality growing land. This candeliver a reduced impact on global food production and a beneficial alternative to petroleum.

  • Transport Networks. Transport networks, including roads, shipping and air routes, have detrimental effects on biodiversity. Roads fragment ecosystems, causing migration changes; ground-level ozone curbs crop yields; and hazardous fuel substances wreak havoc on marine life. Satellite applications can be of particular use in improving the biodiversity on both small and large scales, with innovations such as crossing structures (designed to help animals get safely over or under roads), more efficient routing of ships, trucks and aircraft and monitoring of emissions.

VALUE OF SPACE TO BIODIVERSITY

Innovative and advancing technologies, especially those that can see the bigger picture, are essential to efficiently working with complex matters such as large-scale ecosystems. Such infrastructure is crucial when organising a landscape that has both environmental and practical pressures associated with it.

Earth Observation (EO)  

Earth observation can monitor and report on a wide range of biotic and abiotic factors; including natural and agricultural plants as well as climate, hazard and weather factors. Combinations of which can be implemented to create biodiversity protection and monitoring systems that assist on farms and nature reserves anywhere across the globe. With advancing and innovative technology it is possible efficiently manage water through monitoring crop development and deriving evapotranspiration data. Which, if implemented appropriately, can conserve water use and reduce costs of irrigation.

Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) 

GNSS can provide critical information and data collection on agricultural and aqua-cultural machinery or livestock. In combination with wearable’s or integrated sensors, these systems allow tracking activity levels and positions of individuals, equipment and vehicles, such to support the geo-localisation of and routing of vehicles and livestock, whilst minimising the impact on the biodiversity of the habitat. Leading-edge satellite technology has allowed for new developments and innovations such as automatic steering of remotely controlled farm equipment; ‘virtual fencing’ for livestock and geo-tagging services for data collection or remotely position establishing. 

Satellite Communications (Satcom) 

Satcom enables isolated vicinities to be connected securely and reliably to the internet, regardless of location. Itallows the integration of more complex and efficient technologies and systems, therefore reducing the environmental impact of many industries, including agriculture and aquaculture. Providing secure communication connections with any aircraft, maritime vessel or or vehicle makes video, image, data and audio communication possible and enables more efficient gathering and distribution of any such data.

WHAT WE LOOK FOR

Kick-start Activities elaborate the business opportunity and the technical viability of new applications and services that exploit one or more space assets (e.g. Satellite Communications, Satellite Navigation, Earth Observation, Human Space Flight Technology). This call for Kick-start Activities is dedicated to the theme "Biodiversity", which means that the call is open to companies that intend to develop space-enabled biodiversity applications and services.   

HOW TO APPLY

1.Register by completing the online questionnaire on ESA-STAR Registration (this provides for the minimum ‘light registration’)

2. Download the official tender documentation (Invitation to Tender) and create a ‘Bidder Restricted Area’ via EMITS Reference AO-10011 from September 2nd 2019.

3.Write your proposal and obtain a Letter of Support from your National Delegation, if needed (see Authorisation of Funding section below).

4.Submit your proposal via ESA-STAR Tendering by the 25th October 2019 13:00 hr CEST.

AUTHORISATION OF FUNDING

Germany, Luxembourg, Norway and the United Kingdom have pre-approved funding for this Kick-start theme. Switzerland is not supporting Kick-start Activities.

Applications from any other Member State will require a 'Letter of Authorisation' from their National Delegation

In case you intend to submit a proposal and your company/organisation resides in another country, you need to contact your National Delegation as soon as possible.

ARTES Programme: 
Proposal Activity: 
Closing date: 
Friday, October 25, 2019
Opportunity: 
Teaser image: 
Opening Date: 
Monday, September 2, 2019
Posted to Hero article section: 
No

Environmental Crimes

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THE CHALLENGE

Environmental crimes are illegal acts that directly harm the environment. They can cause considerable damage to ecosystems, increasing the risk of disease, environmental disaster, food chain contamination, pollution, wildlife degradation, reduced life expectancy, and increased rates of human morbidity. Environmental crime is the fourth largest criminal enterprise in the world (INTERPOL-UN).

The European Space Agency’s “Environmental Crimes” thematic call offers support and funding to companies looking to develop services that tackle environmental crimes using satellite technology in two ways: 

1. Directly preventing environmental crimes such as illegal trade and smuggling from occurring, by working with stakeholders in law enforcement. 

2. Helping industries to prove that they are compliant with environmental regulations, and therefore not committing environmental crimes.  

The call will be organized in three sub-calls, namely “Environmental Quality”, “Poaching and trafficking” and “Natural Resources”.

TOPICS OF RELEVENCE

Environmental Quality 

  • Land Pollution. Criminal activities causing land degradation mainly relate to the trafficking in waste. Waste trafficking involves the improper management of waste (collection, transport, storage, disposal), as well as the illegal trade and movement of waste. Each year, trafficking of hazardous waste generates $9 billion to $11 billion (INTERPOL-UN Environment Programme). Illegal waste dumping, waste burning and waste exporting are also significant forms of environmental land crimes. For instance, in 2018, over 60 highly polluting fires took place in Polish waste dumps to destroy illegal waste brought in from other countries (REUTERS).

  • Water Pollution. There are three main types of water-related crimes:

- Water fraud involves the alteration of sampling techniques or results to avoid treatment costs. The main danger from these practices is the negative health implications. 

- Water pollution implies the intentional contamination of water, usually by companies or vessels. Oil-pollution crimes include illegal oil discharges, false statements or records, and bypassing pollution prevention equipment. 

- Water theft is the unauthorized use and consumption of water before it reaches the intended end-user. It is estimated that over 30% of the global water supply is illegally purchased. Regions experiencing chronic water stress (e.g. Southern Europe, Africa) and marginalized deprived areas (e.g. slums in India, Bangladesh, or Brazil) are particularly vulnerable.

  • Air Pollution. Illegal activity related to air pollution stems predominantly from industry reporting untruthfully on emissions or manipulating carbon credits. Some companies overstate their emissions estimates or engage in corrupt practices to claim or receive more carbon credits. Certain companies are involved in the sale of fake or already used carbon credits. Others manipulate carbon prices, allowing them to make significant profits. In addition to financial crimes, cybercrime has become an issue of great concern in carbon trading.

Poaching and Trafficking

The illegal trade in wildlife products is worth between $6 billion and $21 billion (INTERPOL-UN Environment Programme). The trafficking of animals and plants relies on a large and complex supply chain. It encompasses poaching, transport, exporting and selling. Several species are endangered as a direct result of these activities. Satellite applications can help to detect suspicious activity, prevent poaching and stop trafficking.  

Natural Resources 

  • Illegal Logging and Charcoal Trafficking. The illegal logging trade is worth between $45 billion and $173 billion annually (INTERPOL-UN Environment Programme) and threatens endangered species with extinction. Criminals often mix legal and illegal wood, making it difficult for authorities to detect the illegally trafficked items. They also use false permits to hide the origin or species of the wood, facilitating the traffic to international markets. Charcoal is the primary source of household fuel in Africa. The high demand for this valued commodity stimulates the illegal trade in Africa, threatening regional security and stability. The financial implications of illegal logging are weighty. Satellite technology can help to monitor forests, and to track legal wood and charcoal.

  • Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing. 

IUU fishing exacerbates overfishing, depletes livestock, and affects the livelihood of legitimate fishermen. It poses a serious threat to food security and the conservation of the marine ecosystem.

There are three major types of unlawful fishing activities:

i) Illegal fishing, which occurs when a fishing vessel violates national or international regulations (e.g. fishing during unauthorized periods, fishing in protected areas or of protected species); 

ii) Unreported fishing, which refers to unreported or inaccurately reported fishing activities; 

iii) Unregulated fishing, which consists of fishing by vessels without declared nationality, or breaking laws that regulate fishing in a specific area.

  • Illegal Mining. Illegal mining falls completely outside the scope of any legal framework: it takes place without licences and in prohibited zones. It often involves organized crime groups. Satellite applications (especially Earth Observation) can help to detect and prevent illegal mining activities. 

VALUE OF SPACE TO STOP ENVIRONMENTAL CRIMES

Space technologies, like Earth observation, satellite navigation and satellite communication, can help to stop environmental crimes in many ways. 

Earth Observation (EO)  

Satellite Earth Observation data, coupled with additional data sources, can offer support to monitor and detect illicit situations at land and sea:

  • There is a growing trend towards oil exploration in deeper waters and more remote regions, such as the Arctic. Specialised Earth observation data is needed to monitor operations closely. 
  • Earth observation satellites could provide detailed images of hot spots where border crossings peak, as well as new roads, tracks and massed vehicles alluding to illicit smuggling or illegal trade. 
  • Earth Observation data can monitor air quality and water quality, (turbidity, suspended matter, chlorophyll-a, or harmful algae blooms) and can detect precise changes on land (deforestation, new activity in a ‘closed’ mine, illegal waste dumping).
  • Earth Observation data can support mapping in the forestry sector and could support companies in obtaining certificates and carbon credits.

Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) 

  • Vessels can be tracked via on-board automatic identification systems (AIS) and other tracking systems such as LRIT (Long-range identification and tracking) and VMS (Vessel Monitoring System) that are used to broadcast position, identity, course and speed. Ground stations and satellite navigation satellites can therefore track the movements of ships and detect if anything illicit is occurring. 
  • GNSS will provide geo-tagging services for data collection and tracking. Applications could include tracking wildlife (using collars or tags to send data via satellite to a desktop computer, increasing the ability to gather and analyse movement data) and tracing goods (like lorries carrying legitimate timber or fish stocks across the value chain). 

Satellite Communications (Satcom) 

  • Satcom can provide data, video and voice communications connecting aircraft, helicopters, ground vehicles and maritime vessels on border patrol. This enables widely scattered forces to share information and images, and to operate as a single unit.
  • Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are also active in border patrols and, when flown via satellite by remote operators, they can capture images and videos from the field, effectively extending the reach of border control agencies for thousands of miles. UAVs can also help with mapping forests, land and coastal regions. 
  • In remote areas, and where terrestrial networks are insufficient, satellite communications can provide secure connectivity. Satcom is especially useful when considering ships, offshore oilrigs, mining sites, and the wilderness (national parks, forests).

WHAT WE LOOK FOR

Kick-start Activities elaborate the business opportunity and the technical viability of new applications and services that exploit one or more space assets (e.g. Satellite Communications, Satellite Navigation, Earth Observation, Human Space Flight Technology). This call for Kick-start Activities is dedicated to the theme "Environmental Crimes", which means that the call is open to companies that intend to develop space-enabled applications and services that help to solve the issue of environmental crimes.

The Environmental Crimes kick start is organised around specific topics, for which dedicated calls will be issued as follows:

1. Environmental Quality (Opening date 02/09/2019, Closing date 11/10/2019)

2. Poaching and Trafficking (Opening date 14/10/2019, Closing date 30/11/2019)

3. Natural Resources (Opening date 02/12/2019, Closing date 24/01/2020) 

WEBINARS

  • 21/08/2019, 15:00 CEST - Environmental Quality (Opening date 02/09/2019, Closing date 11/10/2019)
  • 10/10/2019, 15:00 CEST - Poaching and Trafficking (Opening date 14/10/2019, Closing date 30/11/2019)
  • 27/11/2019, 15:00 CET - Natural Resources (Opening date 02/12/2019, Closing date 24/01/2020) 

 

HOW TO APPLY

1. Register by completing the online questionnaire on ESA-STAR Registration (this provides for the minimum ‘light registration’)

2. Download the official tender documentation (Invitation to Tender) and create a ‘Bidder Restricted Area’ via EMITS Reference AO 1-10010 from September 2nd 2019.

3. Write your proposal and obtain a Letter of Support from your National Delegation, if needed (see Authorisation of Funding section below).

4. Submit your proposal via ESA-STAR Tendering.  Deadlines are different for each call macro-area (see opening and closing dates above). 

AUTHORISATION OF FUNDING

Applications will require a letter of approval from the National Delegation of the ESA Member State where your company resides.

Germany, Luxembourg, Norway and the United Kingdom have pre-approved funding for this Kick-start theme. Switzerland is not supporting Kick-start Activities. 

In case you intend to submit a proposal and your company/organisation resides in another country, you need to contact your National Delegation as soon as possible. 

ARTES Programme: 
Proposal Activity: 
Closing date: 
Friday, January 24, 2020
Opportunity: 
Teaser image: 
Opening Date: 
Monday, September 2, 2019
Posted to Hero article section: 
No

Space4Sport Kick-Start

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OPPORTUNITY

Whether for active participation as a leisure sportsperson, or passively following as a spectator of sporting events, for many people sport is their favourite leisure activity. At the same time, the public’s interest in sport and their consumer behaviour receives massive stimulation from professional top-level sport. The latter in turn can only develop from the provision of a diverse and high-quality range of services and infrastructures for sport at the mass participation level. Accordingly, sport has become a growing factor in Europe’s economy and society.

Over recent years, sport as an industry has been particularly receptive to new developments in technology and analytics. Wearable technologies have diversified, both at a professional sports science level and in the consumer fitness market. Teams and sporting bodies have worked to make their stadiums more connected, with all major new stadiums now being built with this in mind. Virtual Reality has come a long way in terms of real world applications, with a number of training programs that utilise the technology to put athletes in situations that are otherwise unachievable in an ordinary session. Major broadcasters have continued their battle against illegal streaming services; and analytics teams have continued to embed what they do into every area of their organisations.

Space assets and satellite technologies can offer added value to the sports business and can increase its capabilities in a number of ways.

TOPICS OF RELEVANCE

Sports Tourism and Fan Engagement. In the ‘participant sports’ segment, services related to information on local effects for specific sports might be of interest for planning, preparation and execution of sports activities. In the ‘spectator sports’ segment, travelling to sports events represents the largest sub-segment. This includes transportation, accommodation, meal provisioning and attendance at sports colleges. In addition, sports organizations often struggle to collect valuable data on fan behaviour, which may lead to a less personalised fan experience and loss of fans.

Sports Facilities. Sports facilities are needed or desired for producing sport. Building such facilities such as a new sports stadium, a golf course, a lake resort for water sport, a ski area, or hiking paths, requires input in the form of information and services for the planning, design and construction of the facilities. Once built, such facilities need to be maintained, modernised and renovated.

Sports Equipment and Vehicles. In many sports, equipment and vehicles are needed to carry out the sport, such as shoes, rackets, skis, surfboards, bicycles, motor bikes, cars, canoes, boats and airplanes. Producing better equipment to achieve better results is an endless competition between equipment manufacturers, requiring successful integration of technological innovations and input data for analysis, improvement and maintenance of equipment.

Athlete Endorsement. In the professional sports segment, one continuing challenge for sports agencies is the increased role that data analysis plays in evaluating athlete performance. Non-traditional statistics are being developed in an attempt to draw a correlation between specific aspects of athlete performance and winning. Ownership of and access to the underlying information and the ability to analyse it properly is vital when athlete transfers take place and will likely be the subject of future collective bargaining agreements.

Sports Coaching. While the essence of sports lies in the talent of the athletes, their performance can be greatly improved by making use of modern technologies, ensuring a superior game and positive results. Everyone from amateurs to Olympians are beginning to understand the enormous potential of improving performance with the help of tech-driven feedback tools.

Sports Medicine. Sports medicine is a branch of medicine that deals with physical fitness and the treatment and prevention of injuries related to sports and exercise. The assistance of sports medicine is also recommended either when starting completely new with a sport, or  following rehabilitation after sustained injuries, in order not to overload the body. Data collection, transmission and analysis will allow the medical personnel to provide tailored advice regarding the sport program to be followed.

Animals and their Upkeep. Similar to human athletes, in a number of sports animals such as dogs (e.g. dog sleighing, dog races, dog competitions), horses (e.g. cross country, dressage, jumping, western horse riding), or pigeons (e.g. pigeon breeding, carrier pigeon races) are involved; and they deserve as much care as their human partners. Many of the topics of relevance addressed above can also be applied to animals involved in sport.

WEBINARS

  • 07/05/2019(11:00 CEST)
  • 14/05/2019 (11:00 CEST)

VALUE OF SPACE TO SPORT

New technologies like sensor miniaturisation, augmented reality and Big Data machine learning, in combination with input data collection from satellites and integration of space technologies, promise to add value across the various domains related to sport.

Earth Observation (EO) 

EO allows the collection of information on geographical (e.g. elevation, route conditions, sea state) and environmental (e.g. weather, air quality, temperature) parameters that are relevant for sport activities and the performance of athletes, as well as for planning, operations and condition based maintenance of sport facilities and equipment.

Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS)

GNSS can provide additional input information for data collection on sport activities, in combination with wearables or integrated sensors. These systems allow tracking the activity level of individuals, equipment and vehicles, as well as supporting the geo-localisation of and routing to events and facilities.

Satellite Communications (Satcom)

Satcom enables the provision of connectivity, e.g. enabling live transmission of sport events and communication within or to remote and sparsely inhabited places.

Human Spaceflight  

Human spaceflight led to the development of space telemedicine capabilities. Applicable elements include technologies, health sensors, procedures and best practices developed for astronauts.

Data Processing Software  

Automatic anomaly detection and investigation tools like ‘DrMUST’ and ‘Novelty Detection’, developed by ESA for remote monitoring and operations of space infrastructure, can be used for analysis of large amounts of data collected with sensors. Algorithms and tools like ‘Fractal Resampling’ and ‘POCKET Compression’ have been developed to help separate information from data and to compress large amounts of data, efficiently enabling the transmitting and storing of data for further analysis.

WHAT WE LOOK FOR

Kick-start Activities elaborate the business opportunity and the technical viability of new applications and services that exploit one or more space assets (e.g. Satellite Communications, Satellite Navigation, Earth Observation, Human Space Flight Technology). This call for Kick-start Activities is dedicated to the theme "Sport", which means that the call is open to companies that intend to develop space-enabled sport applications and services.   

HOW TO APPLY

  1. Register by completing the online questionnaire on ESA-STAR Registration (this provides for the minimum ‘light registration’)
  2. Download the official tender documentation (Invitation to Tender) and create a ‘Bidder Restricted Area’ via EMITS Reference AO-9893 from May 21st 2019. 
  3. Write your proposal and obtain a Letter of Support from your National Delegation, if needed (see Authorisation of Funding section below).
  4. Submit your proposal via ESA-STAR Tendering by the 1st July 2019 13:00hr CEST.

AUTHORISATION OF FUNDING

Currently, Norway and the United Kingdom have pre-approved funding for this Kick-start activity. Applications from any other Member State will require a letter of approval from their National Delegation.

ARTES Programme: 
Proposal Activity: 
Closing date: 
Monday, July 1, 2019
Opportunity: 
Teaser image: 
Opening Date: 
Tuesday, May 21, 2019
Posted to Hero article section: 
No

Artificial Intelligence Kick-Start

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* Please note the deadlines are different for each AI macro-area (see opening and closing dates below).

OPPORTUNITY

Artificial intelligence (AI) is the ability of a computer or computer-controlled robot to perform tasks commonly associated with intelligent beings. It is sometimes called ‘machine intelligence’, since the intelligence is demonstrated by machines, and differs from natural intelligence, which is displayed by humans and other animals. The term is applied to systems endowed with the intellectual processes typical of humans, such as the ability to reason, discover meaning, generalise, or learn from past experience. 

TOPICS OF RELEVANCE

The following topics are non-exhaustive examples of areas relevant to the theme of artificial intelligence. They can benefit from using integrated terrestrial and space-based technologies. 

Retail: Understanding customer behaviour is crucial in retail. However, datasets on customer journeys and shopping experiences are often so big, that companies struggle to analyse the information sufficiently. E-commerce platforms could implement self-learning algorithms to correlate external factors, like satellite data about weather and the environment, with customer information like click data and search habits. For example, AI could analyse georeferenced satellite data about detected cars in parking lots and merge it with past transactions, website searches and weather forecasts to predict future sales.  

Electric Utility:  Transmission System Operators (TSOs) and Distribution System Operators (DSOs) must match energy supply to energy demand, avoiding overload and power cuts. AI could add benefit by helping to balance the grid by improving forecasts. The forecast of congestion, network losses, and the possible need for reserve power are other motivating factors for TSOs and DSOs to adopt AI. Wave energy power owners and developers would benefit from analysing waves and tide patterns to predict the best locations to install wave-to-energy machines. Wind and solar power owners and developers could use AI systems in similar ways to predict wind speeds and directions, and solar irradiance respectively.

Manufacturing, Transport and Logistics: Factories and manufacturing plants will benefit in several ways by adopting AI. These systems could shorten development cycles, improve engineering efficiency, prevent faults, increase safety by automating risky activities, reduce inventory costs with better supply and demand planning, and increase revenue with better sales lead identification and price optimization. 

Healthcare: The idea of leveraging medical and social data to better manage costs has made forecasting one of the few areas of active AI applications in health care, attracting top tech, pharma, and medical players as well as small start-ups.  Genomics could offer novel market opportunities when combined with AI and satellite technologies. 

Social good: AI for social good aims at utilising AI to make an impact on issues faced by societies. As such, the sustainability and business models build on a concerted effort involving private and institutional / public sectors, investing in medium to long term programmes steered towards delivering benefits to citizens. For instance, in the area of urban planning, urban planners will benefit substantially from V2I AI systems, which would provide insights into traffic, accidents, congestions, construction and parking. This could aid planners with the design of cities.

WEBINARS

  • 30/04/2019 (11:00 CEST) Consumer goods, business and industrial services (OPENING DATE 13th May 2019 -  CLOSING DATE 21st June) 
  • 12/06/2019 (11:00 CEST) Social Impact (OPENING DATE 25th June 2019 - CLOSING DATE 30th August)
  • 28/08/2019 (11:00 CEST) Infrastructure (OPENING DATE 2nd September 2019 - CLOSING DATE 11th October)
  • 01/10/2019 (11:00 CEST) Environment and natural resources (OPENING DATE 14th October 2019 - CLOSING DATE 29th November)

VALUE OF SPACE AND AI

There is substantial promise for AI techniques across industries in terms of both practical applications and economic potential.  

Earth Observation (EO)  

Satellite imagery can be used e.g. to monitor urban areas to detect traffic for improved urban planning and routing, to distinguish vehicles near shops, and to map terrain features near power towers. Specialised meteorological data obtained from EO satellites, such as wind speed and direction, or humidity, can help in renewable energy prediction, in establishing weather patterns to optimise fuel consumption on planes and in the automated docking of ships. EO data can also provide contextual data,  e.g. the presence of human activities, or the distribution of households, which can be used to help detect energy theft. Finally, EO can be used to provide a large scale picture of environmental factors relevant to conservation and education programmes. 

Satellite Communications (Satcom) 

Satcom can provide reliable communication infrastructure for different data speed, latency, and traffic needs. Satcom can be used to transfer data to and from remote locations where there is no terrestrial network, or where terrestrial networks are not yet operative; this includes Satcom based Internet of Things (IoT)/ Machine-to-Machine Communication (M2M), connecting networks of sensors used to monitor equipment and to improve condition-based maintenance operations. Furthermore, Satcom may be used to increase communication network robustness and resilience in case of potential terrorist or cyber-attacks targeting terrestrial communications. 

Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) 

GNSS systems provide precise positioning and guidance. GNSS data can support tracing and tracking, improved logistics, geo-tagging of in-situ data and route optimization for AI applications in most of the terrestrial verticals identified. In addition, GNSS provides geo-localisation for social media (e.g. Facebook, Twitter) and internet (e.g. Google Trends) data that can be used as inputs to AI-based models, for instance to infer customers’ buying trends and provide short to medium term market projections.

Additional Technologies

Several other technologies could also be relevant to the services that bidders may propose. Some of these are outlined below.

Satcom-supported  Virtual Reality (VR) or Augmented Reality (AR) technologies and devices could complement AI applications. For example, maintenance crew on boats, or workers in remote regions fixing power lines, could use VR/AR goggles instructing them to fix equipment. Operatives would be able to multitask and could handle equipment without the need to also handle physical instruction manuals

RPAS can be used as a complementary solution for monitoring purposes (e.g. for electricity network devices status, or urban planning), complementing EO images and in-situ sensors.

WHAT WE LOOK FOR

Kick-start Activities elaborate the business opportunity and the technical viability of new applications and services exploiting one or more space assets (e.g. Satellite Communications, Satellite Navigation, Earth Observation, Human Space Flight Technology). This call for Kick-start Activities is dedicated to the theme “Artificial Intelligence", which means that the call is open to companies that intend to develop sustainable products and services combining AI with space technology. The field of applications is not limited to the topics mentioned in the previous section.

The AI kick start is organised around specific macro-areas for which dedicated calls will be issued, as follows:

1) Consumer goods, business and industrial services (OPENING DATE 13th May 2019 -  CLOSING DATE 21st June).

2) Social Impact (OPENING DATE 25th June 2019 - CLOSING DATE 30th August).

3) Infrastructure (OPENING DATE 2nd September 2019 - CLOSING DATE 11th October).

4) Environment and natural resources (OPENING DATE 14th October 2019 - CLOSING DATE 29th November).

HOW TO APPLY

1. Register by completing the online questionnaire on ESA-STAR Registration (minimum ‘light registration’).

2. Download the official tender documentation, which will be made available in EMITS by May 14th 2019. The call EMITS reference is AO9889.

3. Write your proposal and obtain a Letter of Support from your National Delegation, if needed (see Authorisation of Funding section below).

4. Submit your proposal via ESA-STAR Tendering. Deadlines are different for each AI macro-area (see opening and closing dates above).

AUTHORISATION OF FUNDING

Currently Ireland, Norway, Germany and UK have pre-approved funding for this Kick-start activity. Applications from any other Member State will require a letter of approval from their national delegation.

Individual ESA Member States have already made funding available for specific Thematic Calls on Kick-start Activities. For more details, please refer to the section Authorisation of Funding above.

In case you intend to submit a proposal for a Thematic Call and your company/organisation resides in another country, you are encouraged to contact the National Delegation.

 

ARTES Programme: 
Proposal Activity: 
Closing date: 
Friday, November 29, 2019
Opportunity: 
Teaser image: 
Opening Date: 
Monday, May 13, 2019
Posted to Hero article section: 
No

Mining Kick-Start

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OPPORTUNITY

Mining is the process of extracting minerals, metals and other valuable materials from the surface of the Earth, including the seas. The mining sector is pivotal to the world’s economy and recent infrastructure-driven growth in Asia has stimulated a significant increase in demand for commodities like iron ore, copper and coal (PWC, 2018). 

Satellite technology can add value to the four major types of mining operations: surface, underground, dredge, and artisanal & small-scale (ASM). It can help to protect miners working in characteristically hazardous environments and to prevent risky illegal mining activities. Mining can have a severely adverse impact on the environment, leading to loss of biodiversity, erosion, and the contamination of surface water, ground water, and soil. Satellite technology can therefore help mining companies, who face increasing pressures to report on indicators like water use and greenhouse gas emissions, to prove that they are undertaking activities to minimise environmental damage.  

TOPICS OF RELEVENCE

  • Exploration: Exploration is the process of finding ores to mine. The initial discovery can be made through research of mineral maps and geological reports, but can include multispectral and hyperspectral imagery from satellite, drone or aircraft-based systems. Exploration is an inherently risky business, and so it is crucial to have an in-depth and well-defined understanding of a geological region when targeting and developing prospective sites. Since so much of the surface has been explored, the search for new mineral resources must now rely on more sophisticated prospecting and exploration techniques

  • Construction & Operation: Construction of mining sites involves building roads, processing facilities, environmental management systems, employee housing, and other facilities. Minerals are then recovered, processed, and transported. Emerging technologies are expected to significantly impact these stages of the mining process.

  • Closure & Rehabilitation: Once a mining site has been exhausted of reserves, or is no longer profitable, the site is shut down. Rehabilitation then begins and aims to return the land and watercourses to an acceptable standard of productive use. Mines may require ongoing treatment of mine discharge water, periodic maintenance of tailings containment structures, and monitoring any ongoing remediation technologies.

  • Commodity Trading: To assess which commodities to invest and divest in, miners need to understand fluctuating consumer demands, global demographic shifts, economic movements, and the effects of environmental change. Shareholders and institutional investors consistently monitor the mining sector to assess if companies are in danger.

  • Illegal Mining: Illegal mining can belong to large-scale organised crime, led by illegal mining syndicates, or it can be a subsistence activity. There are, for example, an estimated 6000 Zama Zamas (artisanal miners who conduct illegal mining in discontinued mines) underground in South Africa at any one time. There are considerable risks to illegal mining. The unregulated and illicit nature of the work has brought about violence, corruption, and turf warfare.

  • Safety of mining workers: Mining is risky and hazardous. Accidents occur and workers can suffer from fatigue and injury. Technological advancements can help to improve the safety of workers.

WEBINAR

05/03/2019 (11:00 CET)

13/03/2019 (15:00 CET)

VALUE OF SPACE TO MINING

New technologies promise to optimise asset utilisation, remotely monitor and control activities, and automate repetitive tasks using robotics. Terrestrial and space-based technologies can add value across the entire mining lifecycle.

Earth Observation  

Multispectral and hyperspectral imagery can help in remote or hazardous areas where ground-based exploration is challenging. Feature extraction, elevation models and satellite imagery can identify the location of infrastructure and the proximity of mining sites to environmental zones. Remote sensing techniques can be used to map hazards and assess the susceptibility of a region to risks like bushfires, floods, fires, and landsides. 

During the construction and operation stage, satellite data can cover infrastructure and facility components, transportation routes, and environmental features. Earth observation can also monitor the natural environment, water resources, and pre-existing culturally sensitive regions. Furthermore, satellite imagery and predictive analytics can help to combat illegal mining by spotting suspicious activity.

Earth observation data can identify and quantify rehabilitation areas. It can be used to monitor the removal of equipment, demolition of facilities and the safe closure of all mine workings.

Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) 

Autonomous equipment can improve drilling precision and efficiency, but also exposes fewer people to dangers in the work environment. LIDAR (light detection and ranging) sensors on autonomous trucks could be used to measure range and recognize humans within range. GNSS could be used to avoid collisions. 

In open pit mining, accurate GNSS is useful for tasks such as machine guidance, grading, dozing, drilling, collision avoidance, surveying, and fleet management. GNSS-based blasthole drilling systems provide drill monitoring, control and guidance. The positioning of shovels, loaders, dozers and graders could be overlapped with the planned design of the mines, ore blocks, pits and roads to show the operator where to mine. Truck fleets can be assigned to different loading machines in real time via a central control station to improve overall efficiency. 

Logistics companies can benefit from applications that integrate autonomous transportation methods, such as autonomous trains and cargo ships, with advanced systems for product tracking and continuous communication. Supply chain optimisation would improve system efficiency and safety. GNSS provides a way of locating assets across the globe.

Satellite Communications (SatCom) 

During mine exploration, SatCom can enable remote personnel to transmit images and drilling data from the field for centralised analysis without the need to send a vehicle back to base or search for an alternative communications link. SatCom can provide reliable connectivity before permanent communications are installed, or can ensure that the site remains connected even in severe weather. Sensors measuring vehicle health, for instance tyre pressures, and the driver’s wellbeing, like heart rate and skin temperature, can be geotagged and sent to a central control system to improve safety and efficiency.  

WHAT WE LOOK FOR

Kick-start Activities elaborate the business opportunity and the technical viability of new applications and services exploiting one or more space assets (e.g. Satellite Communications, Satellite Navigation, Earth Observation, Human Space Flight Technology). This call for Kick-start Activities is dedicated to the theme "Mining", which means that the call is open to companies which intend to develop space-enabled mining applications.   

HOW TO APPLY

1. Register by completing online questionnaire on ESA-STAR Registration (minimum ‘light registration’)

2. Download the official tender documentation (Invitation to Tender) and create ‘Bidder Restricted Area’ via EMITS Reference AO8872 from April 9th 2019.

3. Write your proposal and obtain Letter of Support from National Delegation, if needed (see Authorisation of Funding section below).

4. Submit your proposal via ESA-STAR Tendering by the 20th May 2019.

AUTHORISATION OF FUNDING

Currently Norway, Germany and the UK have pre-approved funding for this Kick-start activity. Applications from any other Member State will require a letter of approval from their national delegation.

 

ARTES Programme: 
Proposal Activity: 
Closing date: 
Monday, May 20, 2019
Opportunity: 
Teaser image: 
Opening Date: 
Tuesday, April 9, 2019