Sven Löffler
7. July 2014 0

Big Data Challenge

“That’s one small step for (a) man – a giant leap for mankind.” On July 29, 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin set a historical milestone with these words as they set foot on the moon. Since then aerospace has experienced enormous development. Today some 1,000 active satellites orbit the earth, gathering and transmitting data to the planet’s surface. Data is becoming more precise and detailed, thus giving us a better picture of the earth and the changes it is undergoing. Weather and natural events can be forecast with ever-increasing accuracy. These advances are made possible by visionaries who constantly ponder what steps need to be taken next in this field of endeavor. People with vision and ideas are just the kind of individuals that Copernicus Masters and T-Systems are looking for within the scope of the Big Data Challenge.

Understanding how our earth functions and how external influences are impacting the earth’s climate is fundamental. Satellite-supported observation and big data analytics, as described in the article “Big data in orbit,” is essential to the further development of modern aerospace.

Visionaries wanted …

The Earth Monitoring Competition – an initiative of Copernicus Masters and T-Systems, recognizes innovative solutions for business and society based on earth observation data. The initiative awards EUR 300,000 that is distributed among the “best of the best” in the area of big data analytics – of course, these ideas must be submitted to Copernicus Masters by the July 13, 2014, deadline.

… become a partner!

In addition, young enterprises with promising visionary ideas also have a chance of being selected to participate in a partnership with T-Systems in the area of big data analytics. The main objective is to get these ideas out into the real world, or in this particular case, into orbit.

To be among the finalists and win an advantageous position for the competing enterprise, the ideas or solutions need to fulfill several criteria: These are basically social benefits for European citizens and industry. The ultimate goal is to provide much better data analytics to process the data coming from the observation satellites. And that will lead to more precise forecasts of natural and environmental events. Each competing solution must deliver a clear and concrete benefit through the analysis of observation data that will contribute to the success of the Copernicus space program.

This also means that the solution must also ensure commercial success as well – with a viable balance of investment, profitability and time to market.

Earth observation is only possible with big data

Sentinels, the observation satellites of the European Space Agency (ESA), are not the only data machines measuring one million square kilometers of the earth’s surface every second as they circle the planet. They are joined by some 1,000 additional orbiting satellites that provide data for computational models related to climate research and related fields.

Scientists and users throughout Europe are working to shape the future. Based on the Copernicus Project, services will soon be available that open up new dimensions in real-time computing, such as traffic control based on weather data, the coordination of rescue operations based on information from simulated and real avalanche incidents and snowstorms – the possibilities are almost endless.

Copernicus Masters and T-Systems are already looking forward to a host of new ideas and the award winners who will be distinguished on October 23rd, 2014, in Berlin.

Sven Löffler

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