Harmful Algal Bloom Forecast Wins Copernicus Masters Best Service Challenge

09/20/2013 | Ref.: AZO/Copernicus/3-2013

20 September 2013: The online audience of the Copernicus Masters website has voted HAB Forecast - Harmful Algal Bloom Forecast this year's most beneficial Earth-monitoring service for European citizens. The service provides a weekly alert primarily dedicated to fish farmers and regulators via web bulletin at www.asimuth.eu. It is the first forecast system of this kind and designed to combine all available information from Earth (in-situ monitoring stations), space (satellite data) and in-silico (biological and physical oceanic models) sources. The service, which is part of the FP7 project ASIMUTH, was submitted by Julie Maguire for the Irish Daithi O'Murchu Marine Research Station. ASIMUTH is using products from the pre-operational marine service of Copernicus that is currently provided through the EU-funded project MyOcean2.

The Best Service Challenge is one of nine categories in the European Earth monitoring competition Copernicus Masters. It invites service providers to upload profiles of their existing services within the main thematic areas of the European Earth observation programme Copernicus to the competition website for a public voting. The Best Service Challenge aims to increase awareness of existing Earth monitoring services and their benefits to European citizens.

As the winner of the Best Service Challenge 2013, HAB Forecast will benefit from a substantial satellite data quota worth EUR 40,000 made available with financial support by the European Commission.

Coming second in the voting was Landmap - Spatial Discovery. This service, which provides web-based access to spatial data and e-learning materials for the academic community, was submitted by Gail Millin-Chalabi for Mimas - at the University of Manchester.

Taking the third place, meanwhile, was SmartIrrigation - satellite monitoring for agriculture. Submitted by Elizabeth Gil-Roldán for Starlab Barcelona SL, this service provides farmers with a tool for optimising agricultural production through efficient irrigation based on the combination of remote sensing data and measurements from in-situ sensors.

All of the other winners of this year's Copernicus Masters will be announced at the official Awards Ceremony on 5 November 2013 in line with the www.space-solutions.eu Conference 2013.

The overall winner - the Copernicus Master - will be selected from among the winners of the Challenges. He will receive an additional cash prize of EUR 20,000 and benefit from EUR 60,000 in satellite data, made available with financial support by the European Commission.

All of the winners of the Copernicus Masters will be published on the competition website by 6 November 2013.

About the Copernicus Masters
The European Earth Monitoring Competition - Copernicus Masters - was initiated by the European Space Agency (ESA), the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs, the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and T-Systems International GmbH in 2011 with support of the European Commission. It is also supported by European Space Imaging GmbH and Astrium Services in the form of dedicated Challenges. In 2013, the BMW Group Research and Technology and GEO magazine have joined the competition as new supporting partner and media partner. The competition annually awards prizes to innovative solutions for business and society based on Earth observation data.

About the Copernicus programme
As the most ambitious Earth observation programme to date, Copernicus, previously known as GMES (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security) will provide accurate, timely and easily accessible information to improve the management of the environment, understand and mitigate the effects of climate change and ensure civil security.
This ambitious Earth observation programme is headed by the European Commission (EC) in partnership with the European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Environment Agency (EEA).

To learn more about the Copernicus programme, please visit: www.esa.int/copernicus & www.copernicus.eu

Press contact:
Lena Klemm
Anwendungszentrum GmbH Oberpfaffenhofen
Phone: +49(0)8105-77277-17
Email: lena.klemm@anwendungszentrum.de

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