Astrosat End-to-End EO Challenge

Astrosat and strategic partner Teledyne Brown have a fantastic opportunity to deploy new and innovative EO payload sensors regularly on the International Space Station's MUSES platform. When combined with Copernicus data sets this ability will allow us to develop novel and bespoke EO services/campaigns that were previously not an option due to the cost of building/launching a complete new additional satellite.

Astrosat will use the information of the submission's input to determine what kind of sensor you need and get it placed onboard Teledyne Brown's MUSES platform on the International Space Station!

In association with engineering giant Teledyne Brown, Astrosat was asking contenders in the prestigious Copernicus Masters to design a new Earth observation suite of sensors which can be placed on-board Teledyne Brown's Multi-User System for Earth Sensing (MUSES) platform on the International Space Station (ISS).

Traditionally Earth Observation solutions are a technology push - long lifetime and expensive satellites are launched and the data has to be squeezed into a solution. BUT what if the solution needs something not up there, what if the budget and timescales don't fit or don't need a long campaign using big satellites. What if the satellites are in the wrong orbit (most earth observation happens from polar orbits!) We can change all of that with our ISS solution and we want the world to bring their ideas to us through the competition.

We want to work with global innovators - large and small to revolutionise the way Earth observation can solve problems on Earth - at a fraction of the cost and in a fraction of the time by working with innovators to place bespoke sensors in orbit - sensors with missions designed to solve problems End to End. Astrosat wants the world to come up with ideas that need Earth Observation data from the Copernicus suite, but also from data that currently isn't available, for example, maybe they need better resolution or specific spectral bands.


RETRIEVE - Sentinels for Safe Transportation and Retrieval of High-value Goods, submitted by Hartmut Runge and Team, German Aerospace Center, GermanySCAMPER - Safeguarding a EUR Six Billion Global Food Resource from Space, submitted by Bruce Hannah, National Space Centre Ltd., Ireland


Find some inspiration for your innovative idea and explore some examples of applications Astrosat has looked at itself.

Urban heat island effect. Urban heat islands are an increasing concern in built-up areas. Copernicus data can be used to provide detail indicating where above average temperatures are being experienced. Current thermal sensors in space have too low resolution. An adapted off-the-shelf thermal sensor on-board Teledyne Brown's MUSES platform on the ISS gives better information about potential threats and allows us to "profile" the equatorial regions over a short campaign with data spread across the full daily cycle of heat islands.

Algal blooms. Harmful algal blooms cause huge economic losses worldwide. Currently the repeat times for optical images of the algal blooms are too low. By using a sensor adapted for algal bloom observation on Teledyne Brown's MUSES platform, alongside Copernicus data, repeat times are greatly increased and harmful algal blooms can be detected more frequently, increasing the likelihood of a cloud-free image. Furthermore, Algal blooms come in many forms - some good some bad - all with different spectral signatures. Our sensors could look for specific types of good or bad bloom.


The winner will be awarded a bespoke support package prize (valued at EUR 8,000) that includes business and technical assistance that will help bring the product closer to market.

Winners will also get the opportunity to potentially partner with Astrosat in further developing their service to sell to select existing end user clients.

Moreover, the winner will benefit from a substantial satellite data quota worth EUR 10,000 made available with financial support by the European Commission.

The Copernicus Masters competition presents big news for its current edition: the winners of each challenge1 won't be the only participants to be awarded prizes and turn their ideas into successful applications. For the first time ever, the finalists will also greatly benefit from the participation in this competition, thanks to the new Copernicus Accelerator initiative, funded by the European Commission and organised by AZO.

Evaluation Criteria

  • Has the user identified a novel or interesting new EO service that benefits from bespoke sensors on the ISS?
  • Has the user presented a solid business case on this EO service?
  • Has the user defined the type of sensor(s) that they would need to deliver their EO service?
As a frequent Copernicus Masters winner, Astrosat will sit on the judging panel for entries and will look at entrants as potential partners in its commercial exploitation of space. Special focus will be placed on applications which help developing nations with disaster relief, or increasing their economic resilience.


This challenge has been set by Astrosat in association with Teledyne Brown. Astrosat is a private sector managed Earth Observation company based in Edinburgh, Scotland that focuses on commercial development and exploitation of EO data. Our clients are spread internationally from South East Asia to Central America and consume products as diverse as deforestation monitoring to energy efficiency in the urban environment.

1 Participants of the Copernicus Accelerator must be either citizens of one of the Copernicus Participating countries or have established their company in the territory of one of the participating countries.

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