ESNC winner GUAPO a step ahead of civilian drone market

October 27, 2016  - By

This year’s European Satellite Navigation Competition centered on the topic of civilian drone use. On Oct. 25 in Madrid, the 2016 edition culminated in an awards ceremony featuring prominent industry representatives and the winners of 32 categories, which included 11 drone applications.

Rafael van Frieken, Madrid’s regional minister of education, youth and sport, presented the grand prize to the drone security system GUAPO.

GUAPO — A security system for early drone detection, classification and tracking

Drones have been one of the biggest trends of 2016. At the same time, concerns regarding the safety of these devices are growing due to the rise in media reports of drones crashing or encroaching on security-critical spaces.

In response, the overall winners of ESNC 2016 — Carmine Clemente and his team from the University of Strathclyde (Glasgow, Scotland) — are developing a satellite-based system capable of early drone detection and tracking.

GUAPO factors in the electromagnetic characteristics of drones to offer continuous coverage with low resource requirements. It provides a cost-effective, sensor-based solution for monitoring areas where security is paramount, such as in the protection zones around airports.

The GUAPO team from the UK took top honors in the 2016 ESNC.

The GUAPO team from the UK took top honors in the 2016 ESNC.

In addition, GUAPO is suited to security-related activities in connection with large events or drone deliveries in e-commerce.

Along with the competition’s EUR 10,000 grand prize, the innovative project is now set to receive an extensive package including cash, marketing support, consulting services and technical assistance as the winner of the U.K.’s regional ESNC prize. These benefits are designed to accelerate the idea’s further development and market entry.

Civilian drones a growth market for GNSS

According to the latest drone report compiled by Business Insider, drone sales are expected to surpass EUR 11 billion by the year 2021 — a significant increase on the EUR 7 million the segment accounts for at present. Playing a prominent role in this growth will be commercial drones, the sales of which are projected to quadruple over the next five years thanks to ongoing technological advancements and heightening price competition.

To operate safely, drones rely on satellite navigation signals such as GPS and Galileo for precise positioning and orientation. They thus represent a promising growth market for GNSS.

The ESNC’s first attempt to address this up-and-coming market — a joint effort with Xunta de Galicia — was a success: A full third of the 2016 winners were recognized for innovative drone applications.

An overview of the winning entrants in all of this year’s 32 categories is now available on competition website, and are listed below.

“The large number of promising drone applications the ESNC received this year will aid our partner regions in positioning themselves in this future segment,” added Thorsten Rudolph, CEO of Anwendungszentrum GmbH Oberpfaffenhofen and initiator of the ESNC. “Thanks to our new special prize for UAVs, the competition has also further solidified its reputation as an engine of innovation in new market sectors.”

Europe’s innovation network for satellite navigation

Having received more than 400 auspicious business ideas and highly advanced technical concepts, ESNC 2016 now offers solutions to the social and economic challenges our world currently faces.

Since 2004, more than 300 prize-winners, nearly 3,800 entries and 10,000 participants from around the world have transformed the competition into the leading innovation network in satellite navigation.

As a result, the ESNC is now playing a key role in the uptake of Europe’s EGNOS and Galileo programmes.

“Downstream entrepreneurs and start-ups play an important role. They are the ones bringing EGNOS and Galileo down to Earth through the applications they develop. This is where the European Satellite Navigation Competition plays a crucial role,” said Matthias Petschke, director for the European Satellite Navigation Programmes of the European Commission. “The ESNC has accumulated a track record of success in fostering innovation and application development in satellite navigation since its launch in 2004.”

2016 winners


Overall winner

Carmine Clemente, Domenico Gaglione, Christos Ilioudis :: Regional Winner United Kingdom
GNSS based UAV monitoring system for Airfields using Passive radar Observations (GUAPO)

Special prize winners

Achilles Tripolitsiotis, Asst Prof Panagiotis Partsinevelos, Prof Stelios Mertikas :: GSA
Drones2GNSS – the Future of Surveying: UAV-assisted GNSS Positioning in Obstructed Environments

Sasha Afanasieva, Alessio Nunzi :: ESA
Blubel – SatNav in a Connected Bicycle Bell

Piotr Krystek :: DLR
Augmented Crane Navigation System (ACNS)

Mark Dumville, Ben Wales, Dr Luis Enrique Aguado, Dr Nigel Davies, Richard Bowden, Kevin Adams, Daniel Boulton, Matthew Jones :: BMVI
GRIPPA – A PRS-enabled Smartphone Sleeve for Critical Applications

Rafael Aguado, Juan Díaz, Jorge Gómez, Ana Pérez :: UAV
CANARD – Calibration of Air Navigation Safety Beacons with Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

Noordin Ahmad, Ooi Wei Han, Shahrizal Ide Moslin, Helmi Kadir, Norhan Mat Yusoff, Muhammad Firdaus Mat Ghani :: BELS
ATTracT – Autism Trigger, Tracking and Trace

Asst Prof Panagiotis Partsinevelos, Nikos Afentakis & Senselab Research Team :: University Challenge
Message in a Bubble (MiaB): Pinpoint the Present, Empower the Future

Luke Robinson, Michael Castle :: GNSS Living Lab
GoWalk – ‘Fitbit’ for Elderly People to Keep them Independent and Healthy

Regional winners

Irene Franco Freire, Miguel A. Ledo Loyola :: Andalucia / Spain
ManySafe.Pin: Ecological, Customisable, Autonomous GPS with Global Reach – and No Battery

Austin Cheng-Yun Tsai, Dr Tsung-Hsun Tsai, Amy Hsin-Yi Lai, Jasmine Cheng-Jin Tsai, Dr Frank Chee-Da Tsai :: Asia
Digital Media Convergence and Drone Video Capturing with Social Networking – Sharing & Profiting

Markus Manninger, Andreas Ploier, Azra Todoric :: Austria
Intelligent Drone Rescue System

Rainer Schrode, Ulrike Nohlen, Dr Alexander Beetz :: Baden-Württemberg / Germany
Civil engineering 3D+ guide

Mikel Beltrán, Igor Latasa :: Basque Country / Spain
Position-based Automatic Rail Track Monitoring System (PARTS)

Hartmut Runge :: Bavaria / Germany
Night Vision – An App That Increases Visibility

Paco Morente, Jesús David Morente, Pablo Ibáñez, Matilde Bellido Rubiales :: Catalonia / Spain
Biomimetic Drones and Fear as a Sustainable Method of Pest Control

Michal Jakob, Jan Hrnèíø, Pavol Žilecký, Jan Nykl :: Czech Republic
MoveLight: GNSS-enabled Platform for Light Personal Mobility

Olivier Dinet, Przemysaw Szurmak, Mateusz Koœlacz, Larissa Goethals :: Flanders / Belgium
Faver: Enabling Strangers to Do Each Other Favours for Rewards Based on Their Location

Charles Moszkowicz, Jean-Charles Simonin :: France
Pokemon Biodiv – Discover and Preserve Biodiversity

Manuel García Sánchez, Daniel Gómez Pérez :: Galicia / Spain
GNSS-Assisted Drone Landing System

Matthias Siegel, Wolfgang Armbruster :: Hesse / Germany
ISOCollect: Predictive Waste Collection Optimisation with Innovative Fill-Level Monitoring & Smart Routes

Dan O`Donoghue, Richard Fairman :: Ireland
I.O.T.A.P., the Internet of Things and People by Farmflo

Gady Shlasky, Yossi Aloni :: Israel
Optibus OnTime™ – Reacting to Bus Delays BEFORE they Impact Passengers

Dr Saulius Rudys, Aleksej Kaminskij, Dr Domantas Brucas :: Lithuania
Electromagnetic Compatibility Measurements Using Very Light Hardware on a Drone

Pablo Flores :: Madrid / Spain
DRONE HOPPER – Extinguishing Wildfires, Spraying Crops

Jeroen Derriks, Ingrid van Namen :: The Netherlands
Crowdsourced Surface Elevation Mapping Through Gamification

Dr Harald Skinnemoen, Magnus Vikstrøm, Mete Cakman, Ivan Milecevic, Dan Richard Isdahl-Eng :: Norway
BIRDEYE – Visual UAV Communication / Pilot Support with Integrated Satellite Navigation and Networking

Rafał Osypiuk, Mateusz Spychała :: Poland
Safe Airspace Sharing Between Manned and Unmanned Airborne Vehicles

Titus Balan, Dan Robu, Florin Sandu :: Romania
AwareAnywhere – Nowcasting and Localised Response Force Mobilisation

Therese Öhman :: Sweden
Positioned Production and Management

Dr Aanjhan Ranganathan, Hildur Olafsdottir, Prof Dr Srdjan Capkun :: Switzerland
SPREE: A Spoofing-Resistant GNSS Receiver

Dr Carmine Clemente, Domenico Gaglione, Christos Ilioudis :: United Kingdom
GNSS based UAV monitoring system for Airfields using Passive radar Observations (GUAPO)

Ricardo Verdeguer Moreno, Hilario Pinedo Puig :: Valencian Community / Spain
Handling Stations Network for UAS Applications

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