South Australia takes out global space challenge
Fantastic ideas full of innovation and creativity were birthed at the first ever ActInSpace Australia hosted by the Innovation & Collaboration Centre (ICC) at the University of South Australia on May 25 and 26.
A total of 25 countries and 70 cities on all five continents participated in the event, with 2.200 people taking part in more than 550 teams worldwide.
Almost 50 people from around Australia participated with some logging in from around the world to be part of a team.
The task for the students, developers and entrepreneurs was to choose a challenge from the ActInSpace website set by aviation experts such as Airbus, to utilise existing space technology to design, improve or develop innovative applications for use.
With 10 teams vying for the Australian title to be sent to France to compete in the international finals, participants arrived early to find a spot and set themselves up for the 24 hours of work they had ahead of them.
When the clock struck three, the teams set out on their creative journeys.
Mentors such as A&H Digital Solutions’ Hasan T Anjum, UniSA’s Ady James and David Bruce and Airbus’ Jonah Williams helped participants with the technological and business sides of their challenges while a small army of volunteers ensured they were well fed and keeping up fluids.
After a long 24 hours with little sleep, the 10 teams presented their ideas to three industry professionals, former US Air Force Officer and astronaut, (now at Nova Systems), Colonel Pam Melroy, PhD in aerospace engineering and Chief Executive Officer of Inovor Technologies, Matthew Tetlow and systems engineer from Airbus Defence & Space, Damian Carroll.
Manager of UniSA’s Innovation & Collaboration Centre, Jasmine Vreugdenburg says the competition was fierce with many teams presenting impressive pitches.
“After a massive 24 hours working on these challenges, we were very impressed with the level of professionalism and well-planned ideas and presentations, with many ideas commercially viable.
“We are encouraging some of these teams to consider applying for the ICC’s Venture Catalyst Space incubator program that launches soon, so we can work with them and support their ideas into viable and potentially new global businesses. .”
Third place team ‘Andrometer’ presented a plan to help grape growers improve the quality of their fruit by providing information on weather conditions, natural disasters and problems with wildlife through utilising new Argos beacons.
Second placed ‘Machine Yearning’ came up with an idea to improve geocaching using Galileo precise positioning (a civilian owned satellite system) to enhance the current game and attract new users.
The Wright Team Incorporated, an impressive group of students and graduate engineers took out first prize and are on their way to France.
Wright Team Incorporated worked on a challenge by the Centre National D’etudes Spatiales (CNES), one of the international ActInSpace organisers, to create new innovative traceability services.
With the Civil Aviation Safety Authority forecasting 7M drones to be in the air by 2020, the team of four students saw an opportunity.
They stressed the importance of a universal standard to guarantee full-proof identification and tamper-proof tracking, so came up with ‘Seraph’, a unique tamper proof system for drone registration with real-time tracking so at any one time, we know who are flying the drones, where they are going and where they have come from.
We wish them all the best in France, representing Australia at the international finals.