AppsInSpace Hackathon

8th - 9th June 2013

The Satellite Applications Catapult #AppsInSpace Hackathon took place over the weekend of 8-9 June 2013, and proved to be great success.

Hosted at the Catapult's facilities in Harwell, Oxfordshire, the hackathon was part of a series of activities providing a platform to enable people to collaborate and innovate with space technologies to solve challenges and potentially develop new business opportunities.

In total, six challenges were worked on over the weekend and were judged by a panel representing the Catapult, Technology Strategy Board, Reading University, European Space Agency (ESA) Business Incubation Centre (BIC) and UK Space Agency.

The winning solution, from the team named BeamHive, was developed by a team of six strangers who joined together to focus on two challenges provided by Inmarsat. These addressed the precise position of satellites and their optimum coverage. The solution developed could be used to provide information to calculate which communications satellite spot beam to focus more power/bandwidth on - due to customer demand or a crisis - and to optimise the power usage of the satellite.

Other solutions developed during the weekend focused on how to use satellite data for road maintenance (road quality monitoring), use a smartphone’s sensor to optimise the GPS battery usage (SmartGPS); a real estate search engine empowered with environmental information (REED); and remote monitoring of toilets failures on trains (‘Stuff Happens in Trains’).

Antonia Jenkinson, Chief Financial and Operations Officer of the Satellite Applications Catapult, said: “Innovators, coders, designers and engineers from across the UK and a group of software engineers from Germany, came together to find solutions to the challenges set for them. Over 35 delegates attended the event, and a large proportion stayed through the night to work on their project. It is fantastic to see new people innovating with satellite solutions and the results show the potential opportunities that can be developed. We look forward to working with some of the delegates in the near future.”