Competition Topics

The participants are invited to address one of the following thematic areas that have been identified for the competition, which are particularly relevant to the space sector.

‘Payload’ in space terms refers to those elements of the spacecraft specifically dedicated to producing mission data and then relaying that data back to Earth. The next generation satellites necessitate the employment of new technologies and solutions for the payloads, in view of the physical constraints and availability of frequency spectrum and orbital space congestion. “Super-computers-in-the-sky”, with higher power amplifiers, larger and smarter antennas, are poised to create more capacity and space out of these constraints, to meet the future needs of a fully connected planet.

Satellites have a high degree of autonomy, however they still require a lot of monitoring from ground personnel. Pushing further autonomy of space assets can reduce operations costs, increase reliability and have a positive impact on the environment.

An enormous amount of data is produced in space, but the quantity of processed information given to the end user is still small and much more analysis can be done or improved.

The technology and algorithms underlying blockchain are currently associated with the idea of cryptocurrency. Their potential can be also translated to the space field to improve ground segment data-related infrastructure and the navigation in deep space.

Several instruments can be used by satellites to gather data to monitor climate and weather. Large amount of data is free and readily available.

Earth observation assets can be used to track down aircraft, ships, etc. Coupling with GNSS data it is possible to achieve great tracking capabilities.

The unusual conditions that can be met in space enable scientific experiments on a broad range of research fields. These experiments could push forward the understanding of phenomena on Earth and in space itself.

The current development of Global Navigation Satellite System infrastructure will provide a steadily increasing amount of data that can be used to deliver advanced information and analysis services.

Internet-of-Things enables sending and gathering information through all devices connected to the internet and has become a paradigm of new industrial revolution. Applications of IoT to space can be foreseen, both to improve IoT on Earth and to improve extra-terrestrial operations.

With the resurgence of space tourism, exploiting assets in LEO for leisure is not a remote dream anymore.

From a long cherished dream to a concrete reality, on orbit servicing and manufacturing can increase space assets capabilities and adaptability to the extreme space environment.

Humans are natural born explorers and the solar system is full of interesting places to see, but distance from earth and the environment pose serious threats even for unmanned probes. For sustainable missions, humans have a tremendous opportunity to develop close-loop life support for a circular economy in space, and huge returns for our Earth.

The use of space data can help agriculturists to monitor their cultivations, by giving detailed insights on biophysical, biochemical and environmental parameters.

Measuring and anticipating the effects of future natural hazards is important to implement measures that mitigate the effects of disasters. In all phases of crisis management, satellite-derived information plays an essential role as a synoptic, independent, and objective source.

Debris from impact, explosion or even dead satellite pose a great danger to humankind access to space. Reducing the number of debris created and removing debris in orbit is mandatory for the future uses of space.

The number of satellite and debris will rise shortly requiring great coordination, more avoidance maneuvers and improved tracking capabilities.

Different types of space weather (Solar flares, Coronal Mass Ejections or Geomagnetic storms) can affect different technologies on Earth (e.g. power grid, radio communication, GNSS), and will have negative impact on people who depend on these technologies.

Many satellites already in orbit, as well as new ones, have the potential to have a positive impact on society. With a forward vision of the future it is possible to envision a business that conciliates profit and sustainability.