On 5 November 2013 the winners of the “Copernicus Masters” competition were selected at the Alte Kongresshalle in Munich. Hartmut Runge from the Remote Sensing Technology Institute (IMF) of DLR’s Earth Observation Center won the “BMW Connected Drive Challenge” as well as the overall “Copernicus Master 2013” award. His idea could be a step toward achieving automated vehicle navigation. It involves combining data on the location of objects as detected by car sensors with highly precise object detection data from satellite radars such as on Sentinel 1. The goal is highly precise localization of a motor vehicle independent of GPS.
The German Aerospace Center (DLR) also provided a special "Environmental Challenge" prize in a search for the best idea for an application in the areas of environment, climate and energy. Kaupo Voormansik from Tartu University, Estonia, was selected by the jury, which consisted of the head of the GMES Space Office in ESA’s Directorate of Earth Observation Programmes, Dr. Josef Aschbacher; the director of Geo Risk Research at the Munich Reinsurance company (Munich RE), Prof. Peter Höppe; the president of the Bavarian Environmental Agency, Claus Kumutat; the director of portfolio management and energy trading for Stadtwerke München (SWM), Dr. Stephan Illerhaus; and DLR experts.
With the “Copernicus Urban Development Analyser” Mr. Voormansik proposes to combine location data from mobile devices with identified populated areas derived from radar data using mapping techniques developed by the German Remote Sensing Data Center (DFD). His approach means that new built-up areas can be detected with the help of high-resolution Copernicus Sentinel 1 data and linked to population density estimates.
In addition to the award, the prize includes a voucher for a workshop where the winner can obtain advice from DLR on how to implement his idea for an application. The expertise at the Earth Observation Center (EOC) in identifying urban structures, especially with radar data and change detection analysis, will be available to him. In addition, possibilities for partnerships will be jointly explored.