Three teams were selected to represent Cyprus at the final stage of the Nasa International Space Apps Challenge during a competition over the weekend at the Cyprus University of Technology (Tepak) in Limassol.
After two days of reviewing innovative applications, presentation of ideas and technologies, the judges in the Nasa Space Apps competition picked out the four best winning teams. The top three will now represent Cyprus on an international level.
“This year’s level was particularly high. The quality and innovation of our competing teams impressed us. The first three winning teams will be submitted to Nasa to compete internationally,” the president of the Cyprus Space Exploration Organisation (Cseo), George Danos told CNA.
The first-place team ‘GalaxyCY’ put forward an innovation to solve the problem of forest fire detection and the protection of affected citizens by using drone satellite data and ground intelligent sensors.
In second place, the ‘AGreenSpace’ team proposed solutions to improve the enclosed living habitat of Martian settlements, using cropland floors and kinetic and solar power generation.
The third-place contenders the ‘Nestfold’ team proposed the use of a collapsible smart shelter in the event of natural disasters such as floods, earthquakes, forest fires and landslides.
In fourth place, and given an honorary mention was the ‘PyroFighters’ team, which proposed the creation of laser-spectroscopes for the detection of. They also offered solutions to protect affected citizens by the use of “drones” and satellite data and software
The competition aimed at generating ideas to find solutions to challenges faced by the US space agency. Challenges included data visualisation, mechanical design, robotics, artistic approach, as well as business ideas for future space exploration missions.
In 2015, one of the winning teams ‘ArachnoBeeA’, was selected by Nasa’s judging committee as the global winner in the “Best Mission Concept” category, among over 950 participants from 135 cities.
Also, the 2013 local winning team “MarsSense” was voted as the second-best project worldwide in the category People`s Choice Award.
The two-day competition was organised in 160 cities around the world and promoted collaboration and teamwork among participants with various knowledge and skills. The event’s planning was undertaken by the Cseo and Tepak students. It was sponsored by the Cyprus News Agency and Cyta’s Centre for Innovation and Idea Development.