More than forty people took part in the Space Application Hackathon on Friday and Saturday, 9-10 November 2018, at IBM’s headquarters in Prague. Eleven teams competed to come up with the best idea using remote Earth observation data, navigation data and space and blockchain technologies within a 24-hour period. The hackathon was the first event of Czech Space week.
The competing teams presented their projects to the jury on Saturday. The ideas resulting from the hackathon included, for example, a system for protecting animals against poachers, monitoring of people’s movements in hospitals, a system of timely warning against high waves, monitoring of the extent of coastal pollution and inspection of the use of agricultural subsidies. The jury selected the project developed by the Student Dreamers team as the most sophisticated and viable concept. Four students from the Secondary Vocational School in Plzeň, Gymnázium Jiřího Ortena in Kutná Hora, Czech Technical University in Prague and Brno University of Technology presented a blockchain platform on which universities can collect, process and share data from CubeSat satellites. Sharing of data using blockchain technology guarantees the trackability and reliability of the data. The database is decentralised, which eliminates disputes over ownership. Access to a data computer enables more complex analysis of data. Data and computational data processing can also be offered for commercial use, which could provide a source of income for participating universities.
Throughout the hackathon, the competing teams had access to mentors, specialists in the fields of space technology, business and marketing, who helped them to cope with the technical aspects of the task and with preparation of a business plan.
The winners of the Space Application Hackathon shared a cash prize of CZK 70,000 and will travel to the European Astronaut Centre in Cologne, where astronauts are trained prior to missions in space. They can also look forward to further collaboration with the ESA BIC Prague space incubator and possibly with other partners who may be able to develop their idea into an actual business project.