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Satnews Daily
October 30th, 2012

European Space Agency (ESA)... SatNav Champions (Awards)

[SatNews] An indoor navigation system for smartphones has won this year’s Galileo Master prize, while...

...ESA’s Innovation Prize goes to a first aid app that provides emergency support. The international jury selected a novel solution for indoor navigation as the best satnav application at this year’s European Satellite Navigation Competition (ESNC). The competition’s top award, the Galileo Master 2012 prize, went to Fraunhofer Portugal and the University of Porto for proposing the idea with an award of 20,000 euros.

Jonathan Durant from France won ESA’s Innovation Prize for his project Citizen First Aid, a mobile app bringing rapid support to those in need in emergency situations. “His innovative project can be of help to us all,” said Frank M. Salzgeber, Head of ESA’s Technology Transfer Programme Office, when he conferred the prize at the awards ceremony on October 25th in Munich, Germany. “It enables victims to alert people nearby for help until professional assistance arrives. And with most smartphones having geolocation tools, this app can be quickly implemented.”

Winners were selected from a remarkable 406 submitted ideas from more than 40 countries in this year’s competition.

Winners at the ninth Galileo Masters European Satellite Navigation Competition award ceremony, held in the Allerheiligen Hofkirche of the Munich Residenz, Germany, 25 October 2012.

Credits: S. Hörmann/AZO

The 2012 ESNC overall winner is a project offering reliable navigation even indoors by expanding conventional GPS and Galileo navigation with ultra-low-frequency magnetic field communication and is as easy as using satellite-based navigation today. The solution for smartphones provides navigation in indoor environments, such as department stores and underground parking garages and tunnels, switching seamlessly between satellites and indoor navigation. The three-axis sensors of smartphones—‘electronic compasses’±are used to calculate the relative location from the last absolute satnav position. Already tested and with a demo is under development, a patent is pending in Europe and the US.

The Citizen First Aid mobile app allows fast reactions in emergencies and helps people in distress, victims of medical problems or aggression, and others requiring urgent help. In an asthma attack, someone close might have a Ventoline, or a diabetic out of insulin could quickly find help. The elderly and people with disabilities could call for assistance. Many would be ready to intervene if alerted. For his Citizen First Aid, Jonathan Durant takes home the 10,000 euros Innovation Prize sponsored by ESA.