National Space Centre Ltd, CTO, Bruce Hannah, has been awarded the Astrosat Earth Observation Challege Prize at the Copernicus Masters Competition, held in Madrid last night, Tuesday 25 October, 2016, with his entry “SCAMPER’ which focuses on remote monitoring of global seaweed growth.

The award, sponsored by Edinburgh-based, internationally renowned, space services and management company Astrosat required entrants to design a new and innovative Earth Observation (EO) suite of sensors which to be deployed on an existing platform aboard the International Space Station.

The prizewinning SCAMPER System (Seaweed Crop Assurance, Monitoring, Prospecting, & Ecological Resource management) will collect data via these new sensors and analyse it on earth to provide timely and accurate monitoring of global seaweed resources which will enable better quality control, efficient quantification and effective damage limitation of crops.

Traditionally Seaweed producers rely on the time-consuming, expensive and inaccurate methods of estimation and selective surveying to understand the extent, quality and value of the resources under their stewardship.

National Space Centre CTO, Scottish born Engineer Bruce Hannah, said “The value of global annual seaweed harvest was estimated to be Euro €6b from over 19m tonnes of seaweed in 2014. This system will enable increased efficiency and better regulation in the production of a multi billion Euro food crop.  I look forward to developing a space sensor cluster with Astrosat, for deployment on Teledyne Brown’s platform aboard the International Space Station.

Midleton based National Space Centre will work closely with Astrosat to bring the system to the market, and it is expected to be made available to Government and commercial customers in 18 months.