Copernicus 100 Masters

Meet recent and past years winning solutions using Copernicus valuable geospatial information.


Meet the Copernicus 100 Masters

These success stories of the Copernicus Masters, ESA Space App Camp and Copernicus programme finalists and winners demonstrate how Copernicus Earth observation data can be used in a broad variety of application fields.

Get inspired by young entrepreneurs as well as startups and their solutions. Discover new success stories every month!

Europe’s Top 100 entrepreneurs tackling global challenges

Copernicus Masters, ESA Space App Camp Finalists and Winners and Copernicus Accelerator Participants

Innovative Solutions and Business Cases in many Application Fields

Success stories of Award Winning Applications tackling Global Challenges



2011 Winner Copernicus Masters ESA App Challenge
2013 Winner T-Systems Cloud Computing Challenge

EOMAP has a long history with ESA: The development of this spin-off of the German Aerospace Center (DLR) was initially supported by the ESA Business Incubation Centre (BIC) Bavaria.

In 2011, Dr Thomas Heege (CEO of EOMAP GmbH & Co. KG) and his team won the ESA App Challenge in the Copernicus Masters competition for AquaMap – a near-real-time water quality service for mobile phones. Two years later, EOMAP’s satellite service for mapping global seafloor topography won the competition’s T-Systems Cloud Computing Challenge. Today, EOMAP is the world’s leading company in optical remote sensing for marine and freshwater aquatic environments. It is also an expert in satellite-derived bathymetry (SDB), seafloor classification, and water quality monitoring. EOMAP’s technologies are based on 30 years of research and development with an experienced, multidisciplinary team of physicists, mathematicians, geo-information scientists, geographers, and geo-ecologists. Since 2006, EOMAP has been supplying professional services to industrial and governmental organisations around the world.

Ever since its wins in Copernicus Masters, EOMAP has been offering efficient and user-friendly access to its results and services through a range of delivery mechanisms, including the eoApp® web application for visualising water quality data.

One of the projects that involves these mechanisms is SPACE-O (Space-Assisted Water Quality Forecasting Platform for Optimised Decision-Making in Water Supply Services), which is funded by the EU H2020 Research and Innovation Programme. It integrates satellite technology and in-situ monitoring with advanced hydrological and water quality models and ICT tools. The result is a powerful decision support system capable of generating real-time, short- to medium-term forecasts of water flows and quality data in reservoirs, which can be used to optimise water treatment plant operations and establish a complete service line from the realm of science to the water business sector.

Within the SPACE-O project, the provision of satellite data is handled by EOMAP. The raw data generated by Sentinel-2 is processed in a fully automated way by EOMAP tools and delivered into the decision support tool. At the core of this technology are state-of-the-art, physics-based algorithms for extracting quantitative information about aquatic environments from remote sensing data acquired by satellites.

EOMAPs algorithms:

  • Allow for coupled atmospheric and in-water parameter retrieval that corrects for the terrestrial adjacency effect, which is critical to the accurate remote sensing of any coastal or inland body of water
  • Contain a physically accurate implementation of the bi-directional effect inside the water column, on the surface of water, and in the atmosphere
  • Take into account the full range of reflecting, absorbing, and scattering properties of water bodies and the points where they meet the atmosphere
  • Uncertainties in Earth observation products can arise from a number of environmental factors

The algorithms within EOMAP’s processing chain include mechanisms for quantifying these uncertainties and flagging relative reliabilities. As result of the project, a set of newly developed or improved operational products have been incorporated into the Space-O water information system. They include high-resolution indices of chlorophyll (a, harmful algae bloom indicator), surface water temperatures, evaporation rates, and trophic states. These products all deliver very valuable information in connection with sustainable water management in reservoirs and depict further details on the environmental conditions present in lakes.

This new water information platform and toolset have been successfully demonstrated during several workshops in The Hague, Brussels, and Vienna with the active participation of major European drinking-water stakeholders.


Name: Thomas Heege and team, EOMAP GmbH & Co.KG, Germany


ARICS - Artificial Intelligence Change Detection System for Land Use

2018 Finalist EC Copernicus Government Challenge

EU municipalities are missing out on millions of euros in revenue due to illegal construction. Right now, there is no easy or cost-effective way to detect (or even accurately measure) this activity.

ARICS (ARtificial Intelligence Change Detection System) is an AI-driven platform developed by GET and SIMULARITY that utilises Sentinel data to detect abnormal land use changes due to construction, deforestation, or other illegal activities. ARICS dramatically reduces the time and funds required for detection compared to traditional change detection tools used by human analysts. It can analyse a series of remote sensing images in order to detect areas where abnormal changes in land use have occurred. The results are presented in a web application where additional data (e.g. on protected areas, buildings with permits, or even VHR images acquired from drones) can be overlaid to increase the value of the information. Additional applications can be built on this platform in the future, which is expected to result in additional commercial applications for the government and private sector.

“Copernicus Masters was a unique opportunity for us to present ourselves to the international Earth observation community and meet and communicate with EO experts from all over the world.”

Name: Gabriel Mavrellis, Geospatial Enabling Technologies, Greece


ALMaS - An Automatic Landslide Mapping Service

2017 Finalist University Challenge

Landslides are a major threat in the world’s mountainous regions, as evidenced by the numerous deaths and significant damage they cause each year.

When triggering events occur, national and regional authorities and infrastructure providers have an urgent need for fast assessments that support them in taking immediate action, lanning repair and maintenance activities, and documenting events in affected areas.
This is why our team is currently developing an Automatic Landslide Mapping Service (ALMaS), an interactive web service that contains image processing tools capable of automatically identifying landslide-affected areas using the most recent Sentinel-1/-2 images for requested regions. ALMaS provides users with landslide information shortly after satellite images become available. The integration of external data enables them to identify potentially affected populations and infrastructure and start planning actions in response.

“The Copernicus Masters competition and the Accelerator programme were excellent opportunities for our team to elaborate our service concept in detail and advance its development towards live operations.”

Name: Florian Albrecht, University of Salzburg, Department of Geoinformatics – Z_GIS, Austria



CybEarth – First-Person Visualisation of EO Data

2015 Winner NCMA Spatio-Temporal Data Visualisation Challenge

CybEarth is a mobile application that provides augmented first-person views of reality. By positioning a mobile device over an area of interest, layers of spatial data and EO imagery are projected on-screen, matching dynamically to the camera’s tilted field of view.

Imagine you could turn your tablet/smartphone camera towards any area on Earth and get dynamic Earth observation (EO) images on your screen. Imagine you could apply multispectral, multitemporal, multi-thematic data overlays to
the real world, like an x-ray of Earth or even the oceans. You could travel through time and attributes, become a special kind of scientist, and make decisions regarding the Earth’s systems.
Our app, Cybearth, embraces most EO data and applications related to the sea, land, air, environment, civil security, natural disasters, and more. It supports a wide range of uses and market potential: Inspection agencies can investigate and tag urban or environmental violations, farmers can personally monitor crop conditions and decide when to harvest, and simple users can navigate through time to see how their birthplace has changed over the years.

Cybearth is a dynamic, in-situ, augmented reality GIS that is being designed and marketed as a service or stand-alone software for any entity that needs to incorporate EO data into its logging, monitoring, recording, or decision-making activities.

“CybEarth is a horizontal platform that can serve many diverse markets, from tourism and education to farming and science. As an application, it is compatible with our ‘smartdrone’ prototype, which is a smartphone-equipped UAV that was first introduced internationally in Copernicus Masters. After that, Copernicus Masters was the vehicle we used to
transform our academic technology into a business case. It also became the foundation on which we gained wide visibility, business coaching, and access to networking channels.”

CybEarth Sense Logo


CELSIUS - Adaptation to Climate Change with a Focus on Reducing Temperature Effects in Cities

2018 Finalist Copernicus Masters EC Copernicus Government Challenge

Cities around the world are facing two important problems: overpopulation and rising temperatures due to climate change.

Urban temperatures are influenced by each city’s spatial and material heterogeneity, but also by other factors, such as soil impermeability, vegetation, the typology of buildings and urban patterns, wind, humidity, and air pollution. All of these influence the formation of urban microclimates that affect environmental quality and citizens’ quality of life. Green Urban Data’s software makes it possible to locate vulnerable areas and prioritise areas for related measures. This enables public administrations to develop more accurate environmental strategies and allocate budgets in the most
objective way. The ability to quantify the results has a significant impact in terms of how cities and their citizens benefit.

To this end, we use images from the Sentinel-2 satellite (which provides a very good spatial resolution for managing cities’ green areas) and Landsat 8 (which has a thermal band that facilitates temperature monitoring).

“Green Urban Data has garnered interest on an international scale thanks to Copernicus Masters. We are now in conversations to join other European companies in introducing our tool in other countries.”


Name: Alejandro Carbonell

Celsius Logo


ACTAEON - Advancing Agricultural Insurance through Earth Observation Data and Weather Intelligence Services

2018 Finalist Copernicus Masters Airbus Multi-Data Challenge

Although it is a fast-growing sector, agricultural insurance (AgI) is suffering from low penetration and consistent underwriting losses due to factors ranging from high administrative costs to adverse selection.

AgroApps is addressing these sectoral issues with ACTAEON, a robust and cost-effective toolbox that allows insurance companies to alleviate the effects of weather uncertainty when estimating the risk involved in AgI products. It also reduces on-site visits for claim verification, lowers operational and administrative costs for contract monitoring/handling, and enables insurance companies to design more accurate and personalized contracts.

To deliver ACTAEON, AgroApps uses Copernicus EO data (as well as data derived from missions contributing to Copernicus) to provide the actionable information insurance companies need to efficiently design their products and assess natural disasters. In addition, it employs in-house climate services that combine data assimilation, numerical weather prediction, and ensemble seasonal forecasting to verify the occurrence of catastrophic weather events and predict future perils.


Name: Gregory Mygdakos

ACTAEON AgroApps Logo

Beyond 100 Masters

Over the past years of the Copernicus Masters competition, many innovative solutions using Copernicus data have been submitted and awarded. The Copernicus 100 Masters present only a selection of the numerous business cases and application fields enabled by Earth observation imagery.

Browse through the Copernicus Master Hall of Fame to discover even more use cases and visions of young entrepreneurs.

About Copernicus

Copernicus is the most ambitious Earth observation (EO) programme to date and is an integral component of Europe’s ambitious activities in space. It responds to the needs of its users and ultimately serves European citizens – both directly through its products and applications and indirectly through its social, economic and environmental benefits. By rising to the global challenges of climate change and responding to the ever-growing and diverse stress factors placed on the environment and civil security, Europe’s Copernicus programme has already taken significant steps forward in the way we care for our planet.

The Copernicus programme is under the overall leadership of the European Commission, which acts on behalf of the European Union (EU) and is responsible for the overall initiative, setting requirements and managing the services. The EU’s main partner in this endeavour is the European Space Agency (ESA), which coordinates the Space Component, the heart of Copernicus. In addition, the European Environment Agency (EEA) gathers data from a network of various in-situ sensors. Copernicus consists of a complex system that collects information from multiple sources, including more than 30 Earth observation satellites and the aforementioned in-situ sensors. The Space Component comprises two types of satellite missions: the dedicated Sentinel missions, developed by ESA specifically to meet the Earth observation needs of Copernicus users, and existing and planned missions from other space agencies, called Contributing Missions that also provide data to Copernicus.

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Anwendungszentrum GmbH Oberpfaffenhofen (AZO)

Ines Kühnert
Head of Galileo & Copernicus Competitions
+49 8105 77277-19