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Space for rail prize launched for studies into integrating satellite systems and conventional systems in rail

The European Space Agency (ESA) - supported by Enabling Innovation Team of the UK rail industry (EIT), the Satellite Applications Catapult Centre and the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) have launched a ‘Space for Rail' competition, with three a €50,000 prizes on offer for ideas that could use satellite technology for solving problems in the rail industry.

Applications are open for the next five weeks for outline proposals that integrate two or more satellite-based systems with conventional systems for the UK rail industry for solving problems such communications, navigation and remote sensing.

Their aim is to develop solutions that either meet rail industry needs which cannot otherwise be fulfilled, or improve upon existing solutions.

Up to three prizes will be awarded, each with a value of €50,000, to fully fund a feasibility study as part of the European Space Agency’s Integrated Applications Promotion programme (IAP).

The completed studies this could serve as a stepping stone to the initiation of a demonstration project.


Likely topics for feasibility studies

A list of likely topics for feasibility studies has been suggested, but is not intended to be prescriptive. Alternative ideas are welcomed if avoid areas in which much work has already been done in other ESA IAP studies and projects.

The indicative list of likely topics for feasibility studies includes monitoring and control of mobile assets (such as freight, signal control systems based on the train rather than track side, scheduling and information on journey progress for intermodal freight and logistics systems), monitoring and maintenance of railway infrastructure, autonomous systems and robots, energy efficiency and energy management, as well as emergency and disaster response.


How to apply

The ESA Space for Rail Prize Application Form can be downloaded from ESA, with a deadline for submission of 29 November 2013. The winners are scheduled to be announced in March 2014.

If you are interested in taking part in the competition it is suggested you contact

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