Leonardo Innovation Award: Telespazio wins in Radical Innovation category

Naples  28 November 2018

Telespazio and Telespazio VEGA Deutschland team won the Leonardo 2018 Innovation Award in the Radical Innovation category. The proposal "Ionosphere Prediction Service for GNSS Users" was presented by Filippo Rodriguez (team leader), Roberto Ronchini, Stefano Di Rollo, Gian Paolo Plaia, Luca Preziosi, Vanessa Sicurello, Osman Kalden and Douwe Lambers.

The innovation is a platform which can predict when solar explosions interacting with the ionosphere will interfere with terrestrial systems. The activity of the sun produces significant effects on the ionosphere, which is the highest ionised layer of the Earth’s atmosphere. This can influence the behaviour of satellite navigation systems, drastically reducing their accuracy or interrupting their proper functioning. Today, predicting weather conditions in space is of special interest: systems are therefore needed to help anticipate and measure the effect of solar activity on applications and services that use satellite navigation systems. The beneficiaries of these forecasts would include the operators of vehicles, aircraft and vessels which use receivers based on GPS, Galileo and other systems to navigate. The service is based on advanced proprietary algorithms that draw on data provided by various open source sensors and historical data. The output is forecasts which are useful in mitigating the effects of magnetic interference.

The Innovation Award is an initiative which, since 2004, has involved over 30,000 Group employees  and generated 10,000 innovative projects and patent proposals. This year’s edition evaluated entries in the context of Leonardo’s 2018-2022 Industrial Plan and saw 750 internal projects presented, 8% more than in 2017, of which 40% were from the Company’s international employees. A related website dedicated to university students saw 24,000 people register to get involved in the awards and compete for business internships.

The Leonardo Innovation Award Cerimony was held at the Città della Scienza (Science City) Museum in Naples. The event was attended by Italy’s Minister of Education, University and Research, Marco Bussetti, as well as senior representatives from industry, Italian institutions and the world of science.

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