Attending the event were the award-winning teams and prominent representatives of the European and Emirati Space sector, with the speakers Luigi Pasquali, Space Activities Coordinator of Leonardo and CEO of Telespazio; Pierpaolo Gambini, SVP of Innovation and IP of Leonardo, Marco Brancati, SVP of Innovation and Technology Governance of Telespazio and Stefano Beco, Head of Technology, IPR and Product Policy of Telespazio.
To emphasise Italy’s commitment to supporting the international value of the sector, the awards were presented on the occasion of the first Italy National Space Day. The event was also a contribution to the Expo Knowledge & Learning Week.
This third edition of #T-TeC for the first time was open to young people around the world and over 70 students and researchers of STEM disciplines participated. They come from 22 universities and Research centers in nine countries of three different continents: from the UAE to Argentina, from Turkey to El Salvador, including Italy, Belgium, France, the United Kingdom and Switzerland.
“Never before like this year has #T-TeC had an international nature, with participants coming from universities of nine countries of the world. The fact that many teams are the result of international collaborations between universities of different countries is also particularly significant as it stands as proof that innovation – just like Space – has a strong spirit of cooperation. It is precisely due to this peculiarity that we decided to announce the winners on the first Italy National Space Day, which we are celebrating also here at the Italy Pavilion of Expo 2020 Dubai. This international event par excellence is the perfect setting to underscore Leonardo’s commitment to promoting innovation and cooperation”,
Luigi Pasquali, Telespazio CEO.
The contest participants presented their innovative solutions as they challenged each other on four different macro-themes - Space Exploration, In Orbit Servicing, GeoInformation Applications and Platforms, Space Situational Awareness & Space Traffic Management - considered of utmost importance for the present and future of the space sector.
A committee made up of Leonardo and Telespazio representatives, members of the European (ESA), Italian (ASI) and Emirati (UAESA) Space Agencies, and industry experts coming from seven countries, analysed the 20 projects submitted assessing not only the innovative quality of the technological solutions presented, but also their sustainability.
The first prize of 10,000 euro was given to the Alma Mater Studiorum – University of Bologna (Italy) team, which presented the “Multi- purpose modular satellite services” project (macro-theme: “In Orbit Servicing”) dedicated to the development of a small modular satellite able to extend the lifetime of the space assets in orbit while also mitigating the problem of orbiting debris.
The second prize of 6,000 euro was given to a team made up of students coming from the Argentinian universities Universidad Nacional de La Plata, Universidad de Palermo, Universidad Buenos Aires, and Universidad Argentina de la Empresa, from the Universidad Don Bosco of El Salvador and from ETH Zurich (Switzerland). The project submitted was “PULQUI XXI” (macro-theme: “Space Exploration”), an innovative cubesat that aspires to become the smallest, lightest and most cost-effective lander to land on the Moon.
The third prize of 4,000 euro went to a team of the CNRS Centre national de la recherche scientifique (France) and the University of Siena (Italy). Again in the macro-theme area “Space Exploration”, the team presented the ESTATE (Elettromagnetic Skins in meTal By AddiTivE manufacturing) project. The solution is capable of increasing the payload of a satellite by replacing its internal structure with an ultra-thin metal smart material (smart skin) produced with 3D printing.
Four special mentions, one for each macro-theme, also went to the worthiest projects, which were above all chosen based on the value of their possible impact in terms of sustainability.
The Emirati Khalifa University of Abu Dhabi was chosen for the Space Exploration macro-theme with a project for develop a wireless power transfer (WPT) system for recharging remote controlled vehicles used in space exploration missions to other planets in our solar system.
In the Space Situational Awareness area, the special mention went to CASSANDRA (Computation Agent for Space Situational Awareness aNd Debris Remediation and Automation), a project submitted by the University of Strathclyde of Glasgow (UK) for a Space Traffic Management (STM) software for automatic, intelligent management of satellites’ operations in orbit, preventing possible collisions with space debris.
CUSAT-WD (Weed Discrimination based on satellite imagery and UAVs in a precision farming framework), the project of the University of Namur (Belgium) was selected in GeoInformation Applications and Platforms and aims to develop a tool for precision farming that will be capable of producing maps of harmful weeds infesting farmers’ fields. The maps will be produced applying advanced machine learning techniques to satellite images.
Finally, for the In-Orbit Servicing macro-theme, the special mention went to PACLEAN (Solution for Space Debris problem) of the University of Naples “Federico II” (Italy), an innovative small satellite that autonomously collects debris in space to help solve the growing problem of pollution in space.
With #T-TeC, Leonardo and Telespazio aim to promote technological innovation within the space sector among the young generations, enhancing the value of their ideas and insights and imagining with them the technologies that will make a mark on our future.
The 2021 edition coincides with the sixtieth anniversary of the foundation of Telespazio has made innovation its hallmark and that has always striven to discover the pioneers of the future, an attitude that is as true today as on its inception in 1961.