Space research is a rather niche activity in Slovakia, a country that can hardly be considered an influential contributor to the field. Yet one local company can boast a prestigious space research award.
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Insar.sk received the Copernicus Masters Award, also known as the “space Oscar”, for its remotIO-X system that can monitor even millimetres of movement of structures on Earth via satellites.
The system enables the monitoring of mining activities, gas reservoirs, bridges, highways, dams, water management constructions, cultural monuments, and also landslides and various slope deformations.
The company, founded by graduates from the Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava (STU) in 2015, is positive about the feedback this award has brought. As it was successful in the “Airbus sobloo Multi-Data Challenge” category, it has been invited to develop the project in cooperation with Airbus Defence and Space (offering satellite data) and European consortium sobloo, established to support the Copernicus programme by making data freely available to all users.
“Apart from our collaboration with Airbus, it has brought foreign partnerships and new customers, which helped us come closer to becoming established on the market,” Matúš Bakoň, co-founder of insar.sk who currently works at the eastern-Slovak Prešov University, told The Slovak Spectator.
Although Slovakia has collaborated on several interesting space-related projects and the subjects involved agree there is potential for further growth in the space industry, the country has yet to become more involved in the European Space Agency (ESA). For now, it is still waiting to become a full member.Read more
“This is tying our hands and we’re losing big opportunities, big money and investors,” Jakub Kapuš, chair of the Slovak Organisation of Space Activities (SOSA), told The Slovak Spectator. “Foreign investors avoid Slovakia because we’re not ESA members, so our companies can’t be part of foreign consortiums.”