ESA invites mobile app developers to Space App Camp 2021

ESA invites mobile app developers to Space App Camp 2021

It is inviting up to 25 mobile app developers and specialists in artificial and machine learning related to observing Earth from space to sign up for its annual Space App Camp programme. It will be a virtual event over eight weeks, from 20 July to 20 September.

The programme aims to make Earth observation data and services accessible via the use of smart phones or personal devices.

The idea is than an array of Earth observation satellites, including the Copernicus Sentinel missions, collect a vast amount of data. And this “big data from space” reveals information about our planet’s atmosphere, land, and water. This should offer opportunities for creating attractive and transformational mobile apps, believes ESA.

The deadline for application is 8 July 2021. Interested students, entrepreneurs, researchers, developers and economists can register online as individuals or teams (of up to four people).

Up to 25 participants will be selected to take part in the 8-week-long mentoring programme from 20 July to 20 September 2021, featuring dedicated bi-weekly learning and development sessions.

Big data winners

The agency writes:

“Space App Camp participants will be introduced to the Copernicus data and learn how big data from space can enrich mobile apps using a dedicated API for Earth observation data. The 2021 virtual edition revolves around an enhanced cooperation with the ESA’s Ф-lab, whose mission is to accelerate the future of Earth observation through new transformational ideas, and selecting, maturing, testing, and nurturing the most promising concepts.”

“While this is ESA’s tenth Space App Camp, it is the first time that the camp is offering an enhanced mentorship programme, which involves a comprehensive learning and mobile software development scheme spread over the eight weeks, and which is supported by experts in Earth observation, artificial intelligence, intellectual property protection and business development.”

The winners will be receive cash prizes of up to €2500 and an Earth observation support package to allow them to continue working on their winning App idea. They will also be invited to participate to ESA’s Φ-week and Living Planet Symposium, with all costs covered.

There is also a prize of an Earth observation support package worth about €3500. This includes technical Earth observation data consultancy, eight hours of software engineering services, access to a global network of Earth observation experts in applied and technical fields and support from professional ESA business developers.


The Quifer (aQuifer sUrveillance by sentInel interFERometry) app won the top prize at the 2020 Space App Camp. See below.

ESA invites mobile app developers to Space App Camp 2021

It uses terrain data from the Copernicus Sentinel-1 mission, combined with big data and artificial intelligence, in order to monitor the use of water resources.

The Space App Camp started 10 years ago, and since then 480 developers from 30 countries have applied to participate and more than 60 applications have been developed.