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Developers of the Thermal Guidance System won the App Camp challenge. The group of aviation enthusiasts proposed the use of satellite data to detect areas of high thermal updraft—rising air currents that are responsible for keeping planes and gliders aloft.

Using satellite data to find areas of thermal updraft to fly gliders is just one of the innovative ideas developed recently in Frascati, Italy, to bring Earth observation to the everyday user.

In its second year, the App Camp saw 20 developers from 16 countries convene at the European Space Agency’s ESRIN center in Frascati, Italy, in early June. The goal was to develop mobile applications using Earth-monitoring data on smartphones, building on the possibilities offered by Europe’s Copernicus program, formerly called the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) program.

Divided into groups of four, each team had a week to create an app under the following categories: Crowd-sourcing in support of GMES, Games and Leisure, Land-monitoring using GIO Land, and Observe and Learn.

Image courtesy of the European Space Agency/M. Valentini.

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