Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Christchurch backs aerospace innovators

Three Christchurch-based innovators have been awarded $10,000 each in grant funding to develop prototypes for capturing aerial imagery as part of the Christchurch Aerospace Challenge.

Images taken from high above the earth are used to make better decisions about what should be done on the land below, Christchurch City Council said in a statement. Uses for aerial imagery range from tackling air pollution to water level changes through to disaster management and recovery.

Council said the grant recipients will develop their prototype over the next five months and compete in a finale and award evening in June, where the winning solution will be awarded a $30,000 contract with Christchurch City Council to trial and validate their solution.

The Council will put the technology to use as part of its Smart Christchurch programme helping to create a digital replica of Christchurch, to be used for planning, and enable advanced analysis of data, it said.

The three grant recipients are:

  • Swoop Aero: It’s solution will ensure the seamless collection of aerial data by combining Swoop Aero’s proven technology platform with a high-resolution sensor.
  • Unmanned Aircraft Solutions:  It’s solution will use smart mapping pods which can be rapidly deployed on a range of aircraft to gather fast aerial mapping data in a more sustainable way.
  • Versatile Airborne Radars: This team of researchers will adapt technology used to monitor changing alpine and polar environments. Their snow radar augments satellite information to give an otherwise flat image in the vertical dimension.

The applications were reviewed by a panel of 10 judges to ensure they met the Christchurch Aerospace Challenge criteria and requirements of Christchurch City Council.

Challenge judge Kyle Davis, Senior Advisor – Mātauranga at Mahaanui Kurataiao – an environmental company owned by six of the Canterbury Papatipu Rūnanga – said the applicants provided three very different, high quality solutions.

“Each applicant has taken a slightly different approach to capturing the imagery. It will be great to see how the teams develop their prototypes over the next five months.”

“This type of technology will play an important role in helping to protect and future-proof the ngā whenua me ngā wai /lands and waters, particularly from the impacts of āhuarangi whakarerekē/climate change,” said Mr Davis.

The Challenge is delivered through a partnership between ChristchurchNZ and the Christchurch City Council and is proudly supported by the University of CanterburyAerospace Christchurch and KiwiNet.

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