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Kostas Test 2

This is a test Innovation report

All4Elevation

Flooding kills more than 6000 people every year, leaves millions of people homeless and causes more than $60 billion in annual damages. Flood predictions help reduce these fallouts which are expected to amplify due to rising sea levels and heavier storms triggered by climate change. Flood predictions rely on knowing how high each and every spot within a country, region or city is. The better the so called “elevation data”, the better the prediction and the more people and assets can be protected from flooding events. Unfortunately, the time and price for creating this data increases as well, which is why most countries can’t afford accurate and recent datasets.

Developed by All4Elevation B.V.

All4Elevation wants to provide accurate and affordable elevation data through combining smartphones, satellite navigation and the power of the crowd. Together with the European Space Agency we are developing a crowdsourced mobile application which allows to turn smartphones into “smart sensors” being able to conduct elevation measurements by utilising potentially millions of phones.

TRL4. Laboratory testing of prototype component or process
Technology validated in lab. Basic technological components are integrated to establish that they will work together. This is relatively “low fidelity” compared with the eventual system. Examples include integration of “ad hoc” hardware in the laboratory. The idea of crowdsourced elevation data originated in 2016 with which we applied for the European Space Navigation Competition (ESNC) and won the Dutch regional prize. Beginning of 2017 we applied for the European Space Agency (ESA) Business Incubation program in The Netherlands to which we got accepted and which now supports us with technical, business and monetary incentives regarding product development. The product development grant from the ESA was used to develop a Proof of Principle of our innovation in collaboration with CGI. Accordingly we situate our innovation between TRL 4 and 5 at the moment.

See more information about this level and the TRL and SRL levels.

Business plan completed

The BRIGAID Business Development Programme has been successfully completed. A MAF+ assessment has been conducted and its results have been enriched and incorporated into a business plan document.

The main components of the system have been tested separately, and an initial integration exercise has been conducted.

Credits
Collaborators

How does it work?

Our innovation is based on three pillars: 1. A mobile application which allows smartphones to collect relevant satellite navigation data necessary to derive an elevation point and send this data to our database 2. Our global database receiving the data from the crowdsourced application, combining the measurements with existing data and enriching it with dedicated algorithms 3. An online web interface presenting and offering the elevation data to our customers

Limitations/conditions under which this innovation does not work or is less effective

Since we are still at an early stage the potential limitations are difficult to specify. Forthcoming areas of investigation will be the achieved vertical accuracy in relation to the measurement time, density of measurements possible to achieve through crowdsourcing, performance in open spaces versus city environments and performance characterisations of different mobile GNSS receivers.

Added value
With our innovation we want to turn smartphones into low-cost elevation measurement devices and use the crowd instead of dedicated surveying specialists. These cost savings can be forwarded to our customers which enables them to acquire more accurate elevation data which otherwise wouldn’t have been affordable using current ground-based or remote sensing practises.

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