ESNC Winner 2016 walks off with the Aviation Innovation Award

The European Satellite Navigation Competition (ESNC) Madrid Regional Prize Winner 2016, DRONE HOPPER, remains successful and won the Aviation Innovation Award 2017. This prize is granted by the Official Association of Spanish Aeronautical Engineers (COIAE) presided over by King Felipe VI, with the focus on the national aeronautical strategy.

DRONE HOPPER is a heavy-duty drone designed to provide aerial support for combatting wildfires and agricultural operations. These high-tech drones can release up to 300 litres of water – thanks to EGNOS – precisely onto a fire from just a few metres above. The release method is an up-to-date innovation: It’s based on a patented technology that uses air from the engines to produce water mist, capable of removing oxygen from the combustion reaction, which puts out the fire using very small quantities of water. This exclusive magnetic system enables DRONE HOPPER to outperform conventional platforms that carry larger quantities of water. In one additional application field, agricultural operations, the drones meet virtually every possible need, ranging from focused pest control and precision fertilisation to extensive spraying and pest prevention.

Winning the ESNC Madrid Regional Prize 2016 with its idea created a major boost for DRONE HOPPERS business. Next to cash and in kind prizes, the increase in awareness lead to the participation in the ESA Business Incubation Centre (BIC) Madrid incubation programme, co-financed by the ESA (European Space Agency) and the Community of Madrid, and coordinated by madrid+d.

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About the European Space Week
The European Space Week brings together the most important space stakeholders, companies, partners and visionaries in Europe pushing the topic of space in Europe and beyond. It is organised by the European Commission (EC) under the auspices of the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the EU and co-organised by the European Space Agency (ESA), AZO Anwendungszentrum GmbH Oberpfaffenhofen and Garage48.

About the European Satellite Navigation Competition (ESNC)

The ESNC’s annual search for new services, products, and business innovations is designed to encourage the use of satellite navigation in everyday life. Over the past 14 years, it has evolved into the leading innovation competition comprising most relevant European GNSS stakeholders, partner regions worldwide and the largest space-related incubation network. The ESNC’s newest feature is Europe’s largest E-GNSS Accelerator, initiated by the European Commission, providing more prizes, services and three further business incubations to lead companies into market entry. Sign up now until 30 June at

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