On October 12-13, 2022, the Armenian beneficiaries of the project Copernicus assisted environmental monitoring across the Black Sea Basin-PONTOS (BSB889) jointly organized the PONTOS hackathon for teams from different academic institutions in Armenia.
Five teams and twenty-seven students and researchers participated, including Libero (Yerevan State University); Ecoteam (Center for Ecological Noosphere Studies of the RA National Academy of Sciences); ASPU PONTOS (Armenian State Pedagogical University); Mind Galactice (Yerevan State University); and EcoFuture (National Agrarian University of Armenia).
The hackathon challenges consisted of two parts — the generation of new ideas using the PONTOS operational platform and mounted online services/tools, and the suggestion to create a useful application (or stand-alone solution/tool) for the PONTOS platform using Copernicus data. The suggested topics of the hackathon include ideas related to sustainable development goals; land changes (including different classes of land cover/land use, such as forests, crops, grassland, water surfaces and artificial covers like roads and buildings); water health and pollution; agricultural practices (such as estimate crop size to provide soil moisture information and to forecast yield); climate change, and so on.
EcoFuture’s idea is to clean Lake Sevan with the help of different machines and pumps from cyanobacteria, as needed, and use the waste to generate biogas. For biogas production various types of waste from Lake Sevan can be utilized.
Ecoteam’s idea is to create a beach assessment layer in the PONTOS platform that will reflect the environmental status of private and public beaches. It will be obtained by combining the existing layers in the PONTOS platform. The idea supports tourism development in the lake area.
ASPU PONTOS proposes to create extracurricular content and activity in schools to include the PONTOS educational system as a mobile application and a website where students can get ecological knowledge and information (similar endeavors are the Armath engineering laboratory, My School, Edmodo, Solo Learn systems).
Libero offers to clean Lake Sevan through two methods: using cyanobacteria viruses and physical cleaning for further usage. Also, the team suggests improving PONTOS by adding a system that records methane emissions.
Mind Galactics’ idea is to construct a pipeline along the entire Lake Sevan, pumping sewage into the pipeline, chemically cleaning it, and returning the water to the lake.
More information about the project is available on the PONTOS website. Interested individuals can also directly contact the PONTOS team at