Funding totalling £2m (€2.23m) will be distributed between 10 UK Earth observation projects, the UK Space Agency has announced.
The funding, to be delivered through the UK Space Agency’s Earth observation funding mechanism the Centre for Earth Observation Instrumentation, is aimed at expanding the UK’s Earth observation capability and cementing its status as a world leader in the sector. UK Earth observation programmes currently support up to £92bn (€102.69bn) of the greater British economy.
The UK Earth observation projects which have been selected to receive funding have been divided into three categories: Pathfinder, developing theoretical innovations to create a proof of concept; FastTrack, bringing projects from the proof of concept stage to a higher Technology Readiness Level (TRL); and Flagship, which covers projects of strategic importance which are already nearly ready for launch. The recipient projects include:
- A flat lens developed at the University of Glasgow, aimed at saving weight in comparison with standard curved lenses (Pathfinder);
- HYMAS-X, a joint project between the University of Cardiff and the University of Cambridge, which aims to result in a new technique for atmosphere sounding using hyperspectral millimeter-waves (FastTrack); and
- SERMON (Spectroscopic system for EnviRonmental MONitoring), which will observe atmospherical changes using microwaves in order to improve the accuracy of weather forecasting technology.
Graham Turnock, CEO of the UK Space Agency, said: “It’s incredible to think that with the touch of a button we can direct firefighters to the precise location of wildfires in Australia and observe detailed levels of air pollution over London, but these are just two examples of Earth observation space technology in action. Earth observation technology provides us with the eyes and ears for monitoring our planet and underpins dozens of scientific fields, from oceanography to meteorology, so I’m delighted to announce this new funding which is being matched by industry to maintain momentum in science innovation, job creation and growth.”