Weather Satellite orbiting Earth

Enhancing space observation

The UK Space Agency has announced that millions of pounds are being committed to projects that will improve the UK’s ability to monitor crucial aspects of the earth as the government works to further understand and protect the planet.

Through the investment of £9 million, which will be delivered by the Centre for Earth Observation Instrumentation (CEOI), 12 projects are going to be supported to monitor the earth’s atmosphere, with this ensuring the measuring of critical emissions such as carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrogen dioxide. By doing this, a clearer picture can be built of where different levels of emissions are being produced, enabling a more effective climate response.

This funding consolidates the UK’s position as one of the world’s leaders in Earth observation, with £314 million already being pledged to programmes as part of the European Space Agency’s £1.8 billion investment. Further funding to bolster this particular project will come from academic and private sectors, which will commit more than £2 million of supplementary investment.

Space quote

Minister for Space within the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology, Andrew Griffith MP, said:

“This exciting new generation of satellite instruments, backed by £9 million in government funding, will play a key part in our efforts to tackle climate change, pinpointing where emissions are highest on our planet and cementing UK leadership in Earth observation, while helping to attract more private investment into this fast-growing sector.”

April saw the European Space Agency also shortlisting two ambitious UK projects as part of its Earth Explorers programme. This particular round is dedicated to innovative satellite missions that are looking to positively influence climate science.

Beth Greenaway, the UK Space Agency’s Head of Earth Observation and Climate, also commented:

“Satellites play a vital role in monitoring emissions, weather patterns and other environmental factors, using a variety of sensors and instruments that return information to Earth. Indeed, some of the information can only be collected from space.

“These new projects highlight the strength and diversity of UK expertise in both universities and companies across the UK – they are at the cutting edge of inventing the newest tools and techniques. The 16th CEOI call shows that we are ready to match the commitment of the UK space sector to ensuring the Earth observation capabilities stay at the forefront of the global demand.”


Image credit: iStock


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