The UK Funds New Cutting-Edge Satellite Projects, Including the “Earth’s Thermometer”

The Satellite Vu project is developing satellites equipped with infrared cameras for thermal images and videos of the Earth 7 photos
Photo: NASA Marshall Space Flight Center
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Could satellites in space play an essential part in solving some of the burning global issues, including climate change and cyber-attacks? The UK Government believes they can, which is why it awarded a $9.4 million (£7 million) boost to 11 innovative space projects.
The UK is gearing up to become “a science and technology superpower,” and the space sector will be at the forefront of this new strategy. Recent regulations and investments have been growing the country’s space industry, from rocket-launching sites and aerospace testing facilities to advanced satellite technology projects.

At the COP26 conference in Glasgow, Scotland, new funding from the UK Space Agency for 11 organizations was announced. These investments are meant to turn the most innovative ideas related to satellite technology into reality.

According to the official announcement, most of them are focused on climate change and environmental management. But there are also several of them dedicated to the protection of digital infrastructure.

Global Satellite Vu, one of the companies that were awarded this new funding, is developing a satellite that will act as the Earth’s thermometer, monitoring energy efficiency and the carbon footprint. This will be the first small satellite in the world to provide thermal videos and images of the Earth with the help of an infrared camera.

An upcoming constellation of infrared satellites will basically be able to measure the thermal emissions of any structure on the planet. That data will then be used to help improve energy efficiency.

Another innovative concept, called “TreeView,” was created by the Open University in Milton Keynes to monitor tree growth and health from space. This remote monitoring tool will allow the most precise measurements, both on a national or global scale. As trees are intrinsically-linked to carbon and oxygen levels, this technology will become an asset for the fight against climate change.

The European Space Agency (ESA) is also on the verge of launching a similar project called Biomass, which is a forest-measuring satellite equipped with a long-wavelength P-band radar.

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About the author: Otilia Drăgan
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Otilia believes that if it’s eco, green, or groundbreaking, people should know about it (especially if it's got wheels or wings). Working in online media for over five years, she's gained a deeper perspective on how people everywhere can inspire each other.
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