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£0.75M Investment in New Earth Observation Instruments

The Centre for Earth Observation Instrumentation (CEOI) has approved funding for ten instrumentation projects to be carried out by teams from UK industry and academia. The overall investment is in excess of three quarters of a million pounds, including parallel industrial PV. In total, 16 academic and industrial organisations are involved.

The largest of the projects – to prove the integration of highly sensitive receivers for future climate and meteorology missions, builds on existing CEOI work on passive microwave technologies. Here, STFC-RAL and STAR-Dundee are collaborating to advance development of a novel high-resolution wideband spectrometer and to undertake critical system-level design and breadboarding activities. This will lead to full integration of a sideband-separating receiver with high-resolution spectrometer into the MARSCHALS millimetre-wave airborne instrument, thus proving its suitability for future space missions. See the project page for more information.

Two projects are developing technologies for the next generation of the Eumetsat meteorology mission – ‘MetOp Second Generation (MetOp-SG)’.  Astrium is leading a project to improve the technologies for the microwave sounder instrument, which will provide measurements of atmospheric temperature and humidity – see link for further information.  In a second project for MetOp-SG, SEA Ltd is studying the implementation options for an Ice Cloud Imager instrument, which will provide measurements of cirrus clouds, one of the most important gaps in monitoring the atmosphere – see link for further information.

Other projects will help germinate ‘seedcorn’ ideas for space instrumentation. In one of these, Gooch and Housego – an optical technologies company, are working with SSTL to conduct an assessment of new low weight mirror fabrication techniques. Reducing the weight of mirrors for space applications, whilst retaining the required stability of surface form is important and the project aims to investigate alternate methods to achieve this. See the project page for more information.

The other funded projects will be conducting investigations into areas such as systems integration, radar developments and imagers and other mission critical technologies. Further information on the Seedcorn projects can be found via this link

Since its inception in 2007, the CEOI has been responsible for many innovative and exciting technology developments in EO instrumentation. As well as serving mission critical needs, CEOI technologies help address important environmental issues, such as monitoring climate change and the environment. Additionally, many have spin-out potential into other industries, such as defence & security, telecoms, analytical instrumentation, healthcare and environmental.

Notes for Editors
Contact: Prof Mick Johnson, Director
Centre for EO Instrumentation
Tel: +44 (0)1438 774421

Centre for EO Instrumentation

The Centre for Earth Observation Instrumentation (CEOI) was established in 2007 in order to realise an excellent, internationally-competitive national Earth observation instrument and technology research and development programme. The CEOI is funded by the UK Space Agency (UKSA) and is a partnership between Astrium, QinetiQ, STFC/RAL and the University of Leicester, led by Astrium. The CEOI strategic goal is to become the driving force in the UK for the development of world class instrumentation for national and international EO missions. It will achieve this by funding, via a series of Open Calls, science-driven instrumentation projects from teams led by UK Principal Investigators. The intention is to exploit the UK technological capability in industry and academia from both the space and non-space sectors, with the aim of positioning UK consortia for flight opportunities in international space missions.