The UK Space Agency has announced plans to develop a new satellite that will be instrumental in monitoring climate change and natural disasters. With £3 million in funding from the agency, along with support from satellite company Open Cosmos, the spacecraft is expected to contribute to the Atlantic Constellation project, which is investing €80 million (£70 million) in developing a network of satellites to monitor the Earth’s climate.
The newly built UK satellite aims to provide valuable and up-to-date data on the planet, helping to detect, monitor, and reduce the risk of natural disasters. “Earth observation will play an absolutely vital role in tackling global challenges like climate change and disaster relief, providing the data we need at speed, while supporting key UK industries like agriculture and energy,” stated Andrew Griffith, the minister in the Department for Science, Innovation, and Technology.
Earlier this year, another UK-built satellite, HotSat-1, launched and began providing heat variation images of the Earth’s surface. The satellite, constructed by Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL), is capable of detecting hot and cold features as small as 3.5m across. This technology has immense potential in various fields, particularly in climate-related matters. For instance, it can help experts identify buildings, offices, and factories with inefficient energy usage by analyzing temperature variations in their roofs and walls, allowing for improved energy efficiency and insulation.
The development of advanced satellites for climate monitoring and disaster relief demonstrates the UK’s commitment to addressing global challenges in the face of climate change. The valuable data gathered from these satellites will not only aid in mitigating the effects of climate change but also support key industries and contribute to disaster relief efforts worldwide.