A satellite which will classify and monitor trees from space is among climate change and security projects that have just received new funding from the UK Space Agency.
TreeView is one of 11 projects which have been awarded a share of over £7M of funding to put into action the latest advances in space innovation.
An OU team led by Dr James Endicott and Dr Kadmiel Maseyk will develop the mission concept for TreeView, a forestry and management tool that will support a nature-based solution to tackling climate change by monitoring the health of trees from space.
The new funding of £477,456 will enable it to progress from the feasibility study to a Preliminary Design Review which is a significant milestone in the development of a space mission.
Further funding will be required for future phases and the goal is to be ready to launch the satellite by the end of 2024, and then to operate it for five years.
Dr Endicott, Technical Lead for TreeView, said:
“TreeView will be a precision forestry tool for monitoring the health of trees from space, assessing the impacts of management, climate, and pests and disease on these essential assets. A healthy treescape is key to achieving net zero, nature recovery, and sustainable urban environments, and the cutting-edge technology of TreeView will place the UK in a leading position for meeting COP26 goals.”
Science Minister George Freeman said:
“Satellites in space are helping us solve some of the most significant challenges we face, from climate change to cyber-attacks, and through the National Space Strategy we are putting the UK at the forefront of unleashing these innovations. Whether it's monitoring greenhouse gas emissions or supporting increased tree planting, this new funding will take game-changing ideas from the UK space sector and our brilliant scientists and turn them into reality.”
The funding comes from the UK Space Agency's National Space Innovation Programme (NSIP) and has been announced as the UK hosts the COP 26 climate talks in Glasgow. Space is playing an essential role in the fight against climate change, with satellites collecting half of the 56 types of data we need to measure and understand climate change.