University of Portsmouth to host a new centre for satellite data

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The University of Portsmouth is to host a new centre of excellence for satellite data, which will promote economic growth in the UK’s space sector.

The centre will allow the south coast business community to tap into satellite technology that could improve their products and services, for example, developing technology to help robot submarines use live satellite data to inform their route through the ocean – similar to drivers using live traffic updates.

The South Coast Centre of Excellence in Satellite Applications will be led by the University of Portsmouth’s Institute of Industrial Research.

The new centre will use data from thousands of man-made satellites which orbit Earth. Some satellites take pictures of the planet that help meteorologists predict weather and track hurricanes, others are used mainly for communications, such as beaming TV signals and phone calls around the world.

A group of more than 20 satellites make up the Global Positioning System, or GPS.

Experts at the centre will work with industry, particularly small businesses, to ensure they can use satellite data to make new products and services commercially available.

Its market focus areas cover maritime and marine and autonomous systems.

Professor of Industrial Systems, David Brown, said: ‘Satellites looking towards Earth provide information about clouds, oceans, land and ice.

‘They give us insight, collect and distribute vast quantities of data and give us a detailed picture of what is happening in our world such as allowing us to monitor and protect our environment, manage resources and respond to humanitarian disasters.

‘To be leading this new centre is a great success for the university. The centre will encourage and promote collaboration between universities and industries, especially SMEs, which can only enhance and promote local economic growth.’

Other partners include the Universities of Brighton and Southampton, National Oceanography Centre, Marine South East, Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult and Hampshire County Council.

Professor Catherine Harper, Dean of the university’s Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries, said: ‘The Institute of Industrial Research has been working with businesses for a number of years to deliver solutions and opportunities of strategic importance to industry and research.

‘University of Portsmouth’s lead in this new innovative centre is of considerable significance to this city and region.’