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UK-built satellites to form backbone of global IoT device network

Three satellites built in the UK will be launched on the SpaceX rocket tomorrow, which are designed to monitor and deal with climate change, as well as to track endangered wildlife.

The three companies behind the satellites have received nearly £ 15 million from the UK Space Agency through the European Space Agency’s (ESA) partnership program to support the implementation of their projects.

Oxford-based Lacuna Space has developed a satellite designed to support IoT devices by “reaching every corner of the Earth.”

The Lacuna sensors, which fit in the palm of your hand and can run for years on a single battery charge, can be used to monitor the environment, track wildlife and help farmers by providing data on cattle health and crops and for water and soil management.

Two of the satellites built by Spire in Glasgow will develop optical interconnection (ISL) links, which will help send large amounts of data from space down to Earth. This will allow the constellations of satellites to become integrated networks in space, capable of delivering large volumes of speed data to anywhere in the world, including remote and rural areas, disaster areas and the sea.

These improved data and better forecast analysis will improve our understanding of the environment and the impact we have on it, said the UK Space Agency.

Science Minister Amanda Soloway said: “As we prepare to host the UN Climate Change Conference, COP26, in Glasgow later this year, the UK is leading the way in space exploration to tackle climate change by developing satellites. that enable world-class scientists to observe the environment in remarkable detail.

“In addition to supporting climate ambitions, these satellites built by the UK will provide exciting innovation in remote monitoring and tracking, the launch industry to offer new services that will help improve our lives.”

Elodie Viau, Director of Telecommunications at ESA, said: “ESA is proud to enable small and medium-sized enterprises in Europe to become providers of space missions and enter the space industry through programs such as Pioneer.

“Provides innovators and entrepreneurs with the means to access space through cost-effective processes, job creation and prosperity, and supporting the success of the European and Canadian space industries in a highly competitive global telecommunications market.”

The third satellite was built by Hampshire-based In-Space Missions. It will include a demonstration payload for Lacuna Space’s IoT satellite service. This first version is high-speed, broadband-defined software that will allow a number of different applications, including ship radar tracking, to create heat maps for 4G mobile use.

In May, scientists at the University of Bristol said that Earth observation satellites were basic tools to track the progress of climate change in real time.

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