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Earth Observation Science

Space Park Leicester is home to the National Centre for Earth Observation (NCEO), a research centre supported by the Natural Environmental Research Council, providing it with national capability in Earth observation science. Drawing together more than 130 scientists across several leading UK universities and research organisations, the NCEO is led by Professor John Remedios at the University of Leicester.

The Surface Temperature Group at Leicester specialises in retrieval, validation and exploitation of land surface temperature data, derived from both Earth observation spacecraft and simulations of land-surface models. The group has contributed to major ESA missions such as ATSR and Sentinel-3.

The Leicester-based Earth Observation Science Group works closely with international space agencies, including UKSA, ESA, NASA, JAXA etc, on proposals for, and development and evaluation of current and future Earth observation satellite missions. This work contributes to programmes such as the ESA Climate Change Initiative and the EU Copernicus Climate Change Service.

The COVID-19 pandemic provided an unexpected opportunity for Professor Paul Monks, who balances his research work at Leicester with a role as Chief Scientific Advisor to the UK Government’s Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). Satellite imagery before, during and after the pandemic lockdown periods provided invaluable data about industrial and transport emissions and their effects on air quality – and by extension, on public health.

Set for launch in 2025, MicroCarb will be the first European satellite dedicated to measuring atmospheric CO2 from all around the world Scientists from the National Centre for Earth Observation (NCEO), hosted at Space Park Leicester, are contributing to mission design and will use MicroCarb’s data to measure carbon emissions from both natural processes and human activities. This information will help inform decisions on tackling climate change.