Sarah Johnson

Sarah JohnsonSatellite Applications Knowledge Exchange Fellow

Contact Details

Telephone: +44 (0)116 229 7496 / +44 (0)7833 058810


Office: CLCR

Primary Activities

My knowledge exchange fellowship in satellite applications is funded by the Natural Environment and Research Council (NERC) and the Satellite Applications Catapult. The activities are focused on supporting UK commercial companies using Earth Observation (EO) satellite imagery and UK academic environmental scientists, helping them to work together to improve end user services and deliver enhanced impact. Through joint collaborative industrial-academic activities, there is strong potential to overcome some of the technological challenges in EO based service provision, to enable more robust satellite based services and access new markets. In particular, NERC environmental science offers the opportunity to add expert knowledge into existing or planned commercial services based on EO data, so that the information needs of customers are more fully satisfied. The fellowship is focused in two key market areas, namely in agriculture and (on-shore) energy.  The fellowship activities not only help connect new partners but facilitate them working together by supporting project bids, thus taking some of the workload off partners to enable new EO based activities. It is hoped such activities will not only benefit EO service companies, but also help UK academics demonstrate the impact of their research.
Please feel free to contact me if you are a UK commercial company or UK academic working in these areas.

Research Interests

My research interests are focused on improving understanding of the terrestrial environmental through the application of remote sensing technologies. Typical applications include land cover/land use mapping, precision farming and associated retrieval of biophysical parameters, water catchment management, environmental impact assessments around hydrocarbon and mining extraction, forest and land degradation, soil moisture and soil erosion. I also have interests in new satellite missions and how they can best meet the needs of both commercial services and/or academic science.

Previous Experience

Before working at the University of Leicester, I worked in the downstream geo-information service industry for well over 10 years. I have also had spells working for upstream manufacturing companies so have a good grasp of many of the commercial issues associated with providing products and services to real customers. I have also worked on numerous consultancy contracts. Prior to this, I was a researcher at the University of Sheffield.

Some Current and Previous Projects

  • GNSSProbe – 2015. ESA IAP. Investigating the potential of GNSS signals for soil moisture measurement.
  • Land Use Risk Assessment (LURA) – 2015. NEWTON funded activity. Investigating pest and disease modelling under a changed climate in Chile.
  • GIONET – 2011-2014. Framework 7 Marie Curie Training Network. Supporting early stage researchers working on land and emergency themed remote sensing projects.
    Neptune – 2014. National Trust funding. Mapping the coastline of England, Wales and Northern Ireland from aerial photography to provide a 50 year update of change in land use.
  • SAR for Catchment Monitoring – 2013. Satellite Applications Catapult funded. Investigating the potential of multi-polar SAR imagery to inform on water catchment management issues.
  • iTRAQ – 2011-2012. ESA IAP. Improving urban air quality through the dynamic management and control of traffic flow.

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Contact Details

School of Geography, Geology and the Environment
Bennett Building
University Road
University of Leicester

T: 0116 252 3933

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