Leicester Institute for Space and Earth Observation

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Artist's impression of Mars Sample Return ascent vehicle landing on Mars. (image: NASA)

This new Institute brings together all the research work within the University associated with Space (including astronomy and planetary science) and Earth Observation, which is spread across a number of Departments within the College of Science and Engineering: Physics and Astronomy, Chemistry, Computer Science, Geography, Geology, Engineering and Mathematics.

The focus will be on Space/EO missions and instruments, Space & EO data and innovation. Expected outcomes will bring science leadership (mission scientists), alongside Engineering capability, and develop expertise on data analysis, data exploitation and leading technology that can be applied both within Space Research and outside in other areas e.g. medical devices and diagnosis (already underway).

Space was identified by the last Government as one of the eight great technologies and is seen as cross-cutting enabler of growth. The Innovation and Growth Strategy (IGS) study in 2010 identified Space as a growth market with the target of £40 billion by 2030, 10% of world market. This growth needs to be underwritten by research. Having an integrated Space and Earth Observation Institute is timely as government actions continue to implement the IGS.

Key objectives of the Institute

  • Enhance Leicester’s position and reputation as a world-leading centre.
  • Improve capture of projects and the associated grants and contracts in an increasingly competitive environment.
  • Enhance the quality of research outputs.
  • Provide a clearer structure and profile to external stakeholders
  • Provide effective end-to-end delivery of leading instrumentation and technology, with integrated science leadership.
  • Enable state of the art data analysis.
  • Enable translation of technology from one previously compartmentalised research domain to another.
  • Achieve enhanced innovation and impact with commercial collaborators.

Space at Leicester

The University of Leicester has a long and distinguished record of discovery in space science. Every year since 1967 has seen a Leicester-built instrument operating in space. We hold, and have held, vital roles in many space missions for space agencies including NASA, European Space Agency, UK Space Agency, ISRO (India) and JAXA (Japan), covering astronomical, planetary and Earth observation science missions. These include NASA/ESA’s James Webb Space Telescope, ESA’s Bepi-Colombo mission, and ESA’s and EUMETSAT’s Meteosat Second Generation missions.

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Professor Martin Barstow
E: mab@le.ac.uk

Paul Corazzo (business enquiries)
T: 0116 252 2304
E: pac28@le.ac.uk