Scientists using space technologies to save lives on Earth

Posted by er134 at Dec 11, 2013 12:30 PM |
University of Leicester academics ‘thinking like astronauts’

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 11 December 2013

To find out more about these research projects, you can listen to research podcasts here:

Dr John Lees: Using space technology to treat cancer: http://soundcloud.com/university-of-leicester/dr-john-lees

Dr Roland Leigh: Using space technology to monitor pollution: http://soundcloud.com/university-of-leicester/dr-roland-leigh

Space researchers from the University of Leicester are applying cutting-edge space technology to real-life applications in order to save lives on Earth.

Canada’s first astronaut to walk in space, Colonel Chris Hadfield, is encouraging us all to ‘think like an astronaut’ in his new memoirs, An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth, and two academics from the University of Leicester’s Space Research Centre are doing just that with their innovative applications of space technology.

The researchers will be sharing their Earth applications of space technology with Colonel Hadfield who will be visiting the University of Leicester and the National Space Centre on Friday 13 December as part of an international book tour.

At Leicester, the researchers are:

-          Helping to target cancer tumours more safely with the development of a portable, handheld gamma camera

-          Monitoring the quality of air and reducing public exposure to pollution with an air quality monitoring instrument originally designed for satellite use

Dr John Lees, Reader at the University of Leicester’s Space Research Centre, said: “A lot of technology from space can benefit the public. By developing a handheld gamma camera, we now have a portable imaging device which can be taken to hospitals and to patients. This will increase the number of patients with access to such an imaging device, helping to treat cancer at a much earlier stage.”

Dr Roland Leigh, Lecturer from the University of Leicester’s department of Physics and Astronomy explained: “The average member of the public loses seven to eight months of life expectancy due to pollution. Using space technology we have developed a satellite instrument which has created a panoramic image of pollution above cities. By providing a better understanding of levels of pollution and human exposure, we can help to inform policymakers on how best to manage the amount of exposure we have to pollution on a daily basis.”

During his visit to the University, Chris will also meet a number of Physics and Astronomy students who will share their research with him through displays and demonstrations. He will then take part in a Q&A session at the National Space Centre with school and college students from around Leicestershire.

ENDS

 

Notes to Newsdesk:

Please note Colonel Chris Hadfield will not be available for interview during his visit.

To find out more about these research projects, you can listen to research podcasts here:

Dr John Lees: Using space technology to treat cancer: http://soundcloud.com/university-of-leicester/dr-john-lees

Dr Roland Leigh: Using space technology to monitor pollution: http://soundcloud.com/university-of-leicester/dr-roland-leigh

 

More information and NASA press images available on request via ac555@le.ac.uk.

  • An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield is published by Macmillan, hardback £18.99.

The Space Research Centre (SRC)

The Space Research Centre is part of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Leicester. It has two main research areas: Earth Observation Science and Space Science and Instrumentation which develops sensors and optics for high energy astrophysics and planetary science from landers and orbiters, as well as carrying out interdisciplinary research in the Life Sciences and Medicine.

The National Space Centre

  • The National Space Centre is the UK's largest visitor attraction and research facility dedicated to space.
  • The National Space Centre opened to the public in June 2001 and has welcomed over 2.6 million visitors, including over 650,000 school children.
  • The National Space Centre is the Millennium Commission landmark project for the East Midlands. It was co-founded by The University of Leicester and Leicester City Council. Its other founding partners were BT and East Midlands Development Agency.

For more information please visit www.spacecentre.co.uk

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