New Bluesky and University of Leicester joint venture to tackle air pollution

Posted by ap507 at Sep 19, 2016 11:52 AM |
New company, EarthSense Systems, to spearhead innovations in air quality monitoring

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 19 September 2016

A video about air quality research at the University of Leicester is available here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0qe5LO0etHs

A photo of members of the EarthSense Systems team is available here (Caption in Notes to Editors): https://www.dropbox.com/sh/oybgv3t9zvgnlm6/AADzucVIsKojHS3SbQNnW-09a?dl=0

EarthSense Systems, a new joint venture between aerial mapping company Bluesky and the University of Leicester, is set to spearhead innovations in air quality monitoring.

Building on more than four years of collaboration between the two organisations, the new company will initially focus on delivering static sensors, data modelling and derived datasets to UK local and central government organisations.

Projects to date have included trials of an airborne air quality mapper, air pollution monitoring equipment on a rocket and mobile mapping with air quality sensors mounted in electric cars.

Future plans include the establishment of a nationwide network of air quality monitoring sensors, feeding live data for up-to-the-minute air quality predictions.

Professor Roland Leigh, Technical Director of EarthSense Systems and a member of the University of Leicester Department of Physics and Astronomy, said: “Bluesky is a recognised and respected brand with a reputation for innovation, quality and service within the geographic data acquisition sector. In addition to Bluesky’s business acumen, the team also provides significant geospatial data and processing resources which will enable EarthSense to deliver actionable insights to decision makers at regional, national and international levels.”

James Eddy, CEO of EarthSense Systems and Technical Director Bluesky commented:  “Bluesky and the University of Leicester have been working together for many years, developing an in-depth understanding of the issues, opportunities and challenges surrounding air quality monitoring and management. Utilising the strengths of each party, EarthSense will maximise on the work to date to launch a range of products and services to market, addressing the growing requirement for accurate and up to date, real world information to inform critical decision making. EarthSense is ideally placed to become the UK’s – if not the world’s – lead player in air quality monitoring and measurement.”

The current global air quality monitoring market is predicted to grow by almost ten per cent, rising to £4.2 billion by 2019 with increasing diseases, regulation and pollution identified as key drivers for this growth. The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) reports that an estimated 29,000 deaths per year in the UK are attributed to particulate air pollution, a reduction in average life expectancy by around six months and a cost of £16 billion per annum.

Eddy added: “The University of Leicester has an outstanding record in academic excellence and leadership in air quality sensor design and analysis, providing advice and support to government and industry globally. The combination of technical expertise and academic credibility with Bluesky’s business experience will allow EarthSense to provide impact at an international scale and realise commercial applications of research outputs.”

The project is part of the Leicester Institute for Space and Earth Observation. This new Institute brings together all the research work within the University associated with Space (including astronomy and planetary science) and Earth Observation.


ENDS

Contacts:

For more information about the University of Leicester’s involvement in EarthSense Systems contact Professor Roland Leigh on rl40@leicester.ac.uk

Reader enquiries to EarthSense on info@earthsense.co.uk
Editorial enquiries, contact Robert Peel on robert@market-it.co.uk

www.earthsense.co.uk

About the University of Leicester

The University of Leicester is led by discovery and innovation – an international centre for excellence renowned for research, teaching and broadening access to higher education. The University of Leicester is ranked among the top one per cent of universities in the world by the THE World University Rankings and also among the top 100 leading international universities in the world. It is among the top 25 universities in the Times Higher Education REF Research Power rankings with 75% of research adjudged to be internationally excellent with wide-ranging impacts on society, health, culture, and the environment.

Find out more: https://le.ac.uk/about-us

People in the photograph / caption:

From L-R: James Eddy CEO of EarthSense Systems and Technical Director Bluesky

Dr Sandy Reid, Spin-out Manager, University of Leicester

Donna Lyndsay, Commercial Director of EarthSense and Bluesky Business Strategist

Professor Roland Leigh, Technical Director of EarthSense Systems and a member of the University of Leicester’s Department of Physics and Astronomy

 

Editor’s Notes:

EarthSense Systems aims to deliver products that enable the world to visualise and solve its air quality issues. A joint venture between aerial mapping company Bluesky and the University of Leicester, EarthSense enables policy makers, planners and those responsible for delivering results, to access to real world information in order to support decision making.

With a mix of hardware (air quality sensors), software (bespoke modelling), data (derived and complementary) and people, EarthSense is uniquely poised to take a lead in air quality monitoring solutions and services, making a difference to people’s lives and delivering high value information to a range of consumers and decision makers. www.earthsense.co.uk

Bluesky is a UK-based specialist in aerial survey including aerial photography, LiDAR and thermal data using the very latest survey technology, including two UltraCam Eagles and an Orion M300 LiDAR system. An internationally recognised leader with projects extending around the globe, Bluesky is proud to work with prestigious organisations such as Google, the BBC and Government Agencies. 

Bluesky has unrivalled expertise in the creation of seamless, digital aerial photography and maintains national “off the shelf” coverage of aerial photography, DTM and DSM through an on-going three year update programme. By purchasing a World first sensor for the simultaneous capture of LiDAR, thermal and aerial photography data, Bluesky is in the enviable position of being able to provide customers with unique and cost effective solutions.

Bluesky is also leading the way in developing innovative solutions for environmental applications, including the UK’s first National Tree Map (NTM), solar mapping and citywide ‘heat loss’ maps, and is currently developing noise and air quality mapping products. www.bluesky-world.com

About the Leicester Institute for Space and Earth Observation

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.

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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