Aberystwyth Centre for Space and Earth Monitoring established

The Centre will combine expertise in space robotics, autonomous systems, remote sensing and big data.

The Centre will combine expertise in space robotics, autonomous systems, remote sensing and big data.

14 July 2015

Aberystwyth University in partnership with Aberystwyth based Environment Systems Ltd is launching a newly formed interdisciplinary research centre, The Aberystwyth Centre for Space and Earth Monitoring (ACSEM).

The new Centre brings together expertise from three academic departments and institutes at Aberystwyth University; the Department of Geography and Earth Sciences, the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS) and the Institute of Mathematics, Physics and Computer Science.

The UK aims to capture a 10% share of the global downstream space sector market (£37 billion per year) by 2030. This can only be achieved through the novel application of space technologies and earth observation data to new applications enabling UK business growth across domestic and international markets.

The Welsh Space Academic Partnership (WASP) has, in conjunction with the Aerospace Wales Forum and Welsh Government, undertaken a review of space activity across Wales working to develop the Wales Space Strategy. A number of key regional assets were identified belonging to Aberystywth in the downstream sector in which the largest growth is forecast.

ACSEM is fully aligned with the Welsh and UK Governments’ space Strategies and aims to capitalise and build on the existing strength within the sector, by bringing together the two key players both identified in the Wales Space Strategy, Aberystwyth University and Environment Systems Ltd.

The Centre will work to meet the downstream space sector innovation challenges through world class research combining expertise in space robotics, autonomous systems, remote sensing and big data.

ACSEM will develop strong partnerships with industry, promoting knowledge exchange and increasing the competitiveness of the UK’s downstream space industry by using industry guidance to support the development of products and services with a particular focus on monitoring and situational awareness.

Professor Chris Thomas, Pro Vice-Chancellor Research at Aberystwyth University said: “I am very pleased to welcome the launch of ACSEM in partnership with Environment Systems Ltd. The centre builds on a long history of excellent remote sensing and space science at Aberystwyth but will now drive new interdisciplinary research across the University and into the commercial sector. For example, ACSEM will be working with our new £40m Aberystwyth Innovation and Enterprise Campus and the National Plant Phenomics Centre, to develop field and landscape-scale applications in agri-biotechnology, working with our researchers and commercial partners. The University has had a long and productive relationship with Environment Systems and it is a pleasure to see this develop further with the launch of ACSEM.”

Space scientists at Aberystwyth University are set to play a leading role in the European Space Agency’s 2018 ExoMars Mission’s camera vision system, and recently contributed to the discovery of the remains of the ill-fated Beagle2 mission to Mars.