Technology Articles

The CEOI has published a range of articles about the projects funded by the Centre.  Find out more about the technologies and their use in space and terrestrial applications:

Miniaturisation of Remote Sensing (February 2021) Over the past few years, CEOI (Centre for Earth Observation Instrumentation), a UK Space Agency programme, has funded a range of projects looking at miniaturisation of components, subsystems, and remote sensing instruments. The key drivers behind these projects are the growing portfolio of small / cubesat instrument platforms and the need for affordable access to space. This article provides a brief overview of some of the most advanced projects, summarising the technology, applications, and potential deployments in space and non-space scenarios.

Radar Monitoring From Satellites Helps to Protect the Artic Ocean (October 2017) The Arctic plays an important role in regulating and driving the global climate and it is experiencing significant change. Whether this is seen as positive or negative depends on ones’ interests. Our knowledge of what is happening in the Arctic ocean comes from a string of satellite missions that have been monitoring the area over this period. Satellite monitoring is the only source of consistent, repeatable, regional scale, calibrated, year-round data, and is both logistically and financially impossible to obtain in any other way. CEOI is funding a wide range of innovative new instruments that measure our weather, our atmosphere, the polar regions, and many other aspects of the natural environment.

Autonomous Remote Sensing (March 2017) Traditionally, remote sensing has been defined as the acquisition from space of information about an object or phenomenon without making physical contact. However, the emergence of new sensing techniques, miniaturisation of electronics, more powerful software, and an ever-increasing range of applications has led to this definition being expanded to include terrestrial based remote sensing and remote embedded sensing. At the same time, the emergence of technologies and applications for autonomy have led to a dramatic expansion in the use of remote sensing technologies in these autonomous systems and to the development of remote sensing systems that are themselves autonomous. This article discusses the rapid convergence of remote sensing and autonomous technologies, the wide range of applications that are emerging, and the many societal, legal, trust, security and ethical challenges that such systems will need to address.

UV, Visible and IR technologies (July 2016) This article reports on a recent workshop held by the Centre for Earth Observation Instrumentation & Space Technology brought together technical experts from several sectors to discuss emerging terrestrial applications for UV / Vis / IR remote sensing and explore the opportunities for adoption of new technologies being developed for remote sensing in space.

Millimetre, Microwave & Terahertz Remote Sensing (November 2015) Remote sensing in the frequency range from 300MHz to 3 THz is widely used in Earth observation for measuring the temperature, and molecular absorption or emissivity of an object, environment or a scene. Major Earth observation applications in this realm include remote sensing of the atmosphere, water vapour and humidity measurement from space and ground, profiling of Earth’s atmosphere for various molecules and radicals (ozone, chlorine monoxide, sulphur dioxide, etc.), measuring ocean surface temperature and severe weather and meteorological measurements.  This article investigates the opportunities and challenges that this technology offers, arising from discussions at a workshop held with industry and technology experts.

Liquid Crystals and New Manufacturing Processes Transform Frequency Selective Surface Performance (December 2014) Describes the work carried out by Queens University Belfast in the development of liquid crystals and frequency selective surfaces, which can be used in a wide range of applications, including meterological sounders for global weather forecasting, microwave absorbers to reduce radar signature and enhanced transmission of microwave signals through energy saver glass.

Small-sats on the rise for Earth observation (October 2014).  Published on the website of Imaging and Machine Vision Europe.

EO technologies for the future (September 2014) Following the 7th Call for EO projects, the CEOI is funding a portfolio of new projects which focus on specific challenges of increased performance and miniaturisation in Earth Observation instrumentation through a wide range of enabling technologies. Summaries of the projects underway are available here.  

Future Challenges for EO Instruments in New Remote Sensing Applications This article reports on a recent industry consultation workshop which examined progress with the miniaturisation of remote sensing instruments, which is converging with the increasing payload capabilities of the rapidly emerging commercial UAV market, enabling a whole new range of applications and services.  Added 08 July 2014

Bolometers for wild-fire monitoring   This article reviews the use of new bolometer technologies to detect wild-fires.

On-board processing techniques   Read this article about a CEOI funded initiative to investigate the feasibility of generating real-time SAR images on-board the spacecraft.

New concepts for remote sensing  CEOI is supporting the evaluation of a range of innovative new mission and instrument concepts that could transform our ability to understand what is happening to Planet Earth.

Detecting explosive materials  This article describes use of a CEOI developed technology to provide unambiguous identification and quantification of the highly specific chemicals released by different explosives, with a rapid response time and which is eye-safe, compact, robust and cost effective.