Observing ocean plastic pollution from space

Earth Observation (EO) has always been a hugely valuable asset from an environmental perspective Earth Observation (EO) has always been a hugely valuable asset from an environmental perspective

Satellite Vu, a NewSpace company that is leading the charge in space-based technology to overcome the challenge of marine plastic pollution, has scooped first prize in the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Ocean x Space competition.

Earth Observation (EO) has always been a hugely valuable asset from an environmental perspective as it provides a detailed ‘eye in the sky’ and gives a view of our planet that is unrivalled. Over the past five years in particular, through the advent of NewSpace innovations, the rise of small satellite technology has been at the centre of a paradigm shift in the EO market which has lowered the cost and time taken to manufacture spacecraft. Today, a small EO satellite can equal the capability of its much larger predecessors, yet can be orbited at a fraction of the cost and mass. This transformation is significant because it is making space accessible to all and is giving less developed countries the opportunity to tackle some of their greatest problems.

“The capabilities offered by Satellite Vu will literally cut the time in which it takes to measure the plastics problem from years to weeks,” continues Baker. “Who is offending? Where are the problem areas? Can the plastic be contained? We can answer the burning questions so that action can be taken. The technology is available now and we are ready to provide it.”

By Jake Frith

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