The University of Leicester has announced that its new Manufacturing, Engineering, Technology and Earth Observation Research Centre (METEOR) (www.le.ac.uk
) has received nearly £14 million in funding through Research England’s flagship capital investment scheme — the UK Research Partnership Investment Fund (UKRPIF).
This will leverage a further £50 million of investments in space and Earth observation (EO) research in Leicester. METEOR will be a key part of Space Park Leicester, a new research, innovation and teaching hub intended to position the city of Leicester at the forefront of UK space technology.
METEOR is expected to revolutionise how satellites are conceived, designed, operated and produced, as well as how data derived from them is interpreted and used to solve real-world problems.
It will get to grips with the research challenges and barriers to the adoption of modern industrial processes for rapid higher-volume satellite production, thereby reducing costs and democratising space.
It will also create digital systems and IT infrastructure to support the processing of big data and enable novel EO research methods, technologies and applications to deliver high spatial and multispectral resolution, so that what is presently “unseeable” from space can be seen.
Space Park Leicester is due to open in late 2020. Industry partners will be able to develop new services and technologies with the support of academic researchers, and they will have access to a flow of talent and a vibrant innovation community.
Edmund Burke, acting vice-chancellor of the University of Leicester, said: “For over 50 years, we have played a key role in space missions, including the BepiColombo mission to Mercury, which was launched just last year.
“We look forward to Space Park Leicester being a catalyst for future space advancements.”