April 15, 2024
UK-built satellite to help combat the climate crisis from space


Aiming to join Portugal and Spain as a member of the Atlantic Constellation project, the UK will help fund and build a new satellite designed to monitor and combat climate change.

The Atlantic Constellation initiative will involve the development of a constellation of small satellites for Earth, ocean, and climate monitoring. Its mission is to provide data that can support early detection of climate change indicators and disaster relief action, while increasing agricultural productivity and improving energy use.

Space tech startup Open Cosmos will build the UK satellite, a pathfinder craft, using the same design as three of Portugal’s satellites. These four spacecraft will constitute the first batch of the constellation. Open Cosmos will co-fund the satellite’s development, backed by an additional £3mn from the UK Space Agency.

The UK satellite is expected to increase the frequency of revisit time in the first orbital plane by 33% — which means that it can make more observations of the same point on Earth. This way, the craft can provide “valuable and regularly updated data” that can support critical applications, including the detection, monitoring, and mitigation of natural disasters.

Atlantic Constellation