Showcasing Earth observation at New Scientist Live

NPL staff demonstrating Earth Observation at New Scientist Live

Unique demonstration of satellite technology at New Scientist Live

New Scientist Live was a four-day festival of science held in London in September 2016. Thousands of members of the public attended the festival to see exhibits, talks and demonstrations on a range of scientific subjects. EMRP project Metrology for Earth Observation and Climate (ENV53 MetEOC2) showcased work on Earth observation and climate change at the event. 

The demonstration at New Scientist Live featured a spectrometer nestled inside a miniaturised 3D-printed model of a satellite. Visitors could move the spectrometer between a range of samples that mimicked types of landscapes, such as vegetation, bare soil, sand and inorganic material (plastic grass). 

Using the very technology on show, the project has been developing a global network of calibration sites to improve the accuracy of satellite measurements. After a global survey to identify potential sites, NPL travelled to areas of the world such as the Namibian desert, where the ground is unvarying and stable, to characterise the spectral 'fingerprint' of the site. This can then be compared with what a satellite measures to understand any bias or uncertainty in the measurement, helping to make satellite data, and products and services derived from it, more accurate.

For more information about the project visit the project webpage.

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