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Oxford-based Open Cosmos to measure energy efficiency of buildings with infrared from space

The Business Magazine article image for: Oxford-based Open Cosmos to measure energy efficiency of buildings with infrared from space
2 February 2021

Harwell Campus-based Open Cosmos, the company that operates satellite missions from start to finish, has partnered with Cambridge University, Cambridge Zero and Super Sharp Space Systems to study how to measure the energy efficiency of buildings from space using an innovative thermal infrared camera.

This is the first phase of a project that has received support from the UK Space Agency’s (UKSA) National Space Innovation Programme.

The University of Cambridge intends to develop a powerful thermal infrared camera to monitor which buildings are losing heat from space to ensure that governments, companies and individuals contribute to meeting the emissions targets that mark a reduction of at least 40% by 2030. Cambridge Zero, the University’s ambitious new climate initiative, will develop the use cases for the thermal images, while Super-Sharp Space Systems will prototype key aspects of the technology and develop the commercialization strategy of this disruptive technology.

Open Cosmos will develop the satellite mission that will make this possible and will support the development of the project by making its OpenKit platform simulator available to the University of Cambridge, which allows for the development of technologies compatible with nanosatellite platforms to carry out all types of tests.

This project is part of Open Cosmos vision, making space accessible to help solve the world’s biggest challenges. The company has a number of missions in development such as the MANTIS mission, funded by the UKSA through the European Space Agency InCubed programme.

Open Cosmos is also leading, with the ESA, a space mission with Artificial Intelligence for earth observation that will make it possible to collect, analyse and distribute data on the planet, making its applications accessible to all types of industries and companies.

Rafel Jordá, founder and CEO of Open Cosmos, said: “This project is an example of how Open Cosmos facilitates the development of new technologies and missions that make space an accessible and useful place for new applications such as this, which contributes to limiting an important problem that concerns us all, such as climate change”.


Nicky Godding is editor of The Business Magazine. Before her journalism career, she worked mainly in public relations moving into writing when she was invited to launch Retail Watch, a publication covering retail and real estate across Europe.

After some years of constant travelling, she tucked away her passport and concentrated on business writing, co-founding a successful regional business magazine. She has interviewed some of the UK’s most successful entrepreneurs who have built multi-million-pound businesses and reported on many science and technology firsts.

She reports on the region’s thriving business economy from start-ups, family businesses and multi-million-pound corporations, to the professionals that support their growth and the institutions that educate the next generation of business leaders.

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