Institute of Astronomy


We are developing telescopes that can be folded up inside a rocket for the ride into space and then unfold once in orbit. This is because we want a small launch package to reduce costs and a large powerful telescope to study the Earth or the Cosmos.

We are currently working on a 60cm aperture thermal infra-red telescope which fits in to a 12U CubeSat. An important application of this is to monitor the energy usage of almost all of the buildings on Earth to identify where mitigating action should be taken. This can have a big impact because the control of the interior temperature of buildings contributes about 29% of global CO2 emissions.

It is also expected that the technology will enable new astronomy missions.

This is a thermal IR image of part of the Institute of Astronomy captured from a drone. The Observatory Building is in the upper right, the Northumberland telescope is near the Centre and the Kavli building is towards the bottom. Radiative temperature scales from blue (cold) to white (hot). We are using drone data to help us understand how satellite data can be used to tackle climate change.

Page last updated: 24 December 2021 at 21:44