This could usher in a new approach that could help shipping companies to face down climate change, an official statement by UK government reads. The project builds upon previous work developing analytics solutions for ports and harbours, extending this to coastal and international waters.

The move is part of a total of five projects that the UK Space Agency is funding, which seek to utilize space solutions to resolve Earth problems. The funding will see the national Space Research and Innovation Network for Technology (SPRINT) support the new space projects, with industry working alongside scientists from the University of Southampton, University of Edinburgh and University of Leicester.

Today’s funding will provide lift off to some of the country’s most ambitious space collaborations, accelerating potentially game-changing technologies that will help the UK respond to global challenges such as cutting carbon emissions,

...Science Minister Amanda Solloway said.

One of the projects, involving the University of Southampton, will use artificial intelligence to automatically detect buried archaeological remains on satellite imagery, providing construction companies with higher accuracy at an earlier stage. This will save them time and money during the planning permission process and help them to reduce their carbon footprint.

Another, run by the University of Edinburgh, will support Malawian farmers by developing land-classification maps of high potential agricultural sites, providing a vital tool that can enable effective planning of large-scale agriculture in the region.

The SPRINT scheme has previously supported 87 collaborative projects with 70 companies, developing space hardware or using space-enabled data and transferring space know-how and expertise to develop products destined for non-space use.