A case study produced by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). More accurate global weather forecasts and a better understanding of climate change are in prospect thanks to a breakthrough by electrical engineers at Queen’s University Belfast. 

The team has developed a high performance electronic device, known as a dual polarized Frequency Selective Surface filter, to be used in future weather satellites. The new filters will be installed in instruments being developed by the European Space Agency (ESA) for meteorological satellites it plans to launch between 2018 and 2020. The ESA instruments are used to detect thermal emissions in the Earth’s atmosphere.

The data measures temperature, humidity profiles, and gas composition, which are in turn entered into operational systems and used to forecast weather and pollution. The filters have been developed as a result of a £1.2 million investment in Queen’s by EPSRC, EADS Astrium and ESA to develop the technology, and have taken over ten years to develop. EPSRC is a part of the Research Councils UK (RCUK) partnership of research councils.

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