TWO Southampton-based projects are to benefit from hundreds of thousands of pounds in funding.

The University of Southampton is harnessing space tech to help make buildings more energy efficient and preserve important historical sites, thanks to £200,000 of Government funding.

Through the UK Space Agency, the government is giving a cash injection to five projects, including two led by the University of Southampton.

The projects are designed to bring together UK business expertise with universities to help build space solutions to global problems, on UK soil. 

One of the projects, ArchAI, will use space archaeology and Earth Observation data to help the construction industry by spotting likely sites for archaeology, saving people and businesses money when acquiring planning permission by significantly lowering the risk of construction inadvertently on a burial site. 

Iris Kramer, CEO of ArchAI, said: “This project will help us increase the training data of known archaeological sites and validate our AI across the country to detect unknown sites.

"We'll also be able to improve our solution on satellite imagery which will help us scale globally.” 

The second project is a collaboration between Absolar Solutions Ltd and the University of Southampton. This will develop Absolar’s Carbon Action Planning Tool that integrates satellite images, solar radiation and LiDAR with other data sources to provide organisations with a clear view of a building’s current energy performance, develop plans for achieving Net-Zero carbon emissions and reduce their energy costs whilst tracking and reporting on their progress. 

Phil Wu, of Absolar Solutions, said: “We are thrilled to have received support from the UK Space Agency and to collaborate with the University of Southampton’s Research Software Engineers. 

“The support and collaboration will ultimately mean organisations benefit from an enhanced step-by-step understanding to achieve net-zero carbon emissions across their property portfolios and save energy costs at the same time.” 

The UK Space Agency 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.