TECHWORKS MARINE, A Dun Laoghaire-based SME, has secured a major contract with the European Space Agency (ESA).
The firm will now lead a research project on monitoring coastal outlets, Minister of State for Research and Innovation Seán Sherlock revealed today.
It will be the first time an ESA Earth Observation mission will be led by an Irish group. According to TechWorks Marine, which specialises in the development of real-time marine data platforms, the win is a culmination of four years’ work.
Real-time data platforms are developed so governments and businesses can manage the oceans surrounding their countries and operations.
The new project involves developing a set of satellite earth observation products for developers and operators of waste water treatment plants and desalination plants to help ensure that environmental impacts are kept at a minimum. It will specifically look at the coastal effect of water water treatment plants in Ireland, notably in Donegal Bay.
“The coastal zone is a notoriously complex area to monitor from space due to its proximity to land and also sensor pixel resolution of images,” explained managing director Charlotte O’Kelly. “However, improvements in sensor technology mean it is now possible to develop Earth Observation products specifically aimed at coastal activity.”
These products can be used to analyse the effect of waste water treatment plant outfalls in coastal environment, or ensure that water close to the intakes of desalination plants does not have harmful algal blooms which could be a health hazard to humans.
New staff have been recruited as a result of the contract.