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TerraMotion to develop solution for monitoring land motion in peatland areas across the UK

By Eric Van Rees - 8th May 2020 - 07:20

Nottingham-based TerraMotion, a specialist in geospatial, mapping and land motion solutions, has signed up to the national SPRINT business support programme. SPRINT funding will enable TerraMotion to collaborate with the University of Nottingham on the development of a unique technique to monitor land motion in rural areas. The solution will enhance the management, conservation and restoration of peatland across the UK.

Peatlands cover approximately 10 per cent of the land area in the UK with blanket bog and it has been estimated that up to 80 per cent of UK peatlands are degraded to some extent. The prioritisation of areas for restoration and conservation of peatlands has been identified as a key priority in the National Peatland Strategy. To achieve this, the first step is a nationwide characterisation of peatland condition and there is currently no cost-effective way of monitoring the state of large areas of peatlands or quantifying the response of peatland to management intervention.

The SPRINT project is the first in the UK to be delivered by a non-SPRINT partner university and will build on the University of Nottingham’s expertise in using interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) data to provide a measure of the extent of peatland and its condition. Ground height is the key driver for the peatland condition monitoring and the project will validate the InSAR ground height data using Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) data from a ground height testing facility.

The SPRINT project extends the preliminary work done in a Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) soil security project. In 2018, researchers at the University of Nottingham also developed groundbreaking technology to create a new UK-wide ground motion map. Using thousands of satellite radar images, the technology was applied under license by TerraMotion to create a complete land motion map of the UK as a natural progression from the first country-wide map of ground motion in Scotland.

Andy Sowter, Chief Technical Officer at TerraMotion said: “Our focus is to develop a novel technique to monitor land motion, applying the technology to rural areas, in particular. Nobody has come up with a solution for fields and forests so with the IP already developed at the University of Nottingham, we started a company to exploit the technology.

Read More: Terrestrial Mapping Land Information Systems Environmental Management

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