Harpenden rocket scientist is over the moon about award nomination
- Credit: Archant
A Harpenden rocket scientist has been shortlisted for the title of Great British Entrepreneur 2020.
Dr Rajan Bedi, chief executive and founder of satellite technology firm Spacechips, has been recognised in this year’s awards nominations, which acknowledge the hard work and inspiring stories of British entrepreneurs and businesses.
Harpenden-based SME Spacechips designs the electronics used on-board satellites and spacecraft to address challenges including climate change, food sustainability, disaster management and COVID-19.
Dr Bedi is also the author of Out-of-this-World Design, an award-winning blog on Space Electronics, which has been viewed more than million times.
He explained what Spacechips does: “Today we live in a satellite-enabled age, the spacecraft orbiting overhead are not science fiction, but part of a critical, life-support system which we depend on every day.
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“Satellites collect vast amounts of data giving us a detailed understanding of what is happening in our world. They deliver awe-inspiring imagery in high resolution, broadband global communication, increased positional accuracy and observe the fragile eco-systems of our beautiful planet.
“Global population is predicted to increase to almost ten billion people by 2050 requiring food production to increase by 70 per cent. At the same time, the amount of land available to grow crops is declining rapidly, with 95 per cent of the world’s fare grown in soil. Earth-observation satellites are being used to remotely photograph fields and measure the productivity and health of plants.
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“Satellite navigation is then used to inform farmers precisely where to spray water, fertiliser or pesticides to maximise crop yields.
“Climate change is impacting our beautiful planet irreversibly and satellites give a global view of how human activity is contributing to greenhouse gas emissions, global warming, sea levels, dwindling ice-sheets and rain-forests.”
He also revealed how space technology has also been used to contain COVID-19: “We use satellite navigation to control drones to disinfect hospitals, identifying COVID-19 hot-spots and which neighbourhoods are infection free and low risk.
“This information is used to plan the commuting routes of key-workers as well as the delivery of food and medicines to vulnerable people using drones.
“Satellite-based telemedicine is being used by doctors to provide remote healthcare using video calls to respect social distancing and space-based internet is allowing millions of families and businesses around the world to stay in touch and continue operating.”
The regional finals of this year’s awards take place virtually on September 23.