ESA SAtellite Tracking Station Redu, Belgium
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£1.5m funding secured for Leeds-based ground movement data service

A Leeds based company with technology to assess infrastructure subsidence via satellite has secured £1.5m in funding.

SatSense is a provider of data on the movement of ground and structures, both past and ongoing, which provides risk assessment data and early safety warnings.

This may be used to evaluate site stability before development, threats to structures such as roads and pipelines and to advise mortgage lenders and insurance companies.

The investment comes from Mercia Equity Finance, part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund, and the government’s Future Fund. The former of these is supported by the EU via the European Regional Development Fund.

Will Clark, managing director of Regional Venture Funds at Mercia, said: “Subsidence is not only a costly problem for property owners, it is also a major hazard. Landslips, the failure of bridges or dams and even sinkholes can result in widespread disruption and loss of life.”

“SatSense’s technology marks a step change in our ability to monitor sites remotely and detect changes at an early stage. We believe it has potential for worldwide use to help reduce costs and prevent future disasters.”

Established in 2018 by University of Leeds Professors Tim Wright and Andy Hooper, Satsense is the result of a pooled 35 years of algorithm development. This is the third round of investment via Mercia Equity Finance, bringing total funds raised to £3m, which will allow for an expansion of the team from seven to 13 across the next year.

The influx of funds coincides with the launch of an online platform that makes its data accessible to engineers and related professionals at sites throughout the UK and beyond. SatSense has also been contracted to provide report data for the environmental search provider Groundsure.

Matthew Bray, the CEO said: “The SatSense founders have taken technology that was once only available to governments and research institutes and made it accessible for day to day business use. Our system is the only one that offers instant access to highly accurate, near real-time data over huge areas.”

“The service will become all the more important given the impact of climate change. As hotter summers and wetter winters exacerbate seasonal changes in ground conditions, it will allow us to identify areas worst affected and provide warnings on infrastructure or properties at risk.”

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