Raquel over the moon with space summer school

University of Dundee student Raquel Serrano-Calvo is over the moon at the news that she has landed a spot on a two-week space camp at the European Space Agency (ESA) next month.

The 30-year-old PhD student from Barcelona said the prestigious placement could help launch her career into remote sensing of the planet by satellites.

Raquel, who joined the University in 2016, is currently investigating the impact of hydrocarbons on vegetation through satellite-based sensors in a collaboration between the University’s Geography and Environmental department, School of Science and Engineering and the James Hutton Institute. The project is funded by the Natural Environment Research Council’s (NERC) Centre for Doctoral Training in Oil and Gas.

Raquel said, “I am so thrilled to have been selected by ESA. I cannot wait to learn alongside all the space professionals who use satellites to keep an eye on Earth.

“Not many people know this but we can now control crops from space. We are able to use remote sensing to see what the vegetation needs and act fast, reducing cost and being more efficient.

“Remote sensing also plays a major role in emergency situations – the satellites are like a big brother, keeping an eye out for any trouble and we help interpret the images.”

Raquel hopes the summer school will help her land further collaborations with ESA as she continues her PhD studying the Earth’s vegetation from space.


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